UAE’s got talent

Olivia Olarte

Filed on January 21, 2012

A new and the only talent show of its kind is in town and is already fast gaining popularity in the community.

Following in the step of X Factor, ‘The Dream Players’ is a community initiative in the capital that is aimed at supporting and developing talent and providing a platform for aspiring performers and creative artists.

However, unlike the X Factor, The Dream Players will showcase a broad range of creative talents including singing, dancing, acting, poetry, playing musical instruments and other forms of artistic expression such as design, painting, short films, photography, stand-up comedy among others.

“We wanted to nurture the arts and we wanted to do it in a community organic level. In the US, they have so many of this initiative and young people and not so young people who are talented find a way to be presented to the community and to show their skills. Here it is very difficult for people to do that.

“We thought we should create a platform that would enable those who are skilled and have potential to go into any form of arts, whether in performing art or into writing or drama, to be able to be heard at the community level,” explained Sana Bagersh, executive producer of The Dream Players, also the CEO and managing director of BrandMoxie, an advertising and marketing agency that is behind the initiative.

The idea for the event came to Bagersh in December, who immediately put the idea into action.

“The advertisement was run on Abu Dhabi Tempo on January 1. We started receiving responses immediately from just that one advertisement. About 15–20 responded and it is now starting to spread … (mostly) by word of mouth,” said Kera Thompson, Special Projects manager at BrandMoxie and event manager of The Dream Players.

The Dream Players debuted this month with its first competition held last Thursday featuring five contestants who showcased their talent in singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. They were shortlisted from 10 candidates who auditioned for the January show.

According to event mechanics, an audition will be held every month but only five contestants will be called to perform in a show designed for their type of talent.

About 20 talents have signed up for the February audition. They included poets, photographers, graphic designers and skateboarders.

Shortlisted candidates will be performing or presenting at the end of the month in front of a select group of audience from the creative arts industry and four prominent judges who will give them feedback.

“The whole idea is also to give them a feedback so that when they’re making a mistake or if they need a bit of guidance, they hear it from people in the industry,” said Bagersh.

Each candidate will be judged based on his or her originality, overall performance, technicality and stage presence. There will be one winner each month.

Each winner will receive a prize package and an opportunity to be represented by The Dream Players as the talent agency. In addition, BrandMoxie will develop a professional composite profile for the person to promote himself/herself.

“The greatest response we received from (candidates) is ‘We’re really grateful that there’s an outlet for us to perform.’

“What we’re excited about is that we’re filling a void in this area for people to all come together, of all nationalities, of all background, ages to share their creative energy. And hopefully that will steer up awareness and togetherness and a real feeling of community despite all the differences,” stated Thompson, who was one of the judges at the competition.

The Dream Players competition will be filmed and broadcasted on the show’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Thompson was hopeful that the show will garner enough interest and get picked up by a television station to be aired live in future.

“I think there’s enormous potential for it, (the show) fills the void and we’re finding that there’s plenty of talent out there,” she concluded.