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Contemporary Dance Night at Rawabet Theatre

Contemporary Dance Night at Rawabet Theatre

‘What is
contemporary dance?’ This is the question that hovers around many contemporary
dance performances in Egypt. So to get over the confusion, a number of
contemporary dancers got together to figure out how to give their audience the
best answer.

Taking place this
Wednesday, October 12th and Thursday, October 13th, the
Contemporary Dance Night at Rawabet Theatre is made up of eight short
contemporary dance performances. In an attempt to show how versatile
contemporary dance is, the group of dancers will showcase various approaches to this art form and different
forms of physical expression.

The short
performances are all between five to ten minutes long. They are not related to
each other in any way except that they are various expressions of this concept
of contemporary dance.

‘They are arranged in a certain order that will be
cohesive and will give out a certain message,’ says Ezzat Ismail, the organizer
and curator of the night. In that way, they all sort of create a larger picture
– a mosaic – of what contemporary dance is.

‘We want to expand
our audience, we want to reach out to other people and give them a taste of
what we do,’ says Ismail.

While belly dancing is familiar in every Egyptian
household, not many people know other types of dance, except for maybe ballet,
and so the audience for contemporary dance is limited.

Ezzat Ismail, along
with Shaymaa Shokry and Emma Benany, proposed the idea of the performance to
Studio Emadeddin, which offered half its rehearsal space, and Rawabet Space,
which offered the venue for free. The choreographers/ performers all have
different backgrounds in dance training, and will perform separate, individual
pieces reflecting their own concept of contemporary dance.

‘Contemporary dance
is like a huge fruit bowl; the performance will have bananas, apples and mangos;
maybe even mangos that aren’t yet ripe,’ said Ismail.

The choreographers are
Hossam Abdelhamid, Emma Benany, Nadine Emile, Mohammed Fouad, Shereen Hegazy
and Shaymaa Shoukry. Two other choreographers, Ahmed El Gendy and Ezzat Ismail himself,
will show videos of dance performances mixing visual media with contemporary dance.

El Gendy is a
graphic designer as well as a dancer; so his vision of contemporary dance would
be reflective of whom he is as a person. Hegazy is another choreographer using
visual media, and says that dance is her only way of expression: ‘I don’t sing
or write,’ she says, ‘So the only way I can express myself is through dance.’

performance is a portrait of Hypatia the Egyptian philosopher and how she lived
in a world dominated by men.

Contemporary Dance
Night will show at Rawabet Space on Wednesday and Thursday the 12th
and 13th of October at 8:30 pm. There are at least eight other
dancers performing with the choreographers; so it will be a great chance to
really see the different flavours of the Egyptian contemporary dance scene.
Plus, entry is free; and you can check out their Facebook event for more details.