The Dance of Light: Global Village Amphitheater

Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
Trip End Feb 18, 2008

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Sunday, February 17, 2008

For three explosive nights our Phoenix Fire & Light Show featured at the Global Village Amphitheater in Dubai. The fifty minute spectacle was a combination of Phoenix's diverse show capabilities - a fusion welded into one dynamic piece and customised for the location. We had done similar things in Germany, Egypt, Kuwait and other places but this was the first time we almost had to do it on a white concrete stage. Lucky someone managed to get a connection to some proper marley dance floor a day before the show began. The acrobats were grateful.

The amount of work and technical detail that goes into preparing for a show like this is beyond comprehension. Most of us arrived four days early to help with the setup. We had twenty artists and six technicians on board and all of us were glad for a bit of extra sunshine because we'd arrived from the cloudy coldness of winter in Europe. Sometimes it's a great feeling jumping off a plane and suddenly being in a t-shirt!

Between set up and rehearsals there was time to check out Global Village's colourful vistas. Global Village is like a permanent expo with pavillions and food stalls from interesting countries as well as some really wild carnival rides (not to mention really, really cool shows), and is definitely a fun and surprising experience for the Arab, ex-pat or tourist in Dubai. Basically we lived off fruit juices, smoothies and Indian or Lebanese meals from the food court, and shopped at the many stalls from around the world while carnival rides jangled and bounced people around in the background. I bought a singing bowl, jewellery for my girlfriend and statuettes from Nepal, coffee and a little bowl from Kenya and a skirt and shawl for my daughter from Rwanda. There were many other things from interesting countries - I had my eye on a beautiful Arabic inscription to Allah from Iran that I would have taken home and put on my wall but the stall never seemed to be open when I was around...

The event was excellently promoted and at the end of the first night we had television crews from the UAE, Egypt and Kuwait doing interviews with Phoenix and the promoters. One of the Sheik's oldest son's visited our show on the second night. Indeed, everyone had to wait for him to him to arrive before the show could begin. Apparently he had never stayed longer than ten minutes at any event he'd been to - for our show he stayed the entire duration and applauded too. We were honoured to hear about it. I'm sure he, and the rest of the crowd, had never seen a show even similar to ours, because there isn't one. The third night was completely packed to capacity and we very literally exploded on stage to the crowd's delight.

The next morning it was back to that familiar group feeling of early morning airport chaos with way too much luggage, and later the return to wintery Austria. There's really no business like show business.

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