Dubai, 2012: I nearly didn’t make it to the Fridge Dubai to watch the film screening of “The Adventures of Prince Ahmed’ with the live music by the ensemble ‘KlangEssenz’ (German for the Essence of Sound). The inner child inside me, my true authentic self and I were having a tiff about how to spend the evening. I, of course, wanted to spend relaxing in front of the TV. My true authentic self thought it best to be absorbed in a cultural event to help me reconnect with the flow of life. And of course the inner child wanted to play, and the TV wasn’t her cup of tea. I’m sure you as creatives have been in similar situations.
What is most frustrating is that I don’t seem to get it. On a subsconscious level, I am aware that, in order for life to work for me, in order for me to be in the flow of the moment, in order to be open to the goodness of what life and people have to offer me, in order for me to have a great ‘inner world’ day – it is necessary for me to do something creative every day. Somehow, my mojo disappeared and the creative block was back in my life. This time round, painting, dancing and other forms of creative expression didn’t work. That meant I had to get out of my art studio and the usual round of art exhibitions, and get into cultural arts mindset.
I am my own worst enemy. For what should have taken me less than twenty minutes to get to the Fridge Dubai, ended up being an hour. By then the “Adventures of Prince Ahmed” had already begun, leaving me as frustrated as the African magician in the film screening (as he failed to woo the beautiful princess).
Thankfully, the saving grace came in the form of the ensemble ‘KlangEssenz’ playing the live music in accordance to the film screening, which I was to find from my research later on was a result of a German lady Lotte Reiniger along with her creative husband Karl Koch in the year 1899. She fell in love with Chinese puppetry and went on to make the Adventures of Prince Ahmed using silhouette puppetry – a handcraft that she mastered at a very young age when she could free-handedly cut paper into silhouettes.
The film is reminiscent of the famous ‘Thousand and One Nights’ and even has Aladdin playing his usual role as the magic lamp holder. Whenever the characters spoke, German text (with our modern English translation superimposed) was displayed, pretty much like the Charlie Chaplin silent movies. What was exciting was that I picked up a few more German words that I would not necessarily use in day to day language, such as magic, witches, demons, sorcerers and more. I bet there were many other German language lovers present at the film screening, who were interested in understanding this language of the 1920s.
KlangEssenz did a marvellous job in keeping the audience on tenterhooks with the encapsulating music composed by Wolfgang Zeller. The members of this ensemble are part of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jena (in German that would be Jenaer Philharmonie).
Thankfully, as I’m writing this blog post, my inner child is very happy that she got to play with her imagination while Aladdin and Prince Ahmed were saving their loving damsels in distress. My authentic self is happy to be back in the flow of writing (yes I suffer from severe writing blogs when I sacrifice my creative flow to watching TV or mindless magazine reading). And me? Well, the resistence seems to have abated and I can at least have peace of mind because I have re-connected with the art of writing once again.
Till tomorrow, when I’m off to the art exhibition organised by Alliance Francaise Dubai. Let’s see what both my inner child and authentic self come up with!
Read more on what the National newspaper has to say on the Adventures of Prince Ahmed.
Photos, courtesy William Mortiz
And here questions of type such if honestly strike me not much as I wrote everything higher. It is visible you simply you don’t want to read all this. As my parrot does.