Russian tribute to Yehia Abdel-Tawab, first ballet dancer in Egypt

Reham El-Adawi , Wednesday 16 Feb 2022

Yehia Abdel-Tawab, one of the pioneers of ballet in Egypt and the recipient of the Medal of Merit from late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, has been honored by the Egyptian Association of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities (EAGRSU) and the Russian House in Cairo for his contribution in strengthening Egyptian-Russian relations through his artistic career.

 Russiaan Centre
(L-r) Marat Gatin, Sherif Bahader, Tahani Hassan, Yehia Abdel-Tawab, Atef Awad, and Sherif Gad photo credit of the Russiaan Centre

The EAGRSU and the Russian House held a seminar titled ‘The Ballet in Egypt and Russian Experiences’ earlier this week in honour of Abdel-Tawab, who is a professor of ballet at the Academy of Arts.

The seminar, held at the Russian Cultural Centre in Dokki, was moderated by President of the Association Sherif Gad and attended by director of the Russian Cultural Centres in Egypt Marat Gatin, dean of the Ballet Institute in Cairo Atef Awad, former dean of the Ballet Institute Sherif Bahader, member of the board of directors of the association Samia Tawfik, and Ballet Institute professor Tahani Hassan.

Gad pointed out that the seminar is part of a project presented by the association to honour its pioneering members who have contributed to reinforcing Egyptian-Russian relations.

For his part, Abdel-Tawab said he was overwhelmed to be attending this meeting at the Russian House, a place that he loves and where he studied, and added that his relationship with the Russians started at this place through his study of the Russian language, then obtaining a scholarship and traveling to Moscow, where he also found in the Ballet Institute there great encouragement from his Russian teachers.

“The return of political relations with Russia is an indicator that not only reflects the political rapprochement, but also the culture that brings together peoples with civilization, which have made efforts and were able to innovate continuously for centuries compared to their surroundings,” he added.

Abdel-Tawab also stressed that ballet in Egypt has a strong foundation, and with the efforts made by the state to build new opera houses, there will be many specialized ballet companies, and called for more cooperation with Russian experts in order to exchange experiences.

Former dean of the Ballet Institute Bahader said that Abdel-Tawab is considered one of Egypt’s first pioneers in the art of ballet, and one of the greatest ballet dancers in the entire world.

“He is also one of the first dancers in double dance in Egypt and the Arab world.”

Professor of ballet Tahani Hassan expressed her pride in her teacher at the Ballet Institute Abdel-Tawab, pointing out that all his students learned from him commitment, as he was accurate in timing and executing movements.

During the event, a documentary film on the history of the art of ballet in Egypt was shown, and Gad presented a certificate of honour on behalf of the association to Abdel-Tawab in appreciation of his great artistic career.

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