In 2020, Van Cleef & Arpels launched an arts initiative entitled Dance Reflections to support dance institutions and companies around the world. A platform that aims to celebrate the art of choreography by bringing it to as many people as possible across the globe, Dance Reflections launched for the first time in the region in September via a collaboration with The Arts Center at the New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi.
Following a performance from the Candoco Dance Company, audiences in the UAE capital were invited to witness a memorable sold-out show from Compagnie Hervé Koubi on Oct. 26, which was so brilliant that the French-Algerian choreographer Hervé Koubi and his all-male dance troupe were asked to put on another public performance the next evening.
Titled “What The Day Owes To The Night,” a nod to a novel of the same name by Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra, the electrifying two-hour-long show is not your average ballet. It is a dizzying display of a combination of capoeira and martial arts performed by a group of gravity-defying Algerian and Moroccan self-taught street dancers wearing nothing but billowing white skirt-trousers.
The show, which was last performed two-and-a-half-years-ago due to the pandemic, draws from Koubi’s own story of discovering his identity and family history. The French-born choreographer, curious about the etymology of his surname, only traced his heritage back to Algeria as an adult, making the trip to the North African country to explore his roots more deeply.
“What The Day Owes To The Night” will be followed by a show from Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre early next year.
There’s a long and well-documented history between fashion and dance, and Van Cleef & Arpels has maintained close ties to the world of dance since it was founded 116-years-ago. Claude and Pierre Arpels were friends with legendary ballet choreographer George Balanchine, who allegedly had the idea to create “Jewels,” a ballet in three acts, when he saw the stunning window display of Van Cleef & Arpels 5th Avenue boutique.
So far, Dance Reflections has staged performances at venues across Los Angeles and New York, in addition to Abu Dhabi.