At the Sufi heart of the Nile
This show, which opens with a reel of film, takes us into the universe of dhikir and hadra (Sufi ceremonies) a universe which is unique in the Arab world thanks to the wealth of popular traditions in Upper Egypt.
A crude stage has been set up in a village square. A few wooden benches bracketed together, strings of bare bulbs for lighting….the Munshidin’s voice dominates, modulating unceasingly, accentuating emotion rather than intellectual formalism. His overriding aim is to communicate his feelings, he is striving for ecstasy. Opposite him, like warriors from an ancient tribe, turbaned men sway backwards and forwards and from side to side, it is the beginning of an intensified whirling of arms and shoulders. From uneven and gasping, their breathing goes out of synch to become exultant and expiatory.
With the singers Sheikh Hamed Ahmad, Sheikh Saoud Heminy, Sheikh Ramadan Abdelnabi, Sheikh Ahmed Abdelnabi, the musicians Ahmed Abdel Nabby Qawal (Qawal), Yasser Fathi Abdalla (oud), Aboubakr Mohamed Mourad (duff), Moussa Eldakkar Metwaly (tabla), Alaa Abdelnabi (Suffara), Abdel-Rehim Abdel-Sahour (duff), Elhamy Mohamed Mourad (riqq), the dancers Mahdy Hassan, Ahmed Shawar, Hamdy Desouky, Ashraf Abdelnabbi
Artistic direction: Alain Weber and Mouna Vidal
Images and videos: Aurélie Chauleur
translations: Hafida Lebastard