dance, music, body wisdom from egypt
Yahia El Minyawi directs and trains the El Minya Group for Public Art, a group of 40 male and female Shaabi dancers, singers and musicians. He was awarded the prize for the Best Artistic Director from 2000 to 2006 by the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the Best Music and Dance Performance in the Arab Republic of Egypt in 2001. He held the post of Assistant Director at the Ismaelia International Festival in 2002 and choreographs for Egypt’s TV Channel Seven in Northern Upper Egypt, among others. Yahia respects and loves the shaabi dance and music traditions of his country and has an in-depth knowledge of them. He is a passionate teacher, choreographer and dancer. Yahia El Minyawi was born in 1966 into a lower middle class family in El Minya (Upper Egypt). His family lived in a baladi district close to the railway tracks, which connect the whole of Egypt along the Nile. Near the family home was the market place, where the fellahin women arrived from the countryside and the villages around El Minya in their colourful dresses to sell their vegetables and milk products. His family originated from this farming community, and it is here that he drew and still draws the knowledge and inspiration for his artistic work. Yahia grew up here and still lives in the family’s house with his wife and children. Through the influence of his uncle, Ibrahim El Minyawi, Yahia was able to turn his passion for music and dance into his profession.