Meetings No 20
A Congress is a Workplace
Atti Soenarso: Perhaps it is time to sharpen the tone.
Cover Story
All Under One Roof
Carin Kindbom: “The ‘all under one roof’ business approach is considered a key USP.”
While There’s Life, There’s Hope
Ever present words from the past.
Digital Mindset
AI and Robotics
Futurists: “Firms will need to strike a fine balance between AI and the human workforce.”
Safety and Security
CWT Global Forecast 2018
Security should be high on the planning agenda.
Brain Training
Sharp Brains on navigating brain training.
Business Events Must Adopt Olympic Safety Standards
Learn from previous Olympic events.
Clan vs State
The Clan Mentality is the Norm
Per Brinkemo on state and clan.
Sustainable Growth
The sustainability performance of 40 meeting and events cities.
Lunch With the Financial Times
An ­international “who’s who” of our time.
La Perle by Dragone
Emotions can be both a help and hindrance when creating a show.
AIME Launches Exhibitor Educational Series
Providing a deeper understanding of buyers.
Increasing Value of Meetings in Hamburg
Number of delegates visiting the city continues to grow.
60 Tips for a Stunningly Great Life
Robin Sharma on leadership.
Brain Check
Going Behind the Mind
Tomas Dalström on neuromarketing and digital vs. print advertising.
Where Event Design and Meetings Management Meet
Event quality is back on the table.
Van der Vijver
Locusts or Legacy?
Meeting designer Mike Van der Vijver: Bring the local community and the event community together.
Benny Andersson
On composition.
New Discovery on Memory Consolidation
Challenging a basic assumption about memory encoding.
The Saudi Arabian city of the future.
Obligations, Engagement and Legacy
Roger Kellerman: The word ‘obligation’ is high on the agenda.
New knowledge
Brain research
shows added value live events.
BTM World 2020
transitions to virtual.
post-pandemic momentum
Dubai Tourism forms Business Events Stakeholders committee,
host first meeting as industry resumes activity.
hotel news
Scandic expects
occupancy of 30-35 percent for September.
Covid developer
Scandic Hotels
launches the largest network of coworking spaces in the Nordic countries.
planned for 16-17 Sep
Update on GIAF
- New dates set for 5-6 November 2020.
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
is now a carbon neutral venue.
positive impact
The Hague webinar
celebrates partnerships and first anniversary of Ottawa MOU.
expanding network
ICCA Partners up
with Geneva International Associations Forum (GIAF).
Sponsored Content
Taiwan Ready to Reopen to the World
Over 80 events taking place in Taipei now.
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La Perle by Dragone
La Perle is a theatrical aquatic show created by Franco Dragone and performed on a dry and wet stage. It involves acrobatics, visual illusions and music to tell a story tinged with flavours from the UAE.

The arrival of La Perle at Al Habtoor City in Dubai marks a new chapter for live performance in the Middle East. It is the first time in the region that a show is a permanent destination-defining attraction all year round.

The show is a new, innovative cultural experience that one can only be a part of in Dubai. The idea to bring a permanent show to the region is two-fold. Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group had been to Las Vegas and watched La Rêve, one of Franco Dragone’s shows. Al Habtoor became inspired to bring a permanent resident show to Dubai.

Mohammed Al Habtoor then reached out to Franco Dragone, the one person he knew would be able to make his vision reality. As with all Dragone shows, Franco Dragone takes inspiration from the region he is building the show in. Then he fuses the world’s best human talents, artistic disciplines and technical innovations to bring local stories alive and immerse spectators in the ultimate spectator experience.

La Perle, located in a purpose-built venue, feels intimate despite its scale; 1,300 seats that wrap around a circular stage, which has a deep body of water at its centre.

It has been a long process. La Perle first broke ground almost five years ago, but for the majority of the cast and crew, the journey began two–three years ago. Three auditions were held in five countries, UK, US, Australia, Cuba and Germany to find the crème de la crème of artists.

“In October 2016, we began “Training and Formation”, where we took the largest sound stage in the region, Dubai Studio. It was here the artists learnt the key skills and trained their bodies to be conditioned so when the creation of La Perle began, the artists were ready,” says Tara Young, Resident Artistic Director. “In May 2017, we moved into the theatre at Al Habtoor City and Franco Dragone began Creation, where he live directs and “creates the show”. From then, we were in creation until the end of August, when we finally had our first performance.”

It is a diverse crew with 65 artists from 23 different countries, 25 artistic staff and 70 crew members resulting in a team of about 160 people.

The crew working backstage is large and diverse. Behind the scenes are a team of around 70 experts including technicians, stage managers, automation, translators, a performance wellness team, riggers and sound engineers, to name but a few. They are all superstars, who have worked all over the world on some of the biggest shows and events in the world.

“Franco Dragone’s impulse is to create a world of escape, where no matter what’s happening in the outside world, when the audience steps through the theatre doors, they are transported into another world. I think that is exactly what La Perle does,” says Tara Young.

Having seen the interactive, theatre experience with inspiration from Dubai’s past, present and future, one can wonder: How do emotions and creations work together?

“Emotions can be both a help and hindrance when it comes to creating a show. The passion, energy and raw emotion that every artist puts into the show is phenomenal, but it can be physically draining. The artists have to learn to restrict their emotions, so they have the endurance to perform two shows nightly,” says Tara Young.

There are some challenges the crew had to overcome, as can be expected when you are building a theatre with technology so advanced it had not been used before now.

“Being an aqua theatre, we are also working with water, a very temperamental element. But we have managed to overcome the obstacles to create a most spectacular show.”

Franco Dragone, who comes from a Cirque du Soleil background, has said: “From the hour-and-a-half creation we do, we can heal some souls. We are dreamers. We call it entertainment, but we hope it’s something more – a little piece of eternity.”

Ten things to know about La Perle

  1. The pool at the centre of the stage has a capacity of 2.7 million litres of water, nearly triple the amount of water in an Olympic pool.
  2. The sound system works above and below water, so artists and technicians can hear music and communications underwater.
  3. There are 135 loudspeakers, making for a 360-degree sound experience.
  4. All lights are moving lights with a lifetime of more than 10,000 hours.
  5. The theatre can ‘rain’ inside the auditorium because of two water pumps capable of delivering 9,000 litres of water per minute.
  6. There is a six-metre tall articulated puppet in the show that’s managed by six performers on the floor and one on top.
  7. Everything in the theatre is a projection screen: the seats, the walls, the floor and the building’s dome.
  8. Performers will jump from a 25-metre height, performing aerial fest in the air.
  9. To ensure the safety of the performers, there will be scuba-divers in the water at all times.
  10. The pool is cleaned by an independent system 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is never emptied.