Hanan Oriental Dance Group was founded by the Swedish dancer and choreographer Hanan (Hanna Thorstensen) in 2009. The group has gained recognition both nationally and internationally and has since grown very popular due to their broad repertoire of traditional Arabic folklore and modern oriental dance.
In May 2013, Hanan Group won the prestigious international award in the category Folklore Group Competition at Boulevard Theatre in Stockholm. Later that year the group was invited to Jordan as the only non-Arabic dance troupe to perform in one of the country’s biggest annual folklore festival (International Homeland Loyalty Festival for Culture and Arts) organized by the Ministry of Culture. This lead to media coverage and was broadcasted by several big news channels like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabia, and the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.
For the past few years the group has been invited to perform in many international festivals such as Heshk Beshk Oriental Dance festival in Venice, Italy, and at the opening ceremony for Oriental Passion Festival in Athens, Greece.
Hanan Group has also been invited to represent Egypt in the third Pudong Lujiazui International Folk Fitness Dance Conference in October 2014 which is broadcasted to over 22 million viewers from Shanghai.
Nationally Hanan Group performs regularly at various cultural events, festivals and openings. For example the RIX FM festival and TV4’s GrannYran together with the Swedish rapper Behrang Miri, the opening of the Malmö City Tunnel and performances during the Eurovision Song Contest Village. Other recurrent event the group takes part in is the annual Malmö Festival, Malmö Arab Film Festival and Stockholm Belly Dance Festival.
Several members in Hanan Group are also active members in other dance troupes such as the Iraqi folklore dance company Enkidu under the direction of Mohanned Hawaz, and the Indian Bollywood ensemble Bollywood Showgirls under the direction of Pooja Shetty Singh.