Russian Slava brings on his clowning in sell-out show in Saudi Arabia

1 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
2 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
3 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
4 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
5 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
6 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
7 / 7
The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
Updated 20 October 2018

Russian Slava brings on his clowning in sell-out show in Saudi Arabia

  • The 900-seat theater at Ithra was sold out for the first performance for “Slava’s Snow Show” in Saudi Arabia
  • The show has scooped 23 awards internationally including London’s Time Out Best Show of the Year

DHAHRAN: The Kingdom is staging the global hit “Slava’s Snow Show” at Ithra’s theater in Dhahran in October as part of the “Tanween” season exploring creativity in art, music, theater, science, literature, cultural heritage and entrepreneurship through a wide range of talks, shows and workshops from all around the world.
“Slava’s Snow Show” was created over 20 years ago in Moscow by the Russian-born artist Slava Polunin, who was inspired by Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin. The show has toured more than 120 cities with more than 7,000 performances in different famous stages and theaters around Europe, America, and Asia. It has been seen by 7 million people worldwide.
The show has scooped 23 awards internationally including London’s Time Out Best Show of the Year and the Drama Desk Awards Exceptional Theatre Project in New York where the show was performed on Broadway.
The 900-seat theater at Ithra was sold out for the first performance for “Slava’s Snow Show” in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, which played to an excited house of all ages. Performances will be held at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, Dhahran, on Oct. 20, 24, 25, 26 and 27. Slava explained the message behind the show to Arab News. “We aim to demonstrate the Russian art to the Saudi audience,” he said.
He was delighted by the reception at the first performance in the Kingdom. “The audience was wowed. I could see their gasps as I performed. Their fascination showed us how highly they appreciate arts. It is indeed our first time in Saudi Arabia and it won’t be the last.”
During the show Slava takes on many different personas, both cheerful and miserable. His repertoire is more diverse than the two common clowning styles — Auguste and the White Clown. He also invites the audience to interact with him during the show.
"We work to deliver our shows here in Saudi exactly as they are delivered in Russia.”
Slava added: “The theater in Russia is an essential part of the Russian culture and identity and having such shows and performances in Ithra particularly and in Saudi Arabia generally is part of the intercultural relationship between Saudi and Russia.”
When asked about the difficulties that faces this kind of art in theater, Slava said: “The only challenge that we encounter is the traveling exhaustion and that is it.”
“Tanween” events are being held until Oct. 27.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”