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Egypt: The 13th Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival


The 13th Cairo International
Experimental Theatre Festival

by Dr. Maged El-Bialy

On September 1, the 13th Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival officially commenced. Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, declared the opening of the festival at the Large Theatre of the Cairo Opera House.


The Experimental Theatre Festival, which is an annual event in Egypt, gives the chance for new theatrical art to flourish and be conveyed to the public. Bold artists from all over the world present their new theatrical art in the span of the first 10 days of September.

In this years festival, there are 46 countries participating. China, a newcomer, will participate with the theatrical group, Kong Zing, established in 1950 and composed of nine first class national actors. Kong Zing will present a play called "Good Bye My Love". The play is adopted from the Chinese Folklore. Kong Zing will present the play with a new approach by not using traditional Chinese costumes.

Canada will also participate with the play " The Final Game" directed by Gary Sprong. The Canadian play will be bilingual- English and French. From Switzerland, the "Tanto" theater actors will present "From the Dark". The play has little script and the actors depend mostly on body expressions to convey to the audience the aims of the play. The Tanto Theater was established in 1989.

Sweden will participate with a play, which seems to be interesting. The display will be a mixture of live acting and video projection. "Side Suns" is the name of the Swedish play and its story revolves around a mother and her relationship with her daughters.

Modern dancing is also a part of the Experimental Theater Festival. Latvia is one of the participating countries in modern dancing. Latvian Dancers will perform two separate acts. " We try to revive the traditional Latvian dancing with a touch of modernization." Said one of the dancers. She continued, " Light effects will have an important role in our act."

Another participant in modern dancing is France. The French dancers have something up their sleeves, which they refuse to reveal. I do not know if they are trying to add mystery to their performance or trying to say "Definitely, our act will be great."

What I managed to learn is that France will present a play where the script was adopted from Persian and Arabic traditional stories. The act will be a bilingual mixture of French and Arabic.

The list of countries participating in the 13th Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival is growing each year. This is proof that the popularity of the festival is growing with each year. Egypt will continue to be the basin where cultures meet. Previously I have reviewed the 8th Cairo International Song Festival, now there is the 13th Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival. That is not all, as on the 5th of August was the Alexandria film festival.

The Ancient Egyptians communities were full of festivities and the modern Egyptians have inherited this tradition from their ancestors. Whenever you come to visit Egypt you will definitely find some national event going on. Egypt is more than the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Culture and artistic expression are a large part of the Egyptian experience.

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Last Updated: Aug 4th, 2011

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