Key team members of the ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ have said that being part of its creative process has inspired them to never stop pursuing their own imaginations. It has not allowed them unique artistic freedom, and in the process, a chance to feel the wonder of storytelling once again, immersing them completely in one of the most significant pieces of literature created in human history.
Some of the main members of the show’s crew have shared their personal journeys while working to develop this first-of-its-kind stage adaption of the Arabian Nights. Here goes…
Richard Lindsay: A show that ignites the imagination
Richard Lindsay, Head of Creative Content, said: “1001 Nights: The Last Chapter is a once in a lifetime show, given that the story is based on a significant masterpiece of world-famous literature. This homage to Scheherazade’s legacy reflects on the power of storytelling, as well as inspires us to never stop pursuing our own imagination.”
He added: “The telling of this unexplored chapter presented us a unique artistic freedom, where we extracted the visually decorative riches of the times and weaved them into a dynamic contemporary expression – without the restriction of any preconceived reference to influence our design direction. We are bringing the set to life with projected imagery, which delivers the dynamically visual narrative throughout the show. Through the combination of a physical and visual transformative set, the audience is truly understanding that ‘anything is possible’ – which generates the wonderful sense of watching an epic show that has never been seen before.”
With over 20-year experience in the Design industry, Richard’s inventive spirit and passion for innovation has been a leading influence on highly acclaimed productions such as the 1st European Games in Baku 2015 and Shanghai World Expo 2010. He remarked that the team members were keen to merge the physical world and the imagery world to feel as one. “This meant that the direction of the imagery was created as either an extension of the choreography or the key driver of the choreography – allowing the show to shift seamlessly between these two worlds,” he noted.
Geneviève Dorion-Coupal: A show that features 13 forms of art
For her part, Geneviève Dorion-Coupal, Choreographer, expressed her delight in delving into the world of the 1001 Nights: The Last Chapter, the largest of its kind show. “With 13 forms of arts and captivating oriental music, the show offers contemporary techniques that are inspired by the dance techniques of the past. It exemplifies the movements of ladies and gentlemen of the court, precise gestures of the princes, the fragility of Scheherazade, each in their own world through the language of dance,” she remarked.
James Lavoie: We respected the traditional historical depictions of Scheherazade
James Lavoie, Costume Designer, cooperated with Geneviève Dorion-Coupal to create the best costumes for the participants, both; performers and actors. “The main guiding principle that led the costume design for the 1001 Nights: The Last Chapter was a desire to respect the traditional depictions and illustrations of these stories and characters. We also had to make this work for a large-scale stage show, and most importantly, we needed the costumes to work with high-calibre acrobatics and dance. These concerns made us look into traditional depictions from our modern perspective, which inevitably influenced the design as well,” said James Lavoie.
Maxim Lepage: Unique music beats and rhythms
The event features 51-piece live orchestra, led by Harout Fazlian, Principle Conductor, in addition to the recorded soundtracks, composed by Maxim Lepage, Music Compositor, who blends classic and electronic music to compose unique beats and rhythms. The music of the show has been receiving roaring testimonials from the audiences who are watching the show.
Maxim Lepage, underlined that “the sources of inspiration for this project are countless; the story itself, the magical and fantastic aspects of it, the oriental instruments involved, previous composers like Rimsky-Korsakov who worked on the same theme, etc. The aim was to produce a strong musical score that stimulates the imagination and immerses you in another place and time.”
Olivier Landreville: Fascinating scenes are captivating audiences
Olivier Landreville, Set Designer, was inspired by the magic of 1001 Nights’ narratives in the development of the scenography. He said: “I tried to create a wonder box, which will be the centre of all times and places that emerge on stage. When I envisioned this concept, I discussed it with Artists in Motion so that they could imagine the video content that would help implement this innovative idea and reveal the magic. The final set design is astonishing, which is evident in the standing ovations the show has been getting every night.”
Amélie Bruneau-Longprés: Each character is unique
With a huge number of performers and actors on the stage, the team is being assisted by Amélie Bruneau-Longprés, Makeup Artist, who has an exceptional talent in makeup designs that are not affected by strong lighting or acrobatic movements. She said: “The makeup design of the 1001 Nights: The last Chapter is inspired by the magic of the Arabian Nights tales while preserving the human aspect of the characters. To pay tribute to this story, I was keen to design the makeup of each artist and performer in a way that highlights the strengths of each character.”
Alain Jenkins: A global show that befits the status of Sharjah
Alain Jenkins, Props Designer, pointed out that he wanted to enhance the magic and mystery of the show through props. He remarked: “The Al Majaz Amphitheatre is relatively big, and the public can be far from the stage. I selected the right size and added light to the objects so that it is well visible and magical for the public.” He noted that the show has been doing a spectacular job in boasting Sharjah’s capability to host and organise events that meet the highest international standards and impress everyone.
The last show will be staged on Saturday, April 27. Tickets, starting at AED 135-400, are available online: https://sharjah.platinumlist.net.
The show is suitable for audiences of all age groups, with simultaneous interpretation service in Arabic, English and French.