Young Alwanat talents to perform full-fledged ballet show in Upper Egypt

Ahram Online , Sunday 27 Aug 2017

Cinderella, performed by the young ballet dancers of Minya's Alwanat Cultural Centre, is directed by Mamdouh Hassan

Ballet class at Alwanat in Minya, 2016 (Photo: Bassam Al Zoghby)

Children trained at the Alwanat Cultural Centre in Upper Egypt's Minya will perform the ballet Cinderella at the city's main theatre on 31 August.

Alwanat director Marco Adel says that 50 young ballet talents trained at Alwanat will participate in the 90-minute performance.

"The children have worked over two months and are very excited about their first big performance. Not only is Cinderella the first full-length performance organised by Alwanat, but it is also the first such show to be staged in Upper Egypt," Adel said.

The Alwanat Cultural Centre NGO was launched in 2014, offering a large assortment of art classes to local children. It has since become one of the most dynamic cultural centres embracing the children and youth of Upper Egypt.

The performance of Cinderella, directed by Mamdouh Hassan, is a cooperation effort between the centre in Minya and professional ballet artists from Cairo.

Hassan is a soloist at the Cairo Opera House Ballet Company and a ballet instructor at the Higher Institute of Ballet at the Academy of Arts in Cairo.

Since the launch of ballet classes at the Alwanat centre in 2015, the young students have showcased their talent on several occasions.

This year, Alwanat performed small shows at the Cairo Opera House and participated in celebrations held at the German Embassy in Cairo.

In June 2015, the Alwanat introduced ballet classes, becoming the first centre in Upper Egypt to introduce this art form to the local community.

Despite initial challenges in introducing ballet to a conservative community, interest in the classes grew rapidly. By 2016, Alwanat was training a total of 150 boys and girls in ballet, and a few dozen in gymnastics.

This has led to the centre opening up cooperation with professional instructors from Cairo as well as developing opportunities for the children to perform outside Minya.

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