Nelly Mazloum - Nelly Mazloum Mediterranean Archaic Dances Research Institute - MADRI -

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Nelly Mazloum



Nelly Mazloum (Alexandria, Egypt, 9 June 1929; Athens 21 Feb. 2003) founder of MADRI Institute. She was a Dancer, choreographer, teacher, company director, and actress. Founder of the Egyptian first professional folk dance troupe (1956), known as "Nelly Mazloum Arabic Troupe of Dancers" Nelly Mazloum has choreographed many folk dance productions for the company, including Ayoub Al Masri, Al Ghazl, Ranet al Kholkhal, Tamre Henna, Al Ahdab, Kodia "Zar", Arouset Al Bahr. She always aimed to set traditional folk dances within a professional theatrical context. 

From 1939 to 1945 Nelly Mazloum was performing as a solo Dancer on stage, at the following theater: Theatre Alhambra, Kit Kat, Bella Vista Music Hall, Theatre Oasis, Carlton, Badia Masabni Theatre. Nellys' first appearance on the screen, as an actress in the Film Prosfigopoula (the refugee) a Greek language movie starring the great star Sofia Vembo, in a screenplay by D. Bogris in 1939.  Since 1942 she was an established dance soloist and actress who appeared in more than 20 Egyptian films. On many occasions she appeared in front of King Farouk, in the same show as Samia Gamal and Omou Kalthoum.

In 1947 she founded her first Ballet School in Cairo. This was her start as a Dance Teacher. In 1948 Nelly Mazloum became the prima Ballerina of the Royal Opera House in Cairo (Dar Al Opera) from 1959 to 1964 she was the choreographer of Al Masrah al Kaoumy (National Theatre), Koumeya troupe. For many years she gave innumerable Folkloric performances in local theatres and in various television shows in Egypt.

Nelly Mazloum was chosen by the Ministry of Culture in 1959 to hold the post of first assistant to Mr. ALEXEI JUKOFF, Ballet Master of the Bolshoi Ballet School of the then USSR to establish the Egyptian National Ballet Academy near the Pyramids in Giza, Cairo.

Meanwhile in 1957 Nelly started touring Egypt for three consecutive years, from the Delta to Upper Egypt, from Suez to Salloum. She made intensive research work in the life, mores, music and rhythms, costumes and gestures, movements and steps, belonging to the local dance traditions of Egypt. She was learning and studying under wonderful teachers and meeting with remarkable human beings who knew a lot about the culture and traditions of this land where high civilizations and divine religions have made history since 5000 BC to our time. During the forties, fifties and sixties, she had the opportunity to witness and participate in Egypt's booming Renaissance period of the Arts.

This blooming of the arts from 1956 to 1963 was due to the vision and enlightened spirit of his Excellence Dr. Sarwat Okacha the minister of culture and education. Thanks to this extraordinary personality Egypt came to know the golden renaissance in the arts which had never been equaled before or since.  All domains were touched, films, theatre, music, song, literature, scholars, archeologists, renovators and passionate artist, never before gathered so densely in a single city, Cairo! In such an incomparable rich period Nelly Mazloum had the great good fortune to be  appointed by the Egyptian government to organize the Egyptian National Folklore Dance Academy.

In 1956 she founded her second school, this time for Egyptian Folklore. She was the pioneer who attempted for the first time to apply Egypt’s traditional legacy of Folklore Dances into a dramatized artistic form. She was the most famous folklore dancer in the Orient, and her performances inspired a whole new generation of dancers and choreographers.  

Then the Egyptian Ministry of Culture asked her to become adviser and main collaborator of Mr.Ramazine who was the first assistant and dancer of the "Moiseyev Dance Company" in Russia. But this collaboration was interrupted, when the Minister of Culture his Excellency Dr.Sarwat Okasha suggested her to expand her theatrical company, which inaugurated a style, and which was entitled by the media and the public as "Raqs Al Ta' Biry" (Expressive Theatrical Dancing). She was the first to bring on the stage popular, religious and typical traditional stories accompanied by original music especially composed for her company, and live singing recounting the loves, tribulations and adventures of ancient popular Egyptian heroes. She presented in an artistic dance form, theatrical spectacles combined with expressive themes taken from the pure tradition of Egyptian life. The "Nelly Mazloum Arabic Troupe of Dancers" was quickly established and they toured Egypt several times, also performed in Syria, Lebanon and Sudan, giving innumerable performances in all the local theatres in the country, like: Ezbekieh theater, Mohamed Farid theater, Port Said open air theater, Khartoum National theater,  the Floating theater (Masrah el Aiem), Pocket theater, National stage theater.  They performed at National Festivals, at the Dar Al Opera and in television and Egyptian films. It was through Nelly Mazloum's exhaustive touring that Egyptian Folklore gained a new international following.  

