Sharjah pulled down the curtain on the epic theatrical performance “Clusters of Light”, a narration of the story of Islam at the newly opened Al Majaz Amphitheatre on Friday 4th April, after five live performances that drew an audience of over 15,000 and captured the attention of millions of people through social networking sites.
The epic musical performance, which portrays the tale of the beginnings of Islam through poetry, music, drama and dazzling audiovisual effects, marked the beginning of the celebrations of Sharjah’s international title and regional status as Capital of Islamic Culture. Hundreds of visual, audio, print and electronic media outlets from all over the world were in attendance for the unique event.
The musical production, which chronicles the biography of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) and the course of Islam and the virtues it espouses, marks a milestone in the Arab art scene due to its international-level production values, emphasizing Sharjah’s ability to present art shows with both an Arab-Islamic identity and international-calibre production quality.
The Clusters of Light also demonstrates that Sharjah is capable of establishing an artistic concept that can shift the structure of the Arab art production from its current perceptions to being promoted as world-class art that can promote Arab and Muslim values to the world.
The five Clusters of Light performances have drawn hundreds of senior official figures, renowned artists and media executives from the UAE and beyond, who came to watch the epic musical show. The work also drew a large popular audience, some of whom travelled from remote areas in the UAE to attend an event produced with the input of theological scholars and experts in theatrical production, alongside premium audiovisual equipment and displays.
Composed by Bahraini musician Khalid Al Sheikh, the spectacular Clusters of Light was performed by an elite group of renowned Arab artists led by Emirati artist Hussein Al Jasmi, Egyptian singer Ali Al Hajjar, Tunisian artist Lotfi Bouchnak, and Palestinian artist Mohammad Assaf, along with more than 200 performers.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Executive Committee for Sharjah’s Islamic Culture Capital 2014, said, “We have succeeded in highlighting the great human values within the tale of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) through a visually stunning piece of art accessible by people from all walks of life.
We are extremely proud of the resounding success of this musical work, which kicked off the celebrations of Sharjah’s Capital of Islamic Culture festivities, as well as the positive response it received from the audience and from those watching remotely via social media”.
“As Sharjah has always been a regional beacon of culture, the Clusters of Light was special in all its details. It represents Sharjah’s identity because it draws from the torch of Islam and reflects its nature and its central tenets. We promise the audience who were unable to watch the first five performances that it will be shown again this year, to continue showing our notion of the nature of Islam, and in doing so serving and highlighting Islamic culture among today’s and future generations”, Sheikh Sultan added.
He thanked all the work teams, artists and actors who put on this performance with only three months of preparation. Sheikh Sultan also thanked media outlets that covered the event, as well as organizing committees, the audiences, and all supporting and sponsoring bodies.
A cross section of visitors and guests who saw the musical performance, said the Clusters of Light was not a documentary that tells the tale of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be Upon Him) or the story of Islam, but beyond that is an epic multi-format theatrical production combining high definition cinema and opera that tells the story of Islam through poetry, music, singing, dramatic scenes, and professional film clips shown on the stage, in addition to the professionally decorated stage and models and dazzling audiovisual effects on the stage and its backdrop. Many also admired the setting, the ancient Roman-style theatre providing a suitable atmosphere for an old tale of such drama and majesty.
The Clusters of Light began with a scene showing the lights of Sharjah then it takes the audience on a visual journey to Makkah where Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was born, before moving to the third scene on Prophet Mohammad’s revelation. Other events captured included the Prophet’s (PBUH) ascendance to heaven, his migration to Medina and then the Battle of Badr with its heroism, bravery and noble values, and then the prophet’s return to Mecca and the ninth scene that focused on his death – a scene that moved the spectators to genuine tears. In its tenth and final scene, the musical show carried the audience back to Sharjah.
Tickets for the last two performances were sold out two days before the shows scheduled on Thursday and Friday, reflecting the great success of the work and the impressive impact it has left in people’s hearts and minds.
With the end of Clusters of Light, Sharjah has concluded the first event of its celebration program, which will run throughout the year.
The emirate of Sharjah will provide a rich program to those with an interest or passion for Islamic culture, including a diverse range of activities that highlight the past achievements of Islamic civilization and the values promoted by Islam, so as to consolidate the presence of these values in the memories of today’s and future generations.