The Arabian Desert is one of the richest spots to experience the best Emirati culture, hospitality, traditions, mind-blowing entertainment, admired experiences, and culinary delights. One of them is the Tanoura dance performances that take place at in the desert camps in Dubai. Let us take you through the key highlight of the Tanoura dance.
What is Tanoura Dance?
This traditional form of Egyptian folk dance originated in Alexandria, dating back to the 20th century. The dance is performed by both men and women artists and involves spinning around a circle wearing a brightly colored skirt. Tanoura dance is derived from the Arabic word for ‘skirt.’ This dance form is a popular entertainment show at weddings and other celebrations in Egypt. This is a touristy attraction for the visitors to provide a glimpse of the beautiful culture and traditions within the region. This is a very common dance form practiced in Islamic countries like Turkey and Egypt, where it originated.
You need some serious talent to indulge in this dance form. This requires intense stamina and energy as the dancers keep spinning and dancing for several minutes. Some spin like a top, so fast that they sometimes become dizzy. Tanoura dance in Dubai is an expression of praising nature blessed with skill and gorgeous signs that affect our emotions in some form. The lead dancer in a Tanoura dance represents the sun, and the remaining dancers in the background represent the eight planets. The Tanoura dance can also be manipulated to represent other designs as well.
We recommend you carry your camera along on the Desert Safari Dubai, as these great dance forms can also be the highlight of your desert adventure.
Striking the Right Chord with the Audience
The Tanoura dance Dubai is a huge hit among locals and tourists who come to explore the region’s desert landscape. The artists wear vibrant, colorful costumes and perform traditional music. The shows provide an insight into the rich Emirati culture. The Tanoura dance form is spiritual and religious, aiming to reach inner peace and spiritual purity. Some dancers keep spinning for almost 30 minutes without stopping and displaying signs of dizziness.
Tanoura Dance History
The Tanoura dance is also referred to as the Sufi dance or the whirling dervish dance. The Sufi fraternities from the 12th century gave rise to a dance form called Tanoura dance when Sufi whirling came into prominence. The skirts that are part of the dance attire are crafted in Sufi to preserve this wonderful tradition. Despite several modern variations to cater to a global audience, the Tanoura dance still retains the key essence of Egyptian culture.
Costumes and Props
The costume plays a critical role in this tourist attraction, and creativity comes to the fore in a Tanoura dance in Dubai. The series of vibrant, colorful skirts follows the Sufi order while performing their intricate dance moves. The dancers infuse various light forms at the entrance to capture the full attention of the target audience. Night-time post sunset is considered the best time to observe the dancer spin to their full capacity as they work their magic around you.
The attire worn by the dancers is made from light materials like silk that allow them to move freely during their performances. The vibrant colors used in their costumes and props help enhance the overall spectacle of the dance show. Various props like swords and daggers display visual effects as they tangle and untangle themselves around the stage. The danger of using these dangerous props further adds to the excitement.
The dancer spinning demonstrates the idea of the world beginning at a central point only to end within the same spot as it moves circularly. Next, the lead dancer raises their right arm and points their left arm to demonstrate the unification of heaven and earth. They also believe that the dancer is trying to be light for rising to heaven. Finally, the lead dancer unites the dancers as he changes four different skirts towards the end during their skillful roundabout that symbolizes the four seasons and their anti-clockwise movement. This movement is inspired by the Kaaba, the Holy Shrine in Mecca.
The performance is incepted through a group of singers reciting old versions from ancient poetry to set the mood into nostalgia and sublimity. Then, they slowly and steadily start moving in their individual circles. The tone is well suited to demonstrate different instruments with varying Egyptian drums and the main instruments. The intensity and sound build up as the performance goes further, signifying a unified, harmonious melody portraying the fusion of beauty and unity together, becoming one with God.
In the performance’s final stage, only six older performers will occupy the main stage. The light dims in this stage as the dancers repeat the same utterance, “Allah,” repeatedly. The dance moves are vigorous, repeated circles and at full energy while holding up the skirts for more than 30-45 minutes of non-stop dance. Unfortunately, these energetic dance performances are often interrupted by the bewitched crowd.
It is said that the entire performance is split into three stages or milestones. The first stage comes as an introduction with various musical talents and their instruments. The second stage comes as a presentation dance that serves as a warm-up introduction to the skilled dancers, and lastly, the Tanoura dance takes center stage over the entire live performance. The dancers exhibit great skill and composure as they don colorful costumes and elevate the audience’s spirits. Therefore, it is best recommended during a night camp with your loved ones to experience the best Islamic culture that has existed for ages.
Other spots to Enjoy Tanoura dance Dubai
Placed in the heart of Dubai, this is undoubtedly the best spot to witness the skillful Tanoura dance performances. The colorful ambiance and the vibrant dancer skirts are rarely unique and distinctive in nature. You can see here the dancers move in repeated circles with uniform precision and grace. There are neighboring shops and stalls to explore, but the ambiance here is lively and hard to miss. Dancers perform vantage points when coming down into the crowd to interact with onlookers. The dancers are very calm, friendly, and welcoming. You can click selfies with them as they pose for photos and videos, giving an aesthetic boost to your insta stories and feed.
You can enjoy this traditional folk dance on a dhow cruise as well. The intimate rustic appeal of the dhow adds to its performance.
This dance is beautiful to behold as the dance form, and representation of various designs vary significantly as you witness this unique dance form at various destinations within Dubai.
It’s great fun to witness these skilled dancers perform magical stunts onboard during their performances.