La Perle is worth a second watch
La Perle is a show produced for Dubai, and about Dubai. It is a mesmerising spectacle of tailored music, dance, circus acts, breathtaking stunts, slapstick comedy, audio visuals, special effects and lots of water. The story is equally interesting as it takes you on a journey of a young girl who falls into a dream-like state and travels through the UAE.
Unlike most theatrical pieces, La Perle is a showcase of modern art, and the storyline is completely subjective to the audience, classifying the UAE's ambiguity and diversity.
Produced by legendary creative director Franco Dragone, and brought to Dubai by the Al Habtoor Group, La Perle was developed after the Habtoor brothers were inspired by residential entertainment shows in Las Vegas.
They believed that the UAE too should have a residential show. So they worked to conceive a show that reflected the crossroads of tradition, heritage and the futuristic elements of Dubai.
Having watched the world premiere of La Perle on September 13, 2017 and seeing it again now, it was a pleasant surprise to notice the growth in the theatrical experience.
Opening Night impressions
Though the talent on stage (at the opening) was exceptional and the aqua theatre fascinating, the storyline was completely dysfunctional. The 90-minute show seemed to have too many ideas thrown in the air giving the audience little time to distinguish between each moment before the next one was presented. I felt that the show needed more dynamic pauses and pace to take in all the efforts of the talents, but there just seemed a rush to showcase everything in complexity - all in one go. Not only did the show become tiring to watch, it also became very confusing.
Five Months Later
Today, the show is a lot less chaotic. You will get the chance to notice the comedy of the individual characters as well as the magical transitions between each scene.
Overall, there is a better sense of creative fluidity.
Two of the standout special acts - the pendulum and the motorbike stunts, still give that wow factor! It was also nice to see two new acts - a slackline performance and a Robo-Drum. Both these acts showcase a mix of Bedouin life and the evolution of UAE culture.
See it more than once
I always think it's a great idea to see any show a second time as you are sure to spot something new. The advancements in La Perle gives the audience a chance to cherish the effortless talent and the hard work that's gone behind this creation.
Beautifully crafted, yet subtle, elements popped on my second visit - like the suspended guitarist, a lanky, humorous break-dancing joker that reminded me of Mr Bean (if only he could break dance), and another important element of the show not to be undermined is the music. It has a live orchestra performing, not pre-recorded music.
Here to stay
La Perle aims to be in Dubai for at least 10 - 20 years. According to the Al Habtoor Group, these positive changes to the show (in just 5 months) will surely not be the last. "Every time you come and see the show you will be witnessing a live entertainment performance like you have never seen before," said Craig Hartenstine, Executive Producer of La Perle.
Mohammed K. Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group, said: "This is a pivotal moment for live entertainment not only in Dubai, but for the region too. The road to this moment has been an incredible journey, and we look forward to sharing this world-class show with audiences now and in the future."
How to enjoy La Perle best
l This is a 360 degree show where most of the performers emote towards the front, so for a complete experience, choose seats in front of the stage - not on the sides.
l We have a tendency to connect to social media whenever we are enjoy anything, but at La Perle put your phone away and get immersed in an eclectic mix of entertainment.
l See it more than once and be surprised at what's been adapted, and what your eyes have missed before.
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