“Do you know where to find people who can teach two professional dancers how to dance Dabke?” That was the question I got in a phone call from a production team member of the Dutch broadcasting station KRO-NCRV last spring.
My thoughts went back to the new years celebration where I saw this Dabke dance group performing in their traditional Jordanian costumes, dancing on live music! Fadi got them in touch with the Dutchies and a few months later this group showed Jan Kooijman and Ish Ait Hamout the first moves of Dabke in the beautiful surroundings of Little Petra.
Dabke is a traditional folk dance of the levant, performed at weddings and other festive celebrations by both men and women. The meaning of Dabke in Arabic is ‘stamping of the feet’. There is a raas (‘head’) or lawweeh (‘waver’) who takes the lead and improvises and shows off with his or her special moves. The rest is following by holding each others hands and dancing their feet off! It’s a strenuous dance and the stronger your legs, the better your moves can be!