Palestinian Dabke: at Harvard

L started doing Dabke quite a few years ago in Boston. She and her friends in Boston formed a Dabke troupe called Zeitoun and they did several performances. Zeitoun has not performed together for a while, but one former Zeitoun member, Zaki, has done an awesome job teaching this traditional Palestinian (and Arab) dance to some new students at Harvard. Below is a video of his amateur troupe performing at Harvard last weekend. It is really nice to see Palestinian culture being celebrated and participated in by people in Boston.

Dabke is a beautiful dance! It is a folk line dance, performed by either just men, just women, both together. Its is als a communal dance, done at wedding, celebrations, and other occasions. It was the most popular dance at my wedding! It is a performance dance, as well as a participatory dance. While it is performed all over the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia), I have most experience watching the Palestinian version of this dance. Some of the most famous internationally famous dabke troupes today include Ibdaa, Sareyyet Ramallah, and El-Funoun (see a short video below – I have seen them perform and they rock), all based in Palestine.

Dabke music is so awesome, so rhythmic, so powerful – and then the stomping of the feet in rythm. I love it! It just so happens that Zaki also chose one of my favorite Dabke music to perform to…

The leader plays an important role in Dabke (which Zaki did for his troupe). According to a post in Wikipedia:

The Dabke leader is supposed to be like a tree, with arms in the air, a proud and upright trunk, and feet that stomp the ground in rhythm, emphasizing their connection to their land. The meaning of “dabke” in Arabic is “stomping of the feet,” and stomping, as well as jumping and kicking, are moves that characterize the dabke in a unique manner. The leader, called raas (meaning “head”) or “lawwih” (meaning “waver”), is allowed to improvise on the type of dabke being danced, and he or she would also be twirling a handkerchief or string of beads known as a masbha (similar to a rosary), while the rest of the dancers keep the rhythm. The dancers also use vocalizations to show energy and to punctuate the rhythm. Many learn dabke as children, while others perform it as part of professional dance troupes.

Zaki’s troupe!

El Funoun Palestinian Dabke Troupe

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19 Responses to Palestinian Dabke: at Harvard

  1. hiba says:

    if your intrested in dabkeh vedios let me know and i’ll send u some for palestenian folklore ” dabkeh” done by alquds group fpr palestenian folklore

  2. hiba says:

    if your intrested in dabkeh vedios let me know and i’ll send u some dabkeh done by alquds group fpr palestenian folklore

  3. .... says:

    thats nicee:)

  4. mike says:

    hi i m from montreal and i m the VP of a dabke group and we wanted to know if you guys were interesseted to come to a show to witch we are inviting alot of groups across canada and the US so if you are interesseted contact me me email is lebz__18@hotmail.com

    • Al Quds Group says:

      We have performed internationally and will always be happy for new opportunities, please follow our pages to know more about us.
      Facebook: facebook.com/alqudsgroup
      Twitter: @qudsgroup
      Instagram: @alqudsgroup
      Youtube: youtube.com/alqudsgroup
      Or contact us on quds.group@gmail.com

  5. Ammar says:

    good job guys.
    if you are intrested in making a show, or be part of one in univesity of mass lowell. plz let me know.
    do you offer any debkeh classes?
    plz contact me at ammarsarabi@yahoo.com.
    thanks

    • Al Quds Group says:

      We have performed internationally and will always be happy for new opportunities, please follow our pages to know more about us.
      Facebook: facebook.com/alqudsgroup
      Twitter: @qudsgroup
      Instagram: @alqudsgroup
      Youtube: youtube.com/alqudsgroup
      Or contact us on quds.group@gmail.com

  6. Reinsch says:

    Thank you admin good work.

  7. It’s good that you took your time to write all this up; it’s inspiring to read another’s point of view. I appreciate your work on this post, and I’ll revisit for more information.

  8. Seryak says:

    wah mantab sob langsung tak coba aja dech.. blog deraibali

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  10. Laura S. says:

    I’m looking for some Debke dancers to perform at Penn State University, send me a video if you are interested. Pay is involved. Email me at lbs5066@psu.edu

    • Al Quds Group says:

      We have performed internationally and will always be happy for new opportunities, please follow our pages to know more about us.
      Facebook: facebook.com/alqudsgroup
      Twitter: @qudsgroup
      Instagram: @alqudsgroup
      Youtube: youtube.com/alqudsgroup
      Or contact us on quds.group@gmail.com

  11. Dana J. says:

    I’m also looking for a dabkeh group to perform on April 1st in Boston. It is for the Boston Undergraduate Arab Social. Please do reply.
    danabolst@gmail.com

    • Al Quds Group says:

      We have performed internationally and will always be happy for new opportunities, please follow our pages to know more about us.
      Facebook: facebook.com/alqudsgroup
      Twitter: @qudsgroup
      Instagram: @alqudsgroup
      Youtube: youtube.com/alqudsgroup
      Or contact us on quds.group@gmail.com

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  14. Salwa Sousou says:

    Iam loking for debkeh group to perform at a wedding in San francisco
    Please reply

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