Introducing Atef Farag and Magda

Mahmoud RedaReda Troupe dancers, choreographers and trainers Atef Farag and Magda will be teaching and performing in a 2-day dance workshop and show in the San Francisco bay area. Back to the bay area by popular demand!! Learn Egyptian dance from the masters! Atef and Magda teach and perform a very unique and inspirational blend of Egyptian Folklore with Oriental dance. Over 30 years exprience with the prestigious Reda Troupe coming to us from Cairo, Egypt. This is their only stop in the Western United States as part of their 2008 teaching and performance tour. They will be sharing their wealth of knowledge in Raqs Sharki (Oriental dance), Ethnic Egyptian dances, and more.

In 1959, Mr. Mahmoud Reda, his brother Ali Reda and his sister-in-law Farida Fahmy co-founded the Reda Troupe in Egypt. It was the first Egyptian dance company to record Egyptian folk songs and dances from many different and remote regions of Egypt and perform them on stage. The Reda Troupe became world famous with many followers. Their work has shaped and influenced what is known today as Oriental Dance (Raks Sharki). Many of the Reda troupe members became master teachers themselves teaching in Egypt, Europe and the USA. In March 2008, Mr. Atef Farag and Ms. Magda, who have been with the Reda troupe since 1975, will share with us their wealth of knowledge and experience in Egyptian Folkloric & Oriental Dance. They will teach us their own signature world renowned choreographies that beautifully blend the earthy ethnic with the stylized Oriental dance.


Atef Farag with Farida Fahmy and Magda with Mahmoud Reda

Teachers

Atef has been a dance trainer with the Reda Troupe in Egypt since 1993. Atef has also been training and directing the Egyptian Folkloric Troupe at the American University in Cairo since 1989. Not only does he choreograph & teach, but he also produces the whole show from costuming to music, lighting and set design. His dance troupe has consistently won 1st and 2nd places in national competitions. In addition to teaching in Egypt to native and foreign students, Mr. Atef taught workshops internationally in the USA, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and France. Since 1995, he has been teaching Oriental and Folkloric dance at the Arabic Language Institute in Cairo. His dance style is an innovative yet very authentic blend of the folkloric/ethnic dances and the stylized 'Raks Sharki'. Using the experience he gained teaching students of all nationalities and performing all over the world, Atef has evolved into a world master in Middle Eastern dance.

Magda has been a dance trainer with the Reda Troupe in Egypt since 1995. She progressed from training beginners to general trainer to the head trainer of the Reda Troupe. She taught dance workshops in many European countries including Germany, France, Spain and more. Magda has been teaching Egyptian folkloric dance at the American University in Cairo since 1990. She is a master teacher at Raqia Hassan's annual "Ahlan wa Sahlan" dance festival. Magda has been awarded over a dozen certificates of achievement from the AUC (American University in Cairo), "Ahlan wa Sahlan" and other organizations where her contribution to the dance was greatly appreciated. In 2006, Magda was awarded the title "Distinguished Artist" by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in recognition of her efforts promoting ethnic Egyptian arts and culture. Magda's very unique and purely Egyptian style is unparalleled by any other dancer. Having worked with dancers from all nationalities and backgrounds, she is very well loved and very highly valued by all her students and colleagues.

Both Atef and Magda are regular master teachers at Raqia Hassan's teachers training program in Dec and at "Ahlan wa Sahlan" dance festivals.

Performers

Atef and Magda joined the Reda Troupe in 1975. They traveled and performed with the Reda Troupe to hundreds of countries in the Arab world, Europe, the Americas and the Far East performing as soloists.

Atef also trained with the National Folkloric Dance Troupe from 1970 to 1974. Atef and his Troupe (the American University Folkloric Troupe) presented authentic Egyptian dance at 45 international folk dance festivals all over the world including Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Italy and the USA. He participated in the North Carolina International Folk Festival "Folkmoot" in 1995 and 2000 and performed at Epcot Center in Florida.

