Aimee Sultan: Dance should be presented in cultural institutions such as museums … and its critics Haven

From engineering to UNESCO .. I saw the march of the show dancer Amy Sultan Many controversial stations, began with her decision to leave the engineering profession after obtaining a bachelor’s degree at a foreign university and her tendency to oriental dance, to her ability to document oriental dance as a folk art and apply it to Egypt writes in the UNESCO World Organization.

Cairo 24 interviewed belly dancer Amy Sultan to learn more about the goals of her new initiative, Tarab Collective, which aims to change the stereotypical image of belly dancing through the following rules:

Where did the idea for Tarab Collective come from?

I had the idea for a long time, but I did not have free time to plan the project, and when the period of spread of the Corona virus arrived, I was able to meet everyone who was interested in that project, and we continued with the implementation, because oriental dance is important in our history and heritage, as it is not without any joy without A dancer, moreover, the dancers were film heroines in the golden era of filmmaking.

How long did it take you to implement the project?

Almost two years.

Amy Sultan

How did the collaboration between you and UNESCO come about?

I started communicating with an official in the International Council of Dance, an organization founded in 1973 and chairing all kinds of dances in the world, and I discovered that until recently, the Council did not recognize belly dancing, and I tried to convince them to include belly dancing among the organization, and then came the step of documenting belly dancing in UNESCO, and it was It’s a set of steps, and it’s a big process.

Why did you go documenting belly dancing at UNESCO?

Belly dancing was not the first goal of my initiative, but I learned that there are three countries that have decided to unite and attribute oriental dance to themselves in UNESCO, so I strived to document the dance as’ a folk art and attributed it to Egypt, and I was able to defeat three countries so that cultural appropriation does not take place As we saw earlier, Israel was able to document falafel for them, which is originally Arabic .

The strange thing is that Egypt has documented only three things for it in UNESCO: only Al-Aragoz, Al-Sira Al-Hilali and Al-Tahteeb, while Italy has registered 40,000 well.

Didn’t any Egyptian dancer help you with that step?

No .. I followed this initiative on my own because I love history and research, and that’s my hobby.

What does the Tarab Collective project aim for?

The first is the documentation of dance at UNESCO, the second is the opening of the Taksim Institute for Oriental Dance Teaching, and the third is the production of purposeful artistic performances.

How do you see the future of dance in Egypt?

I hope that belly dancing in a cultural institution such as museums, theaters and television will be offered to all family members, as it should not continue to be offered as a purposeful art in nightclubs and nightlife venues.

How do you react to critics of belly dancing in Egypt? How do you handle that criticism?

Do not pay attention to that criticism, as the case should not respond to critics; Because we’re talking about something that’s science and history that’s been documented on the walls of our temples for thousands of years, and I’m not arguing with a hive that does not like that art.

Cairo 24 editor with Amy Sultan at Taksim Institute

How did your collaboration with businessman Naguib Sawiris come about in the Tarab Collective project?

Ing. Naguib Sawiris is one of the first supporters of my project. I initially spoke to Mona Fayek, who is responsible for supporting the initiatives of Ing. Naguib, contacted and provided her with all the required papers. The engineer agreed to our request, at the The last edition of the El Gouna festival, but the biggest funding came from a German institution, not an Egyptian one, and there are a number of parties that have the project morally supported.

Why did the greatest support come from a German institution and not an Egyptian one?

Because Egyptians do not want to support any project related to dance, for fear of being attacked on social media.

As for Taksim Institute, are there specific conditions for applicants to the institute?

There are no conditions for applicants aiming for entertainment, but the case is different for applicants for professional purposes, as there are several steps the applicant must go through, including a physical examination and a psychological examination, and to inform the parents ask about their vision of the field through phone calls or interviews.For adults who are independent and separate from their parents, they do not take this test.

Why do you think we do not have Egyptian dancers like the golden age of movies?

Because the country at that time respected women more, and women were at the head of a number of artistic systems, as the meetings of the Egyptian ministry used to take place on the float of the artist Munira al-Mahdiyya, but nowadays the dancers did not get it. their freedom like Zaman.

Amy Sultan

What do you think of the foreign dancers now scattered in Egypt?

I have no problem with any foreign dancer in Egypt, and we are supposed to see their distribution as a positive thing and not the other way around, and it does not deny that they do not have the competence like Egyptian women; Because they do not know the history and heritage of belly dancing.

You recently raised the controversy with a dance suit that cost £ 4 million. Why did you wear a suit of that price?

I wear the suit according to the audience I dance with, and the occasion of that suit was to celebrate a royal wedding, which is very normal in my profession, but not all my clothes are the same price.

Amy Sultan

Are you going to take the step to act in the coming period?

I took that step earlier, but dance has taken over all my interests in the coming period, and I do not currently have any acting projects.

Finally, where is the love in Amy Sultan’s life now?

Currently .. Taksim Institute is the love of my life.

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