Moroccan Dance – It is a summer evening. A warm gentle breeze flows through ones body. Night sky with only a few stars shining. Several lights on in the windows. Walking down a hill. There is a quietness along with stillness. Tilting your head up towards the right hill. You hear an Arabic musician playing a drum. It grabs you’re soul. A little further is an Arabic nightclub/café. When you enter it is filled with live music. Locals dancing on the floor. The stage has a band playing. A few girls dancing on stage with non stop shimmies.
Morocco is an Islamic State. With Arabic and Middle Eastern roots. Along with the Berber culture. Complimented by a European flavor. North tip of Africa. And borderline of Spain. At times you feel that you are driving through the Swiss Alps. Different colors for each city. Green is the color of Saudi Arabia, which represents peace. Blue is the color of Fez. A Hispanic-Arabic spiritual city. Filled with art, and mystery. Morocco is known for their beautiful hand made carpets. Pottery as well. Each one is different and comes from within one’s own creativity and not from a book. People are sweet and very friendly. They will go out of their way for anyone. Inviting one in for tea. When a Moroccan lifts the tea pot up high. They are blessing their guest and friend with prosperity. Cats are a favorite pet there.
Dance and music is very important. Enhancing their everyday lives. Important celebrations as marriage, work, harvest and even war. The sound of prayer through the streets is sung by the muezzin, from the top of the mosque’s minaret. It has such spiritual power sung rather than read from a book. In the desert,countryside or city. Each tribe has their own style and specific colors. Dance and music is strongly linked with poetry. As well as the beauty of the Arabic language. Spoken differently in Cairo, Egypt. (Due to the change in dialect). From any city in the Middle East. The language is poetry and art in itself. One can communicate with the Arabic writing, to anyone in the Middle East. That stays the same in any country. Arabic is the official language in Morocco. Moroccans are also fluent in Berber, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Japanese.
North African Berber Festival of the Brides is celebrated in the month of September. Male and females attend the festival in hopes of finding a new partner. Just a few days of this custom. Marriages are arranged to ease a divorce. Most famous ceremony in the Atlas Mountains. A royal bride in Marrakech is dressed in layers of Headdresses and Robes. This special ritual could go one for several hours. As long as three. The bride must sit still. Due to the heavily decorated dress. It is hard to move.
Some dances have a long history. And certain prayers, with the combination of incense are incorporated to enhance movements and emotions, with charismatic and spiritual energy. Celebrating a particular ritual. Well known for a season.
There are so many Moroccan Folklore dances. Here are just a few:
The Tissint: Orginates from the South of Agadir. Female and male dancers perform the dance of the dagger. Which some still believe is an ancient religious dance and symbolic. Still today a big part of marriage ceremonies. Female and male dance to a very rapid rhythm. A young lad and a girl do a duet away from the circle created. The lad holding a dagger spins around the girl. Backs up from her then moves forward. The two are now facing each other. Making small steps. He then raises the dagger and proceeds to put it around the neck of the young girl. Gently the lad then falls to his knees.
The Gnaouas: An African dance. Acrobatic skills are performed. Lots of high jumps. Very intense. Accompanied by large drums, also iron castanets. Glass beads and cowrie shells are worn by the dancers to enhance holistic and magical occurrences. The ornaments also state what origin the dancer is from.
The Fantasia: This is a remarkable display of horsemanship. When the men perform wonderful acrobatic feats. Lining up side by side. Leaping off of the horse. Tumbling upside down on one side of the horse. Then doing the ame on the side. (Non-stop). Still considered a war dance. Proceeding in a perfect synchronized gallop. Firing from their rifles aka Moukhala.
The Guedra: Originates from Southern Morocco. Female dancer (a solo) is on her knees. Draped completely in a black veil. Only her head is revealed. Her eyes stay closed. A pulsating rhythm builds up. Accompanied by a drum. Her fingers move in a snake weaving style. She sways like a pendulum. The veil is finally removed and her body slides down until it suddenly collapses. Hypnotizing anyone watching.
The Taskiouine: From the High Atlas. Very close to Quarzazate. A warrior dance. Due to all male dancers performing this. Wearing white turbans and tunics. On their shoulders are powder-horns. Accompanied by tambourines. Lined up side by side. Shoulder to shoulder. Clapping hands and feet. Their whole body shakes, and then suddenly stops.
The Awash: Also from the Hight Atlas near Qaurazazate. Females gathering around making a circle. (Dressed in multicolored robes standing still). Males sit around a fire in the center. Suddenly a strong cry is led out. Drums are beating very strong. Males start a song. Females join in. Both sway to the rhythm in a very slow manner. Rhythm eventually grows to a faster beat until the end.
The Quais: Considered a Ballet. This dance is very graceful. Observing the couplets alternating the dance movements is a beautiful site to see. Accompanied by ancient Middle Eastern music. Dancers also have small finger symbols on their fingers. Which add to the rhythm.
The Houara: Comes from Agadir, near Inezgane. A group of male and females gather around making a circle. And start dancing, creating a spiritual and vivacious energy in the air. One or two dancers who have really mastered their knowledge and skills of this particular dance leave the circle, to perform a solo. The rhythm starts to get stronger. With a brisk energy a female enters the center. Creating a non stop whirling with a strong force-trance like state. No one in an audience walks away from viewing this dance without feeling a new awakening. The Houara is the most sensational dance in Moroccan folklore.
The Ahidous: Originates from the Atlas Haidous. Both male and females dance and sing in a large circle. Standing side by side. Shoulder to shoulder. They sing and undulate. Accompanied by tambourines. Creating a very joyful feeling. This dance is considered very sacred. Moroccans are expressing their souls and appreciation of a particular ceremony.
Mocorro is so wonderful in diversity. No matter where you visit. There is always music playing. Someone dancing. Sounds of fingers symbols or drums to be heard. Making it unique.