UAE arts center launches virtual program to showcase Emirati creative talent

UAE arts center launches virtual program to showcase Emirati creative talent
Jaddaf Aloud Online will host a series of artist-led workshops and music performances. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 23 April 2020

UAE arts center launches virtual program to showcase Emirati creative talent

UAE arts center launches virtual program to showcase Emirati creative talent

DUBAI: Dubai’s contemporary art institution Jameel Arts Center has launched a new virtual program to showcase Emirati creative talent.

Jaddaf Aloud Online will host a series of artist-led workshops and music performances for audiences to enjoy as they self-isolate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

The online platform represents a virtual iteration of the institution’s popular annual festival Jaddaf Aloud! – last held in December 2019 – that celebrates homegrown creative talent.




Jaddaf Aloud! was held in December 2019. (Supplied)

Jameel Arts Center commissioned UAE-based artists to design and lead the interactive projects for children, teenagers, and adults, using materials readily available at home. The sessions include crafts, art projects and mindfulness exercises.

The online program also features a directory of local artisans, stores, and homegrown businesses for audiences to connect with from their homes.

The arts center has collaborated with Dubai’s food and culture walking tour organizer, Frying Pan Adventures, to create a downloadable guide to local eateries that highlights the diversity of UAE food culture. The selected eateries will provide home deliveries during the month of Ramadan.


‘Audrey: More Than an Icon’ takes viewers behind glitz of a Hollywood heroine

Audrey Hepburn was one of the most fascinating Hollywood heroines. (File/Screengrab)
Updated 02 December 2020

‘Audrey: More Than an Icon’ takes viewers behind glitz of a Hollywood heroine

‘Audrey: More Than an Icon’ takes viewers behind glitz of a Hollywood heroine

CHENNAI: Audrey Hepburn was one of the most fascinating Hollywood heroines – undoubtedly in the class of bubbly Ingrid Bergman, charismatic Julie Andrews, romantic Grace Kelly, or even the reclusive Vivien Leigh.

Known for her amazing range, she played Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl in “My Fair Lady” (adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”), and Hepburn stole our hearts, while frustrating noted phonetician Prof. Henry Higgins’ (Rex Harrison) efforts to tame the wild girl.

All these and more have been compiled in a gripping documentary, “Audrey: More Than an Icon,” directed by British 26-year-old Helena Coan.

An Oscar winner for “Roman Holiday” and as known for her style statements as she was for her myriad roles, each performed with unforgettable moments, Hepburn was, behind all these popping flashbulbs and glitzy costumes, a woman of spirited grit.

With a string of tragic events behind her – the father she adored abandoned the family when she was a child – she made peace with all this and ultimately walked away from the allure of Hollywood to dedicate her last years to caring for children.

It could not have been easy to embark on a subject such as Hepburn, fiercely private that she was. But producers Nick Taussig and Annabel Wigoder along with Coan somehow managed that – with the clinching point coming after a meeting with her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer.

The interviews in the film (available on DVD and digital download formats) are seamlessly woven into Hepburn’s other talent, ballet. Trained as a dancer, she even won a scholarship to the Rambert School of Ballet in London, but her height played spoilsport.

Coan manages to give us the black along with the white in her subject’s life, and a fair balance has been maintained.

In interviews that Hepburn gave, she talks about plunging into showbiz and the joy she derived from it. But her miscarriages were heart-breaking. Her divorces were terrible, and she had a lifelong wish to have smaller feet, a smaller nose, and to be blonde.

The documentary is peppered with pulsating points and will be a revelation for a generation that may not have been exactly familiar with what Hepburn was all about. Yes, it may be somewhat hagiographical, but that is a small price to pay for the boxful of bounties.