Like all countries arround the world, Lebanon too has its cultural aspects and one of them is Dabke, their traditional dance.
On which occasions do they practice Dabke ?
First of all, there are the professional Dabke dancers, who may compete in regional or international competitions, but also ones who sell their services for all types of events.
They usually wear traditional clothing which varies depending on the countries (since Dabke is a folk dance with its own particularities in countries like Palestine, Syria or Irak for example).
Then of course, all people there know the basic steps from kids to grand-parents ! It’s a well anchored part of their culture, partly representing the importance of being united.
There is always a good occasion for this dance, may it be Weddings, birthdays or any type of happy celebration really. Sometimes even a simple family or friend gathering, can finish in a flamboyant Dabke !
It is always accompagnied by a specific type of Dabke song (you can check it out in the video below) or by the traditional drums.
How is it organised ?
1 – The Followers: There are basic steps that everyone follows, it’s quite easy to catch (I’ll put a link below if ever you’d like to try it out yourself 😉 ).
2 – The Leaders: There is always someone leading the dance, this person usually does the most physical and “artistic” moves, giving the rythm to the followers. You’ll see the lead dancer holding in his free hand, something that he twirls around in the air (usually a masbaha, piece of cloth or a cane).
3- It’s a dance where everybody can join in, each person is linked by holding hands in a certain way and usually dancing in a circular motion. Also the key to a good Dabke, is letting your moves sink into the rythm of the music or drums, otherwise it can affect all the rest of the dancers if you’re out of sink.
Interesting Facts :
This dance finds its origins in the times when mud was used to build the flat rooftops of houses, together with branches. whenever the roof would crack, people would join to repair these mud cracks by doing what is now : Dabke steps.
Whereas amongst most western people, men are usually a little shy about showing their dance moves, you’ll find that when in Lebanon men are out there in seconds full of enthusiasm ! Ladies of course also enjoy and join in.
My experience ?
If you are wondering, yes I do know the basic steps ! Although I was a bit confused at first, you get the system pretty quickly 🙂 I have also witnessed it many times during the types of celebrations mentioned above, and I must say it lifts the atmosphere and usually puts a smile on everyone’s face, even the ones that’d rather sit back.
Don’t hesitate to check out the links below links to get a vision of what it looks like and learn:
- Video explaining the basic steps that I’ve personally seen/used (you can look at their other videos to know more) //www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VEDOLVXwkk
- This video will show some pretty good dabke performances, enjoy. 🙂 //www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6fUVWzh_J4&index=5&list=RDtZcuhZa0rns
Don’t hesitate to comment or let me know what else you’d like to discover ! Also check out my other articles if you want to learn more tips and secrets on Lebanon.
♦ See you soon ♦