x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Troupe of Olympics fame coming to Abu Dhabi

Organisers hope visit for two performances will inspire disabled people living here as well as raise the profile of the Emirates in China.

Dancers of the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe perform the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva dance, which will be part of troupe's 'My Dream' shows in Abu Dhabi this month.
Dancers of the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe perform the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva dance, which will be part of troupe's 'My Dream' shows in Abu Dhabi this month.

ABU DHABI // The acclaimed troupe of disabled performers that performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing will take to the stage in the capital this month. The China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe, famous for its elaborate costumes, dancing Buddhist deities and traditional theatre scenes, will perform at Emirates Palace hotel on Nov 17 and 18. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, which is sponsoring the event, said it hoped the troupe would raise awareness in the UAE about the capabilities of disabled people. "Our vision is to be the hub of culture and art in the region," said Faisal al Sheikh, the authority's events manager. "This is a great event and it has the touch of humanity to it, which is part of our values." Sarim al Azzawi, the managing director of the ITR Group of Companies, said the performers would increase Abu Dhabi's profile in China. The tourism authority has opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. "The China troupe are instantly recognised there," Mr Azzawi said. He organised the Abu Dhabi appearances because, he said, he was inspired by performers during his visits to China. "I started to believe that we were the ones with the impediments. They are the ones who have conquered their difficulties. "They are sitting at the top of Mt Everest, and we are looking up to them, not only as people but also as artists." The show, called My Dream, features people with hearing impairments who dance, blind people who sing and play instruments, and other artists who are physically and mentally disabled. "These people are incredibly powerful," Mr Azzawi said. "You can feel how incredibly talented they are in their own right. They are completely dedicated to their art." The troupe was founded in 1987 in Beijing and has travelled to more than 40 countries. It has performed professionally since 2000. "This troupe is a true testimony that art is the language of all and only through it we can be united and live in a harmonious world," said Gao Yusheng, the Chinese ambassador to the UAE. After their shows, the performers will visit pupils at the Future Centre, a school devoted to children with physical and mental disabilities. The tourism authority said it hoped the achievements of the troupe would send a positive message to people in the UAE who live with disabilities. "We believe the widely acclaimed troupe's performance tour here will enhance Abu Dhabi's cultural events calendar," said Dayne Lim Kok Chun, the authority's director of product development. "At the same time, we hope that the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe's artistic achievements can serve as strong encouragement to the less fortunate sections of our community to persevere with their personal dream." Tickets for the 90-minute shows, from Dh400 to Dh750, can be bought via e-mail from itrchina@itrltd.com, or by going to the website at www.itrltd.com. jgerson@thenational.ae