Expo 2020 Dubai: AR Rahman, Shekhar Kapur to premiere original musical

The 45-minute production will feature over 100 dancers, musicians and performers


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 23 Dec 2021, 9:08 PM

Renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and Academy Award-winning musical composer AR Rahman have come together to produce a musical that will premiere at Al Wasl Plaza in January 2022.

Why? The Musical will follow the story of a curious young girl and a wise old man, in a dynamic spectacle that will take audiences on an incredible journey of discovery, while also instilling empathy towards our planet and inspiring action to create a cleaner, safer, healthier world.

“Have you forgotten what it was like when you were a child? When the world was full of wonder? When you reached out to the stars and held them in your heart? When the earth was your playground, and not something to destroy?” said Shekhar Kapur.

“We invite you to join us in a journey of rediscovering your childhood and once again ask ‘Why?’. Expo 2020 Dubai presents an evening of entertainment, of song, of wonder, of tears and of joy. Come dance and sing from the heart of Expo to yours. Come join in an anthem to our planet, to our Mother Earth. Come witness Why? The Musical.”


The show, which aims to stir visitors’ emotions and draw on a childhood thirst for knowledge, will include seven original compositions by AR Rahman, two of which were launched on Wednesday during his concert at Expo 2020, while the musical’s title track will be unveiled on Thursday. Lyrics have been created by Sohaila Kapur, Dana Dajani and Shivang, with Artists in Motion leading the production.

The musical features more than 100 dancers, musicians and performers in a 45-minute production that includes stunning visuals on the world’s largest 360-degree projection screen. It showcases the vibrant and burgeonining arts scene of Dubai and the UAE, and exemplifies Expo 2020’s role in promoting creativity and fostering global cultural cooperation by bringing in the best story tellers and composers, like the two legends from India for Why? The Musical.

Shekhar Kapur added: “I feel blessed and honoured to be creating a musical spectacle in collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai and A.R. Rahman. Designed especially the for the largest projection dome in the world, Al Wasl Plaza, Why? The Musical celebrates diversity and inclusivity, as it takes audiences on a spectacular journey.”

AR Rahman said: “Wisdom starts with curiosity and, together, they provide hope and inspiration for a better future.”

Why? The Musical will be performed in English up to four times per week during its eight-week season, premiering in January 2022. More information on dates and times for performances will be revealed soon.

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