DUBAI, – Amid the star-studded cast that brought to life Expo 2020 Dubai’s Opening Ceremony, one young – and up until now relatively unknown – performer stole the hearts of the audience.
Mira Singh, who has a Belarusian mother and an Indian father, was born in Dubai, and she couldn’t be prouder to be involved in this incredible piece of history, at the curtain call of the biggest event ever held in the Arab world.
The show’s Executive Producer and co-curator, Scott Givens, explained of the Opening Ceremony: “Our wise old sage in the show is a 90-year-old woman who wakes up every day as a 12-year-old girl. Mira is this girl and she has exceeded my expectations of what was possible for a young, talented volunteer.”
Mira takes us on her inspiring Expo journey, where she played the part of a young local girl observing the challenges of today and representing hope for the future…
Have you always been passionate about performing?
Yes, I have always loved it. I’ve wanted to do it all my life and started doing shows, commercials and modeling at age six. I recently did adverts for Aldar Properties and for Ikea. And I’ve done a lot of car adverts. I really wanted to be a part of the Expo and auditioned with agents from FiveCurrents.
Do you prefer singing, dancing or acting? Or all of it?
I do it all! I enjoy all types of dance – Indian dance, contemporary dance and hip-hop, and I also love to sing and act.
Have you done any big shows before this?
Yes, I have. [I performed for a previous] UAE National Day and I’m shortlisted to do the 50th National Day. The big one for the UAE’s Jubilee Year!
Is it a struggle to fit in all this extra work around your schooling?
It is sometimes tricky fitting it all in around my schooling, but my principal is very understanding. I’m at JSS International School at JVC.
What has been the highlight of working on one of the world’s biggest-ever opening ceremonies?
The opportunity to learn more, to develop my dance moves and to meet new, incredible people. I’ve not only met lots of famous people but have also been lucky enough to work with them, which has been so exciting. It’s an opportunity I am incredibly grateful for. I love Andra Day and Lang Lang – a lot – because I also play the piano. And, of course, Andrea Bocelli – his voice is incredible.
What has been the most challenging part of this experience?
I don’t really find it challenging because it’s what I love doing and I already have experience in it. It’s fun! I usually rehearse from around 4.30 pm-10.00 pm and I love every minute of it. We’ve been rehearsing since June.
What was your favorite part of the ceremony?
I love the part where I find the ghaf seed – the seed for the UAE tree – and I get lifted high up with the seed. And then it gets planted in Al Wasl garden. The single seed is a symbol of hope, which erupts in bursts of green. The performers around me have dressed in flower-inspired costumes joined by spinning Tanoura dancers and a 15-meter-high ghaf tree rises from the center of the stage. Andrea Bocelli sings for the grand finale. It’s all so beautiful.
What was the best thing about working with the co-curators and producers of the show, Scott Givens and Franco Dragone? What did you learn from them?
I learned the importance of being kind and humble. It’s such an honor that such famous people know me now – and also like me a lot. It actually makes me speechless. When I think about it, it’s just ‘wow!’
What does Expo 2020 mean to you?
It’s an opportunity for people and businesses to showcase their products and inventions to the rest of the world. It’s going to be really exciting to discover all the amazing new inventions being brought to life at Expo.
Which pavilions are you most excited to see?
I’ll definitely go to the UAE Pavilion first as it looks amazing. And then China, Egypt and Russia. And of course India and Belarus!
Why do you think everyone should visit Expo?
To see all the hard work that has been put in by every single person who has contributed to Expo. What they have done here is huge – and everyone needs to see it. The whole site is looking really beautiful and I can’t wait for the pavilions to open.
What do you love about living in Dubai?
I enjoy going to the beach, to the malls – I love shopping – and hanging out with my friends. I’ll get to see them a bit more now the Opening Ceremony is over…