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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Abu Dhabi choreography dance video shot with one camera and a pair of roller blades goes viral 

Eight young passionate dancers of different nationalities, living in Abu Dhabi, mixed a street dance with a classic one, creating a new third concept, inspired by the city.

From left to right: Christina Antypas, Joanne Zoghieb, Omar Omran, Thiasha Karunasekara, Tina Thomas Kallab, Waleed Mustafa
From left to right: Christina Antypas, Joanne Zoghieb, Omar Omran, Thiasha Karunasekara, Tina Thomas Kallab, Waleed Mustafa

A video of ballerinas competing against a group of breakdancers in Abu Dhabi, shot with one camera and a pair of roller blades, has gone viral on Facebook, getting over 450,000 views in one week.

Eight young passionate dancers from different nationalities, who were all born and raised in Abu Dhabi, had participated in the choreography dance aiming to highlight the inner city youth culture, to show the different cultural aspects of the city and its commitment to support various types of art.

The group managed to mix a street dance with a classic one and create a new third concept inspired by the city.

“The idea came to highlight the city of Abu Dhabi that I grew up in and love, we wanted to show the different aspects of this wonderful city from the new cultural initiatives that demonstrate the city’s commitment to art to the inner city youth culture that I grew up with which included break-dancing, skateboarding and other urban past times,” said Saleh Hamed, the 39-year-old Emirati producer of the video, who also produced the video's song.

Mr Hamed said that the dancers, aged between 16 and 21, did all the choreography themselves and were ready within two weeks

“It was very quick actually. Thankfully, Waleed our director is very well connected in the local art and media scene and he went from concept to execution within a couple of weeks,” he said

“The video was done for next to nothing compared to some of the bigger produced videos and took an afternoon to shoot, it just goes to show that the only thing standing in the way of connecting with an audience nowadays is having something to say that people want to hear,” he added

The video was shot at the skate park in Abu Dhabi Corniche behind the Bainuna Tower.

“We wanted to show what the new kids are doing in Abu Dhabi and I think the skate park is a place where everybody hangs out for the area whether you are a skater, basketball player or a dancer, we wanted to show Abu Dhabi in that light,” said Waleed Shah, the director of the video, who broke his arm while shoot the video with one camera and a pair of rollerblades.

“We didn’t have any production cost, didn’t rent any lights, it was just myself, a camera, rollerblades and the dancers. That was it,” said Mr Shah.

“We wanted the video to feel like shot with multiple cameras, so we had to do the exact same dance over and over and shoot it from different angles and at the edit process make it feel like it was multiple cameras and multiple angles,” said Mr Shah.

One of the ballerinas said that it was a successful project full of new dance experience in collaboration with talented dancers.

“It was definitely a challenging experience and a completely new one, yet with the presence of talented dancers and surrounding support, the hard-work definitely paid off throughout the team and the music video showcased the sweat and tough work behind it,” said Tina Thomas, a 16-year-old Lebanese living in Abu Dhabi.

Tina, who has been receiving professional ballet training on daily basis since the age of four, said that the choreography was mostly team effort with a previous week of brainstorming movement that would suit the music.

“On the day of the shooting, the dancers gathered at a nearby studio in the morning where we got to know each other and discover each other’s abilities and with demonstration to one another, we created dance sequences that built up to cover the entire choreography,” she added

Another ballerina said that she didn’t expect the video to have such fame

“My family and friends were astonished by the fame that this video got, after I made them watch the music video, they were impressed by each and everyone’s professionalism,” said Joanne Zogheib, a 16-year-old Lebanese who started dancing in the age of eight

“At first, the girls and I just did this video for the fun and thrill of it, not knowing it would go viral. We just thought that the concept and idea was really creative and new to Abu Dhabi,” she added

One of the breakdancers, Waleed Abu Hashiesh, a 21-year-old Egyptian studying to become an interior designer in Abu Dhabi, said "we were professional enough to catch the rhythm together and come up with the choreography”.

“Dealing with a total different soft style while being the hard rough one was challenging yet was so fun,” said Waleed.

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