Folkloric arts and dances attracted national, Arab and non-Arab visitors and lovers of heritage and music since the launch day of the 13th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days.
Visitors in various locations in the Heritage Area of the Heart of Sharjah spent hours enjoying the folkloric dances including Alayala, Al Maled, Al Souma, Al Tarej, Al Razeef and Al Arda, in addition to other colourful forms of folk arts that have proven to be a major source of attraction.
Khawla Al Shamsi, general coordinator, Sharjah Heritage Days, said: "Folkloric arts and dances are regularly presented at Sharjah Heritage Days. They are a major source of attraction and appeal to large crowds of UAE national and non-national visitors who move from one location to another to take pictures and shoot videos that capture memories, moments, movements, sounds and charming music delightful to all ears.
"We are always keen on presenting diverse forms of colourful folkloric arts and dances in different locations of the event, be it the Heart of Sharjah or the Eastern and Middle Districts. We know that UAE nationals and visitors enjoy folklore and we provide all information and details of each dance,” she added.
As soon as folkloric music, dances and songs end, watchers rush to ask about the words, tunes and meanings, exploring more about Al Razeef or Al Ayala. A visitor who spent his day watching the enjoyable dances in the public area, the mountain and Bedouin environments said he would come daily to continue exploring the new treasure and the rich world of folkloric arts and music.
"When someone watches Al Ayala, for example, we do not only tell him the name of the dance but make it a point to explain its full meaning. As you know, it is a collective art replete with dancing, singing and music, involving players of drums, tabors, traditional Twaissat and brass instruments, and singers. State officials are keen on highlighting it as it is a huge embodiment of local history and art. It is an Arab dance of war or pre-war victory,” Khawla explained.
Al Razeef, she added, is a collective, spontaneous non-instrumental Bedouin performance presented with great enthusiasm and eloquent classical Arabic language in Bedouin weddings. Al Razeef is one of the most prominent arts in the GCC, and it frequently recites poems of pride and chivalry and some love songs.
Also, Al Arda, is an authentic Arab urban art simulating Al Ayala folkloric dance to a large extent, using different musical instruments and rhythms. Like Al Ayala, the dance is performed in the same sort of events with similar chanting system and singers standing in two rows carrying swords. Yet, it is composed of triple rhythms and uses special extra instruments like Al Kaser, Al Rahmani, Tarat (tambourines) and brass instruments.
Khawla pointed out that Al Tarej is a consoling tune to a traveller on desolated roads, where he improvises his own melodies similar to the famous form of art in other Arab countries called Al Mawal. Poems describe nature, life and public events, sung in charming tunes soothing to the ears and souls.
Al Yola , Khawla said, is a popular authentic and colourful Bedouin dance and a derivative of Al Ayala. Appealing to the young UAE national generation, the dance is a public display of courage and chivalry that has been developed to include performances with riffles accompanied by modern rhythms and enthusiastic songs.
Al Souma, on the other hand, is an ancient UAE art performed collectively in a circle to the rhythms of two drums, traditionally known as Al Kosar and Al Rahmani. The dance, starting with clapping hands and charming movements, is often presented on special occasions and stopovers after long travel, Khawla explained.
"All these folkloric dances and arts are performed during the Sharjah Heritage Days and were presented during the opening ceremony attended by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, on April 1,” Khawla stressed.
"They are a major attraction of the event and are aimed at acquainting all with the authenticity and distinction of UAE folkloric arts filled with musical, artistic and poetic innovation. The dances and arts, a major component of the UAE national identity, represent a variety of local environments — Bedouin, mountains, marine and urban life,” she added.
Source: Khaleej Times