Spotlight on: Mahmoud Bahbah of Cairo
Interview and transliteration by Oriana
How did you get started in dance? I started my artistic life in my hometown of Beni Suef Governorate. My uncle was the owner of a wedding band and I started working as dancer in the band when I was 10 years old. I worked as an assistant in the band and then after a while I learned to play the percussion on the tambourine and the drum. I loved dancing so then I learned Tanoura dance and learned show dance. Then I started worked in the wedding troupe doing Tanoura dance and folk dance. Later I applied to the Beni Suef Culture Palace to join the National Troupe for Folk Arts of Beni Suef Governorate in 1998. Inside the troupe I learned a lot about Egyptian art and folklore and with the band I finished the three courses. In 2006 and I got the position of the assistant coach of the team then in 2009 I got to prepare a workshop to prepare the educators of the culture palaces. After that I finished a course to refine the coaches of the folklore teams of the culture palaces. In 2013 I went to Cairo to join the Reda teams and professional dancers in Cairo.
What organized teams have you been a part of? I worked in the National Troupe for Folklore in Beni Suef Governorate from 1998, and I was the band for a long time. Then I joined the Reda Troupe for Folkloric Arts for a year. After that I worked in the Alaa Abu Laila Troupe for Folk Arts in 2007. Most recently I worked in the Dream Park Troupe from 2014 to 2021. Have you been a part of any festivals in or outside of Egypt?
I participated with the Beni Suef Folklore Troupes in many festivals inside and outside of Egypt. This included the Ismailia International Festival 3 times. We also did the Aswan International Festival for the holiday when the sun is perpendicular to the statue of Ramses. The Luxor Festival of Tahtib and the International Festival of Drums. And I also went with the teams to international festivals in China, India and Sri Lanka. And with Alaa Abu Laila Troupe, there were festivals in Dubai, Malta, Gabon, Ghina, Benin, and Lithuania, and belly dance festivals in Egypt,; the Egyptian Layali Festival for 3 years and Salamat Masr Festival.
Mahmoud Bahbah is a professional performer and instructor in Cairo, Egypt. He teaches Adults, professionals and children and guest teaches with Delux Dance Online Studio. He can be found and contacted on Facebook and Instagram.