AL GHADEER UAE CRAFTS X LORETA
MONIE - AL SADU DANCE (2019)
Delivered as part of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s 2019 National Day celebrations, this contemporary performance piece was inspired by Al Sadu, a traditional form of weaving practised by Bedouin women in rural communities of the United Arab Emirates to produce soft furnishings and decorative accessories for camels and horses from the hair of camels and goats.
Weavers often gather in small groups to spin and weave, exchanging family news and occasionally chanting and reciting poetry, both of which formed an integral part of Al Sadu Dance, which was devised by the UAE-based Lithuanian artist Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie and featured traditional Emirati craftswomen from Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts.
Boasting more than 200 members, Al Ghadeer UAE Crafts was established in 2006 and is dedicated to empowering underprivileged women while finding sustainable ways to support traditional Emirati crafts.
The organisation provides women with training, designs, raw materials, and marketing services to facilitate the creation of modern, heritage-inspired products that will enable them to support themselves in a dignified manner.
Because of its cultural importance, Unesco inscribed Al Sadu, traditional weaving skills in the United Arab Emirates on the list of intangible cultural heritage that was in need of urgent safeguarding in 2011.
Inspired by the traditions and cultures of the Middle East, Loreta Bilinskaite-Monie is a graduate of Central Saint Martins School – University of the Arts London who moved to Dubai in 2003. She has participated in several exhibitions and initiatives, including solo presentations ‘Madafati (Home Away from Home)’ at The Third Line (2010) and Downtown Design Dubai 2018.