During July Bahrain holds a festival “Bahrain Summer” of art and culture mainly aimed at children however there are a few events for adults on offer. One that caught our eye via a large roadside billboard not far from our apartment was “Lord of The Dance” who were to perform at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre (BIECC) for two nights this week. I acquired tickets from the Zain store at the airport when I was collecting Kevin one evening. Buying concert tickets at your local mobile operator’s shop may seem odd but it obviously worked as on the night there were very few empty seats.
On Tuesday evening we arrived as instructed 60 minutes before the performance started. The door was not yet open so we joined the lengthy queue snaking its way through what appeared to be an enormous ice cube. This inflatable arch provided a reception area with aircon and fantastic floral displays as well as white leather seating. Onward and into the hall itself. Raised seating at the back, two areas of black covered banqueting chairs between that and the stage. We were efficiently guided into the right area and found orselves some seats towards the centre of the stage.
Meanwhile Inge, who had discovered the Irish dance troup were in town from a Facebook post I made shortly before we left our apartment, managed to get changed, drive from Amwaj (islands to the north of Bahrain) and buy herself a ticket on the door in less than an hour! Her 1BD ticket was for the raised area at the back whereas we had invested in the 10BD seats (around £18 each) closer to the stage. The ticket prices are amazingly inexpensive compared to the price of a similar show in London. Comparing notes later there were benefits to both seating areas; closer too you could see the footwork, raised up you could see the overall impact of the dance formations with the downside of the front seats being having to look up to see the stage whereas further back you missed some of the detail.
Anyway on to the show, the story is a simple one of the tussle between good and evil. The dancing was superb and the audience, a mix of locals and ex-pats, quickly got into the swing of clapping in time to the catchy Irish music once encouraged by the performers. The drumming feet on the wooden stage in perfect timing was amazing and kept everyone entranced. The dualing fiddle players brought the house down and the lovely Little Spirit captured everyone’s hearts. The troupe got a standing ovation when they’d done which they responded to with an encore.
How do the girls dancing on tip toes in soft shoes make that little wiggle of their body from their ankles and remain standing! And how do apparently simple foot moves make so many rythmic taps? Their skills and stamina are amazing. I understand now why this show is still playing to full houses wherever in the world it is performed. I for one want to go again!
Thank-you Bahrain Summer (warning the festival theme tune is annoyingly catchy!).