In December, BBC News posted a video about the Ballerinas of Cairo that went viral on Facebook and other social media forms. The video (linked above), details the creative work of Cairo female dancers who began taking their pointe shoes to the streets following a series of terrorist attacks on the city to reclaim public spaces for women and to let the world know that the arts are alive in Cairo. The dancers posted videos and photos online which went viral, drawing national attention to the movement.
This actually reminded me a lot of the interview with Esperanza Spalding that we listened to for class because of the way that they take a traditional artform and give it new life and meaning. Spalding talked a lot about how she’s realized that you don’t need the approval of others to create art and the Ballerinas of Cairo say the same thing with their art. They are taking the traditional art of ballet dance and instead of having it limit the dancers to traditional movements in a traditional space, using traditional themes of the ethereal, fragile woman, they bring power to the art. They dance outside in unconventional spaces, where if you don’t see them in person, you see the photos and videos that they post online. These artists saw an unconventional use for the art of ballet, and not only use it to promote art in Cairo, but use it to empower women and give them a voice. The Ballerinas of Cairo are an excellent example of creative problem-solving.