‘Spirit of the Dance’ stars dazzle audiences in Riyadh with Irish, Falmenco fused rhythms

1 / 5
Record-breaking show heralds an entertainment bonanza as General Entertainment Authority (GEA) lists more than 5,000 events. (AN Photo)
2 / 5
Record-breaking show heralds an entertainment bonanza as General Entertainment Authority (GEA) lists more than 5,000 events. (AN Photo)
3 / 5
Record-breaking show heralds an entertainment bonanza as General Entertainment Authority (GEA) lists more than 5,000 events. (AN Photo)
4 / 5
Record-breaking show heralds an entertainment bonanza as General Entertainment Authority (GEA) lists more than 5,000 events. (AN Photo)
5 / 5
Record-breaking show heralds an entertainment bonanza as General Entertainment Authority (GEA) lists more than 5,000 events. (AN Photo)
Updated 10 March 2018
0

‘Spirit of the Dance’ stars dazzle audiences in Riyadh with Irish, Falmenco fused rhythms

RIYADH: Music-lovers took a dazzling journey from past to present at the King Fahd Cultural Center as “Spirit of the Dance” fused traditional Irish song and dance with fiery flamenco and sultry tango rhythms.
The award-winning dance performance — now in its 20th year — has been seen by more than 30 million people around the world and has broken box office records in more than 20 countries.
“Spirit of the Dance” is being staged in the Kingdom for the first time by the Knight Group together with the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), which last month announced an entertainment bonanza, with more than 5,000 events scheduled this year.
Knight Group founder and CEO Fouad Halabi told Arab News: “The GEA has been very helpful showcasing this world-famous show. For us, as an organizer and producer, it was not feasible at the beginning to bring such a great show here, but the GEA was instrumental in understanding how the show should be organized to respect both the local and Irish culture.
“Now we are very excited about this breathtaking show. We hope after seeing the performances, people will learn about the Irish culture,
about this art.”
The GEA was established in line with the goals of Vision 2030 to diversify the entertainment sector and broaden the range of entertainment options. Opera and jazz have been featured recently.
“Spirit of the Dance” will travel to Jeddah for performances on March 15-16 at the King Abdullah Economic City.
The Irish ambassador in Riyadh, Tony Cotter, one of several diplomats at Thursday’s show, said: “I am happy to see the amount of social change taking place in Saudi Arabia — it is fantastic to see famous Irish dance being performed on stage in the Kingdom.”
Commenting on the Kingdom’s growing entertainment sector, Cotter said: “There is a huge development in this area. The GEA is doing a superb job bringing different forms of entertainment to the Kingdom — we have seen opera, jazz concert, now this ‘Spirit of the Dance’ show. I can see a bright future for the entertainment sector here.”
The “Spirit of the Dance” stars mesmerized their audience, delivering the powerful rhythms of Irish dance combined with the passionate Latino rhythms of tango, flamenco, and red-hot salsa.
Jameela Balahmar, a marketing specialist with Mobily, told Arab News: ” I am a big fan of the Irish dance, and was really excited to watch this event. Now, seeing it live, is truly an amazing experience for me and my generation, especially for women in Saudi Arabia.”
The show coincided with International Women’s Day.
“Earlier, we were having to watch it on YouTube and television or travel to experience it. Thanks to the GEA and the Knight Group for bringing it here — making a dream come true to watch it live in my hometown.”
Abdullah Ramadhan, a project manager with the IT giant Dell, said: “This show is absolutely amazing. Everybody applauds the efforts of the GEA. For a long time, we were not exposed to different cultures and lifestyles in the world, so it makes a lot of sense now as the world moves closer to be more and more connected. It is good that our authorities are now inviting famous groups from various parts of the world so we can experience their culture and learn about their society.
“Assimilation of cultures from different parts of the world with our local heritage is important. If you are exposed to different cultures, it is a good learning experience,” he said.


King Salman approves health care programs

King Salman
Updated 16 July 2018
0

King Salman approves health care programs

  • Clinical coding licenses and standards will be included in unified national standards for accreditation of health facilities
  • The training program aims to improve the quality of health care and control expenditure

JEDDAH: King Salman on Sunday approved the implementation of an electronic sick-leave system, and directed relevant authorities to coordinate with the Civil Service Ministry in case of any amendments to the terms for granting sick leave.
He also approved a program to train Saudi professionals in clinical coding. The Saudi Health Council and the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) are cooperating to implement the training program, whose aim is to encourage the private health sector to hire the program’s graduates by leveraging the funding provided by Hadaf.
The training program aims to improve the quality of health care and control expenditure. The Health Ministry’s General Directorate of Licenses will establish an electronic network linked to the licensing system of the Clinical Coding Department at the National Center for Health Information.
The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance will work with the Saudi Health Council to develop controls and find ways to employ graduates at private health care institutions.
Clinical coding licenses and standards will be included in unified national standards for accreditation of health facilities.
This initiative is part of the Saudi Health Council’s efforts to contribute to achieving the Vision 2030 reform plan, whose objectives include the Saudization of certain professions that are vital for the national economy.