As soon as you walk into the vast, hangar-like venue, you’re immediately struck by the enormity of the project – and this is only the beginning.
La Perle is the brainchild of much-lauded theatre director Franco Dragone, whose work with Cirque du Soleil saw him rise to prominence as one of the world’s foremost exponents of cutting-edge productions.
And his influence on this Dubai aqua-theatre spectacular, now open at a purpose-built, 1,300-seat venue in Al Habtoor City, is evident as we’re given a tour of the practise site as the various multi-talented performers are trained by the expert team. From slack lines to diving pools, tumble floors to lofty, winched acrobatic swings attached to bungee ropes, this place is a hive of athletic, acrobatic activity.
Samuel Orme, the show’s general stage manager, has a huge task on his hands, but it’s one he relishes as he beams while talking of how each cast member has been learning new tricks, expanding their repertoire to become multi-disciplined performers.
And resident artistic director, Tara Young, a veteran of Broadway who has worked with Dragone before in China, exudes an incredible passion for the mammoth project set to be revealed to the Dubai public.
“We’re doing something that has never been done before,” she says. “And of course, an aqua-theatre is magnificent. Yes, Franco Dragone has done water shows before, but this one is even more special because he’s so innovative and he’s always eager to break ground. Why we love working with him is because he 100 percent pushes us to the next level. There’s a real honour there, and everyone here feels that.”
And you all have the honour of seeing this aquatic spectacular in Al Habtoor City.
PS. They’ve built a huge, rather scary-looking puppet for the show but we were sworn to secrecy about that.
Dhs400. Tue-Fri, 7pm and 9.30pm; Sat, 4pm and 7pm. La Perle, Al Habtoor City, www.laperle.com (04 437 0123).