Royal Court Dances of Yogyakarta Open Louvre Abu Dhabi's First Season

Royal Court Dances of Yogyakarta Open Louvre Abu Dhabi's First Season
A Korean puppet show aimed at children and families as well as Bach solo by cellist Sonia Wider-Atherton and dancer Shantala Shivalingappa in March, followed by a recital of Swayambhu and South African dances by Via Sophiatown in April, and finally a concert of Love and Revenge in May.

Following a diversity of performances and talks for thousands of visitors during Louvre Abu Dhabi’s opening week, the programme will allow visitors to discover the museum’s universal values and themes through cultural performances and new workshops and tours organised by the museum. The line-up complements the collection on show in the museum’s galleries as well as the special exhibitions’ programme and celebrates both traditional and contemporary art forms from around the world.

On the 2 and 3 February, the Court dances of the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta will perform a slow-paced elegant dance that combines Indian, Islamic and Indonesian touches dating back as far as the 7th century. The palace or kraton of Yogyakarta is the cultural heart of the city. From generation to generation, the Sultans of Yogja are the traditional governors of the city and responsible for passing on art and cultural heritage. The entire royal family is involved in preserving these art forms and the troupe must perform with a member of the royal family present. The dances from Yogyakarta will be accompanied by gamelan music, native of Java. Tickets for the performance costs 105 AED for visitors and 84 AED for Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Club Members and for children under the age 13 (both inclusive of VAT).

On 15-17 March, a puppet show presented by Korean theatre company Thebefu in the museum’s auditorium is a splendid outing for children and families. The show will tell the story of a tree and a boy as they go through the natural phases of life.

Outdoor performances will proceed with Shantala Shivalingappa, also collaborating with world renowned cellist Sonia Wider-Atherton (30-31 March). Shantala will return (5-6 April) with Swayambhu, a recital of five pieces, dedicated to five different stories-characters-energies from Hindu mythology. Dynamic dances by South African band Via Sophiatown will combines step-dancing, hip-hop accompanied by three live jazz musicians (19 – 21 April). Concluding the season on 2-3 May is a concert of popular Arab throwback music with a modern twist by Lebanese hip-hop enthusiast Rayess Bek and visual artist La Mirza in Love and Revenge. One mixes Arab popular songs while the other puts into movement extracts of Cairo golden age studios.

The series of ongoing talks held in the museum’s auditorium continues with a discussion on 21 February around the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s poetry related to human civilisation and peace as part of the celebrations for the Year of Zayed (2018). The museum also offers a new tour UAE Inspired which begins with an art work by Guiseppe Penone that has the fingerprint of Sheikh Zayed at its centre, and concludes by exploring artworks with links to the UAE throughout the museum. On 18 April, Louvre Abu Dhabi will present Pioneering Modernism: Ibrahim El-Salahi in conversation with Guggenheim Abu Dhabi moderated by Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes Manager of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The artist’s work, which sits in the future museum’s collection and is currently on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi’s galleries, highlights the artist’s defining contributions to the history of art as well as his current practice.

For more information on tours, workshops and for tickets to the upcoming public programme, visit For talks, entry is part of your general admission ticket.

Season Programme:

Court dances of the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta

Date: 2-3 February
Time: 5pm
Location: Auditorium Plaza

Humanity in the Poetry of the Late Sheikh Zayed

Date: 21 February
Time: 7-8 pm
Location: Auditorium

A Tree and a Boy (Puppet show)

Date: 15-17 March
Time: 10am (15 March), and 5pm (16-17 March)
Location: Auditorium

Bach Solo by Shantala Shivalingappa and Sonia Wider-Atherton

Date: 30-31 March
Time: 8pm (30 March), 5pm (31 March)
Location: Auditorium Plaza


Date: 5-6 April
Time: 8pm
Location: Auditorium Plaza

Pioneering Modernism: Ibrahim El-Salahi In conversation

Date: 18 April
Time: 7pm
Location: Auditorium

Via Sophiatown

Date: 19-21 April
Time: 8pm (19-20 April), 5pm (21 April)
Location: Auditorium Plaza

Love and revenge

Date: 2-3 May
Time: 8pm
Location: Auditorium Plaza

Visiting information

Opening hours for the museum galleries and exhibitions are: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 am - 8 pm; Thursday and Friday: 10 am - 10 pm. Last entry and purchase of tickets is 30 minutes prior to closing. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Ticket sales for paid performances will be sold on the website here and RSVP is required for talks to:

Tickets to the museum cost 63 AED for general admission and 31.5 AED for visitors aged 13–22, as well as UAE education professionals.

Free entry will apply to children under 13 years, ICOM or ICOMOS members, journalists and visitors with special needs as well as their companion.

For more information, please visit