Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem, Governor of Beheira Nadia Abdou, and Magdy Saber, the chairman the Cairo Opera House, inaugurated the sixth edition of the Damanhour International Folklore Festival on Friday at the Damanhour Opera House.
The opening included numerous activities extending from the theatre to the city’s squares and streets.
The Damanhour Opera House was decorated with the flags of the participating countries.
University students received the audience in the outdoor garden of the building, dressed in traditional costumes, and then moved to the main lobby to attend the opening of the exhibition of the publications of the Egyptian Opera House, which contains more than 50 books on the art of the opera, music research and CDs.
Members of the Chinese delegation expressed their admiration of the idea of the festival and thanked the hosts for the hospitality, noting the warm welcome they had received from Egyptians.
In her inaugural speech, Abdel-Dayem expressed her satisfaction with the role played by the festival for the sixth consecutive year in bridging the cultural gap between different nations.
Saber stressed the keenness of the festival to host local troupes that embody models of the rich Egyptian folk heritage, side by side with the Arab and foreign troupes from countries such as Lebanon, China and Vietnam, that also show those countries’ traditional artistic heritage.
He added that the festival is this year honouring eight icons of the folk arts in Egypt and the world.
The governor said that this international forum is a unique artistic celebration held with the participation of Beheira’s people. She granted the culture minister the governorate’s shield for her efforts in spreading art and culture in Egypt.
The opening ceremony also included screening a documentary on the art life of late director and former head of the Cairo Opera House, Abdel-Moneim Kamel.
In addition, Forsan Al-Sharq (the Knights of the Orient for Heritage) dance troupe performed a folk dance show that took the audience in a journey between the governorates of Egypt through different ages, designed and directed by Essam Ezzat.
The dancers showed brilliant harmony in movement and expressive performance.
The opening ceremony was attended by a number of cultural counsellors and consuls of the participating countries and received wide media attention, which was broadcast by several TV channels, radio networks and international news agencies.
The festival will run until 7 April.
Minister of Culture Governor of Al-Beheira and Director of the Cairo Opera House with the honorees (Photo: courtesy of the Cairo Opera House Media Office)
Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-DayemGovernor of Al-Beheira Nadia Abdou Director of the Cairo Opera House Magdy Saber at the exhibition (Photo: courtesy of the Cairo Opera House Media Office)
The Chinese delegation members show interest in the opera publications (Photo: courtesy of the Cairo Opera House Media Office)
A dance show by The Knights of the Orient troupe from Egypt (Photo: courtesy of the Cairo Opera House Media Office)