For years, Egypt’s educational system included all types of arts, except for dancing. Other than the Higher Institute of Ballet, both, schools and universities, focus on implementing and improving the visual artistic skills of students. This includes art and music classes in schools and a faculty of fine and applied arts. However, those who harbour a passion for the various types of dancing would be left out of the privilege of completing their infatuation with proper education. This was until Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) opened its gates to them.
Celebrating the graduation of CCDC’s first generation, aiming to spread the joy of dancing, and let people explore the world of professional dancers, CCDC is to hold “5 Ra2s” (five-day dance) festival.
For a week, the centre will open the doors of Cairo’s most famous cultural venues, for audience to join the graduates’ activities, with which they end their three-year journey in the dancing school and step forward into the world of professionalism.
The festival allows people to enter the world of dancing through films, sessions, workshops, and open classes. The audience will also get to see documentaries about history’s most famous choreographers.
CCDC is an independent space for contemporary dance in Egypt and the first full-time contemporary dance school in Africa and the Arab world.
“This is the very first full-time contemporary dancing school, not only in Egypt but in Middle East,” said Nicolas Gilles, CCDC’s marketing and communication officer: “These students study everything theoretical and practical about dancing; starting from the history of contemporary and classical dance, reaching the human body’s anatomy, which would help students to understand more about their abilities.”
Established in 2012 by the well known Egyptian choreographer, dancer, and teacher Karima Mansour, the centre welcomed 35 students since its opening; 15 of them in the first class which is set to graduate and the remaining 20 as part of the second generation.
The students age between 17 and 27, says Gilles. All of those who either attend their public classes or asked to join the school have stated that they had been looking for a long time for a platform where they can freely follow their passion towards dancing, yet with no success, he added.
From February 13 to 19, the festival will start with handing the students their certificates, delivered by the UNESCO International Dance Council. While on the second day of the festival, Zawya will host the premiere of the film “Pressure” which documents the performance that the graduate students did during the Hal Badeel Festival in 2013.
The third and fourth day include open classes and sessions for the audience to experience by themselves some of the open classes the centre provides people with.
“Some of these classes will be given by some of the CCDC students, who decided they want to follow their professional career as choreographers,” Gilles explained, adding “people should see for themselves what the centre offers its students.”
On the festival’s last day, the public will get to see and discuss the movie “The Man Behind the Throne,” directed by Kersti Grunditz, about Vincent Paterson, choreographer for Michael Jackson’s dances.