Greek dance historian Prof Dr Alkis Raftis presently heads the International Dance Council (CID) at UNESCO, Paris. Considered a leading authority on dance in Greece, he is well-known for his books on dance history.
CID is the official umbrella organisation for all forms of dance in all countries of the world. With the formation of the Muscat section of CID in April 2017, the President has chalked out concrete plans for its future.
Prof Raftis expects the Muscat Section to act as a pioneer within the area and incite other cities in the Gulf to come out with their own section. “Each section deals with wider issues beyond the scope of each dance school or dance company, such as organising festivals, lectures, exhibitions, workshops, ceremonies, trips abroad for their members, inviting teachers from other countries, celebrating Dance Day, presenting dance programmes on TV and others.”
As President of the Athens-based Dora Stratou Dance Theatre and Company since 1987, Prof Raftis looks forward to include traditional forms of Oman dance.
He says: “All forms of dance should be included in a section. Traditional Omani dance is practically unknown outside the Sultanate and deserves to be presented to a wider global audience. Dance is the first glimpse one gets of another culture while other subjects follow.”
Oman’s performance at the Athens Congress in July 2017 came in for high praise. “It was for the first time the Sultanate performed at a World Congress so everyone was curious to watch their performance and meet the performers.”