In 1962 Nelly Mazloum and her company were chosen by the Egyptian Government to represent Egypt at the Helsinki Youth Artistic competition Festival amongst 80 other state delegations. At the VIII FESTIVAL MONDIAL DE LA JEUNESSE ET DES ETUDIANTS POUR LA PAIX ET L'AMITIE -Concours Artistique- She obtained the title of "LAUREATE" and the silver medal for the specialty of "danses folkloriques, solistes professionnels". The Great Russian Ballerina Assoluta Galina Ulanova was among the jury. These spectacles and material have been recorded and can be found in the film archives of the Ministry of Culture as well as the Cairo Television archives.   

In 1965 she founded the "Nelly Mazloum Calvo" school, recognized by the ministry of culture in Athens.  

Early in her teaching career she noticed a great lack of general interest in Body Dynamics and in 1965 she started Intensive experimental work in movements conducive to Psychosomatic Alignment which she named VIVICORPOREAL® Psychosomatic Alignment Technique for AWARED CONSCIOUSNESS. Its conception is especially structured on the important Sufi principles of Double Consciousness Body Coordination involving the whole person into an expanded, free and regenerated way of being.

For half a century while she was teaching dance she delved into the labyrinth of the human mind, analyzing the relationship between mind and body feeling.

After so many years of experience in this field as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, lecturer and writer, she codified a methodologic system of Oriental Dance based on her 50 years of intensive research work and traditional dance teaching. She systematized a technique that enables the students to understand the spirit of Oriental Dance and follow the style and the practice of the Folk Dances of Egypt easily, simply and in a relatively short time. The Nelly Mazloum Oriental Dance Technique system is structured upon a comprehensive understanding of body rules, which permit the free play of systematic movements. Her method is based on the habitual every day movement of Egyptian culture that conceives Art as an involvement of the whole self.

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Students can find in her book, Nelly Mazloum "Oriental Dance Technique", information that will deepen their knowledge and inspire their creativity.  Her book is a guide to teachers and the younger generation of dancers who care to learn and wish to gain a strong foundation as well as acquire a clear insight into Oriental Lore and its fascinating magic. Her method has guided the work of many Oriental dancers and  teachers.

In 2001 Nelly Mazloum founded the "Nelly Mazloum Mediterranean Archaic Dances Research Institute, MADRI" a non-profit dance research association for the evolution and preservation of Mediterranean Archaic Dances and music cultures. As well as to preserve and propagate the wealth of research material she has gathered for half a century and more, in order to encourage the new generation to discover the heritage of archaic cultural roots and link the old with the new consciously and creatively.
Nelly Mazloum believed that it is never enough to teach just steps or only a technique, it is imperative to inspire the students and give them the material necessary to enlarge their capacity as performers, to develop their possibilities as artists and to incite them to flower as human beings. Students must learn to love what they do with their whole heart, their whole mind and their whole body.

From 1988 to 2002 Nelly and her daughter Marianna travelled extensively all over Europe, to teach seminars on Oriental dance, Pharaonic and Vivicorporeal Technique.

Nelly Mazloum's masterful teaching and personality has influenced and enthralled thousands of dancers, teachers and choreographers around the world. For more than half a century her main concern was the progress of her students. Her teaching was a celebration and an exaltation of Life and Dance.

1939 H Prosfigopouyla   
1940 Bein Narren   
1941 Sharazad   
1945 Char El Arousa   
1946 Chatem Souliman   
1947 Rousset El Bahr   
1948 Hedwet El Hosen   
1948 Ragel Wa You Nam   
1948 Bent El Maalem   
1949 El Lailou Lana   
1949 Fatma Marika Rachel   
1949 El Telmisa   
1950 Al Baal   
1956 El Namroud   
1957 Kilo 99  
1957 Ebn Hamido   

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