Cairo Opera Ballet Company

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Cairo Opera Ballet Company
General information
Name Cairo Opera Ballet Company
Year founded 1958
Founders Tharwat Okasha, Leonid Lavrovsky
Principal venue Cairo Opera House
Senior staff
Chief Executive Erminia Gambarelli Kamel

The Cairo Opera Ballet Company is the resident ballet company of the Cairo Opera House and a ballet school affiliated to Egypt's Higher Institute of Ballet. Its foundation began in 1958 during the presidency of Gamal Abdel Nasser through the efforts of Tharwat Okasha, Egypt's culture minister at the time, and Leonid Lavrovsky, the former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet who took a group of Egyptian dancers to Russia for two years of training. At the time of its founding, it was the only Arab resident classical ballet company in the Middle East.[1]

With a ballet school established, the company staged its first ballet production, The Fountain of Bakhshisarai, at the Khedivial Opera House in 1966. The destruction of the Khedivial Opera House by fire in 1971, followed by President Anwar Sadat severing Egypt's ties with Russia in 1972, led to a serious decline of the company. The company and its ballet school had a resurgence following the construction of the new Cairo Opera House in 1988.[1]

Since 2004, Erminia Gambarelli Kamel has been the company's Artistic Director. Trained at the La Scala Theatre Ballet School, Kamel joined the Cairo Opera Ballet Company as a Principal Dancer in 1982.[2]


  1. ^ a b Abouissa, Mona (2 February 2013). "Ballet in Egypt enjoying an unexpected resurgence". The National. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  2. ^ Shawkat, Nabil (10 August). Costume gallery". The National. Retrieved 6 May 2015.

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