Magda participated in ALL the Reda Troupe shows from 1975 till 1995, in Egypt and all over the world. She performed in Europe (Italy, Greece, France, Switzerland, England, Germany, Yoguslavia, Romania and more), the USA, as well as the far east (Japan, India, Singapore, the Philippines and more). When Mme Farida Fahmy retired from performing, Magda performed Farida's most famous and complicated solos on stage including Haggala, Muwashahat, Saidi, Bedouin and more. She was one of the star soloists of the Reda Troupe until 1995 when she decided to become a full time trainer.


Atef (left picture) and Magda (right picture) with The Reda Troupe

Choreographers

In addition to choreographing for the Reda Troupe for 15 years, Atef Farag has been the troupe director, trainer, choreographer and show producer of the Egyptian Folkloric Troupe at the American University in Cairo since 1989. He is an accomplished choreographer in both Oriental and Folkloric Egyptian dance styles. He has his own very unique dance style that blends the authentic with the modern, the earthy folkloric moves with the stylized Raks Sharki elegance. He currently teaches dance workshops all over the world. In his role as director of the Folkloric Troupe of the American University in Cairo, Atef not only choreographs the dances and trains the dancers, but he also designs the costumes, stage sets, lighting and all other aspects of producing a theatrical dance show. His group has consistenly won 1st and 2nd place in national competitions and have represented Egypt abroad at 45 different Folk Dance Festivals.

Magda has her own unique style and choreographies that are best described as "simple elegance". She teaches her very uniquely Egyptian choreographies in workshops all over the world including Germany, France and Spain. She's an amazing choreographer blending her very uniquely Egyptian Oriental style with Folkloric steps. Magda teaches regularly as a master teacher at Raqia Hassan's "Ahlan wa Sahlan" dance festival as well as Raqia's annual teachers training in December. Magda has been teaching Egyptian folklore dance at the American University in Cairo since 1990. Her musical interpretation, timing and personal expression are truly a gift to Middle Eastern dance!!

Students

Atef and Magda's style and choreographies have been very highly praised by dancers from all over the world. Here are some testimonials from their students:

"Atef is a really great instructor. I highly recommend him. He taught internationally and his style is Reda-ish with a bit more belly dance in it, so students will really like his choreographies. I learned four so far and love them all! I found him very easy to work with: he is a great teacher and very patient with students, and a genuinely nice person!"
Catarina of Santa Clara, CA (when she was in Cairo)

"Magda is one of the most inspirational and kind-hearted people I have known - she also just happens to be a world-class Egyptian dance instructor whose teaching is rigorous, methodical, and well-structured. Indeed, she and her husband Atef are the most attentive and caring dance teachers I found in Cairo during my 18 months spent there. They are true professionals dedicated to seeing each individual student succeed. I highly recommend studying with them to learn from their vast array of dance knowledge and their years of experience in the Egyptian dance field."
Catarina of Santa Clara, CA

"Of all the classes I took at the Ahlan wa Sahlan festival 2005, I not only enjoyed Magda's most but got the most out of them as a dancer. After experiencing her excellent teaching style, I also took several private lessons with her while I was in Cairo. She has the best of both worlds: her background as a performer and trainer for the Reda troupe gives her the ability to be very clear structurally about what she is teaching, transitions, and position of the body in space, and although in her career she never performed as an Oriental dance soloist, she possesses the sense of timing, musical interpretation, and personal expression that make a great dancer in the Egyptian Oriental style. She is a treasure of knowledge in so many ways, and more importantly, a generous and patient teacher and person."
Debbie Lammam of San Francisco, CA

"I met Atef in Cairo last summer, where I trained with him and his wife Magda for two months (I had already been studying belly dance with many teachers and have extensive ballet and modern dance training all my life from Carnegie Dance Hall and the Joffrey Ballet). Their style is absolutely unique, inspirational and authentic, the likes of which cannot be found in the States. And in the short amount of time that I trained with them, my performance improved dramatically. They taught me choreography from the remotest regions of Egypt, in addition to classic folkloric and Oriental dance. Atef and his wife Magda are nothing less than dedicated professionals who have been teaching and choreographing for the Mahmoud Reda Troupe for thirty years, as well as the world-renowned folkloric dance group at the American University in Cairo."
Diana Esposito of New York, NY

Read testimonials from Atef's workshops in 2005...