Articles/Do You Know Saudi Folklore Dances?

Do You Know Saudi Folklore Dances?

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13 SEP 2019


Source: Fatima Sidiya

Dances in Saudi Arabia were used in the previous time to raise the spirit of battlers before, during and after wars. Other dances are associated with seamen at both the eastern and western coasts while some are related to harvesting seasons. Currently, dances are to mark Saudi folklore and to demonstrate joy during various national and social occasions.

Ardah: a dance from the Central Region

Ardah is now inscribed in UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The dance has been known in Najd region. Men wearing special colorful costumes stand in two lines one facing the other. While carrying their swords these men start to perform the dance and they listen to a poet chanting and some colorful drummers add more pleasure to the folklore scene.  

Al-Daha: An ancient dance from the north 

In this dance known in the Northern Region men stand in one line. A man dances in the middle with his sword and a poet chants. It was a dance of war but later it became popular in different social occasions. It is distinguished by the harsh voice that men produce simultaneously which was used in the past to frighten enemies.

Western Region folklore dances

Majrour is a famous dance in the western region where men stand in two lines and the drummer sites in the middle, inspired by the rhythm some would dance, chant, and clap. Mizmar is another dance popular in the region played with sticks. The coastal city of Yanbu is also known for its “Yanbuawi” a dance performed by a group while one of them plays Symsimiya (lyre). This dance was associated with seamen.

Southern Region 

Al-Zamil is dance known in the south, in which a poet starts with two verses. The rhythm can be slow to indicate pride and to welcome guests or it can be played in speed to encourage worriers. Other famous dances in the region are: Damma, Khatwa, Masira and Azawi.

Eastern Region

This region has different folklore dances including Samri. Young men tend to sit on their knees and one of them starts singing. Another famous dance includes Farisa with men standing on the side and a man wears a horse like uniform and starts dancing. The region is also known for Fan Daq Al-Hab a dance that represents harvesting crops.