Cairo: Veteran Egyptian choreographer, dancer and actor Mahmoud Reda, who made history in folk dances, died Friday, the Egyptian actors’ union said. He was 89.
Reda died from age-related illness, according to media reports.
He is fondly remembered for co-founding an Egyptian group for folk dance named after his family. In the late 1950s, Mahmoud and his brother Ali launched the Reda Troupe for Folk Dances staging shows inspired by a diversity of local dances and costumes in lower and upper Egypt.
When it made its debut, the group comprised 26 male and female performers as well as 13 musicians. The group soon soared to renown.
In 1961, a republican decree was issued, making the Reda Troupe an affiliate of the Culture Ministry. The group has gained wide popularity in Egypt and starred in several popular Egyptian musicals including the “Mid-Year Holiday” and “Love in the Karnak” – the latter is set in Egypt’s world-famed ancient city of Luxor.
The Egyptian Actors’ Syndicate eulogised Reda, calling him a “legend of folk dance”.
“Egyptian, Arab and world art has lost the legend of folk dance Mahmoud Reda who represented well his country on several international artistic arenas,” the union said in a statement.
Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdul Dayam mourned his death, too. “He was one of folk art legends. His choreography expressed distinct spirit of Egyptian folk arts,” the minister said in a statement.
Reda is survived by his daughter Sherin, who is a celebrated film and TV actress.