Monday, October 14, 2013

The Joyous Debke Dance!

The Joyous Debke Dance!

If you have experienced Middle Eastern Dance for any length of time or gone to an Arabic night club you have probably seen and experienced an energetic and fascinating dance called the Dabke. I refer to it as the most joyous dance in the world! 

According to one folk tradition, the dance originated in the Levant where houses were built from stone with a roof made of wood, straw and dirt. The dirt roof had to be compacted which required stomping the dirt hard in a uniform way to compact it evenly. This event of cooperation is called ta'awon and from here comes the word awneh, meaning "help." This developed into the song Ala Dalouna, or roughly translated "Let's go and help". The dabke and the rhythmic songs go together in an attempt to keep the work fun and useful.

I didn’t realize there were numerous ways to spell Dabke. I’d been spelling it “Debke”, which is one of many ways to spell it.

The word Dabke is also transliterated to"dabka","dabki", "dabkeh", "debke", "debkah", "debki", "debka" is an Arab folk dance native to the levant.

The dance is popular in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Bosnia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. A line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions. The line forms from right to left. The leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers. 

World Record Debke:
In August 2011, a group in a Lebanese village Dhour El Choueir, Lebanon set a new world record. Organized by Dhour El Choueir Summer Festival, a human chain of 5,050 was made and currently holds the world record.
Dhour El Choueir event broke the record set by Tollab, Lebanese Student Federation in Montreal, with the participation of "La Troupe Folklorique Les Chevaliers du Liban" that had made a human chain of 4,475 people dancing the dabke for more than five minutes straight at Montreal's Marcelin Wilson Park.
Tollab had itself broken a record of 2,743 set by a group of Israeli Arabs in Acre, Israel. An earlier record of 1,700 had been set in Toronto.

Guys doing the Debke!

Everybody doing the Dabke!
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