The generals are long dead, MiGs are rusting across Egypt, but the legacy of President Gamal Abdel Nasser's dalliance with the Soviet Union survived the fall of Communism. The first Egyptian dancers studied at the Bolshoi in Moscow in 1963. The first public ballet performance took place in Cairo in 1966. The old royal opera house burned down in 1971, and was replaced by a multi-storey car park. After the fall of Communism, trainers and musicians returned from the former Soviet Union to Egypt. Some never left.

The Ballet Academy has survived five decades, four presidents, two wars, a revolution, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian instructors mix Russian with French and remember their former days in the USSR. Pianists from the former USSR say it is like a little Soviet Union here. The ghost never left the academy.

Egypt 2013