Stories< Back to stories Share your story with us
Tanoura in Cairo
A swirl of color and brightness radiates in the historic district of Khan El Khalili in Cairo. In a wakala dating from the 16th century, dancers pay tribute to the Sufi tradition. Spiritual discipline from the brotherhood of the whirling Dervishes founded by Djalâl ad-Dîn Rûmî in Turkey, this dance is a show in Egypt. Called Tanoura, the translation of the skirt in Turkish, the performance is accomplished by professional dancers. Contrary to the Turkish tradition where white prevails, the skirt is colorful with ornaments from Islamic art. However, in spite of these differences, the dancers also go into a trance: following the beat of the drum, they spin round without stopping. In this state, they exemplify the Rumi words: “Dance in the middle of the fighting”. When the show is close to the end, the dancers seem to come smoothly back to earth with a happy expression on their faces.