Egypt's Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem and French Ambassador to Egypt Stephane Romatet held a press conference on 8 January at the Cairo Opera House's Main Hall to announce the details of '2019 Egypt-France Cultural Year.'
The cultural year is organised under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and will continue through 2019.
Part of “Independanse x Egypte” ballet dance show (Photo :Bassam Al-Zoghby)
Egypt and France have announced that 2019 is 'Egypt-France Cultural Year,' coinciding with the celebration of 150 years since the inauguration of the Suez Canal and presenting a series of various cultural events.
The event began with holding four concerts as part of the 'Independanse x Egypte' dance show at the Cairo and Alexandria opera houses from 8 to 11 January.
The show features six dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet Company accompanied by six dancers from the Cairo Opera Ballet Company.
'Independanse x Egypte' is choreographed by Grégory Gaillard with music by Florent Astrudeau, inspired by the enchantment of the River Nile.
Romatet said that “this celebration comes within the framework of strengthening the bilateral relations and exchanging the experiences and activities between the two countries in all cultural and artistic fields.”
The French ambassador also said that he is expecting a rise in the number of French tourists coming to Egypt in 2019, and that there are already many of them who are currently enjoying the beauty of Luxor and Sharm El-Sheikh.
Romatet also praised the efforts exerted by the French Cultural Institute in Cairo, directed by Mohamed Bouabdallah and his crew, in making the Egypt-France Cultural Year a great success.
Among the different artistic events to be offered will be an exhibition on Arabic typography and another on Egyptian caricature from 1970 to 2010, a week of French cuisine, as well as a contemporary dance show on world-renowned late architect Zaha Haddid titled 'Tears of Haddid' and choreographed by Walid Aouni, to be performed first in France then Egypt in March.
This is in addition to holding a series of seminars, theatre performances and hip hop musical concerts.
Abdel-Dayem said that “every year the Fête de la musique is celebrated in Egypt on 20 and 21 June, but what is new this year is that Egyptian troupes will present their art in Paris and other French cities.”
Also present at the conference was Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, who said that the exhibition of the treasures of Tutankhamen will go from the United States to Paris this year.
“The Paris Opera Ballet Company dancers will seize the opportunity of their presence in Egypt and will take a photo at the Giza Pyramids plateau, which is considered great and free promotion for Egypt,” El-Enany added.
Among the ideas and suggestions brought up by Egyptian journalists at the conference was the importance of documenting the activities of the Egypt-France Cultural Year in documentary films and a memorial book.
The idea was welcomed by both Romatet and the culture minister, who disclosed that this is already under discussion.
Following the conference, journalists were invited by Abdel-Dayem and Romatet to enjoy the 'Independanse x Egypte' performance at the Main Hall, which included international ballets such as Swan Lake and Don Quixote.