Rhoum El Bakkali Ensemble


Rhoum El Bakkali Ensemble
Sufi songs
on Tour
10 artists on stage

Sayda Rahoum Bekkali, leader

Sanaa Kallouch, voice & percussions
Raouya Oulad Ali, voice & percussions
Hanan Azzouz, voice & percussions
Latifa Serhani, voice & percussions
Nessrine Aoulad-Haidour, voice & percussions
Badia El-Bakkali, voice & percussions
Laila El Ghazouani, voice & percussions
Rahma Barhoun, voice & percussions
Hasnaa Kharchouch, voice & percussions

Text: Laurent Aubert, director of Ateliers d'ethnomusicologie de Genève - ADEM

The tradition of popular songs from this area is very rich in style and includes a large repertoire. Essentially a traditional art form, it combines poetry, song and rhythm that together are known as the art of Hadra (from the word hodour meaning presence). This has its origin in Sufi culture and is practised in a spiritual context by the religious brotherhoods, comprising invocations of praise and prayer by which a state of trance can be attained. This is thought to be the result of divine presence.

The art of Hadra has been handed down in Chaouen from mothers and grandmothers, right back to Saint Cherifa Lalla Hiba Bekkalia. She was connected with the Bekkalia Zawiya (sanctuary) in the village of Douar Haraïk , home of the Ghzaoua tribe. This Sufi brotherhood, which goes back to the 16 th century (10 th century in Islam), had as its spiritual leaders the masters Sidi Ali Haj Bekkali, his son Sidi Mohamed El Haj, Sidi Ali Berreyssoul and Sidi Yahia Alhindi. It left a significant legacy of religious poems, invocations and popular songs.

This art can be found today in Moussems, the anniversaries and festivities, and especially the Mouloud Moussem (birthday of the Prophet Mohamed).

Hadra is fascinating as much for its poetry and its melodies as for the beauty of its form and its choreography, where the movements of the women who perform it have great beauty. Beginning with a respectful and masterful air, the Hadra gradually integrates rhythmic movements which become more and more lively, accompanied by the daf drums and the ululations of the women until it reaches the ecstatic climax of the performance, which is the hadra itself.

Mme Rahoum Bekkali was the first Moroccan woman to win first prize in the theory of music, and honours for Moroccan music. She has taken part in many national cultural events and participated in arts forums in the United States .

Her ensemble, definitively named Les Sœurs de l’Art Traditionel (the Traditional Arts Sisters), is dedicated to conserving this ancient heritage of Sufism and popular tradition to which they have melded Arab-Andalusian influences as well as the Samaa’ songs. This makes for a blend of creativity as well as originality. The ensemble members are also determined to spread this art and give it new life among the younger generation of girls and women of Chaouen.


Konya International Mystic Music Festival (TU), Sommarscen - Malmö (SWE), Palais des Beaux Arts - Bruxelles (BE), Cité de la Musique - Paris (FR), Festival Les Orientales (FR)

Promotion Artiste

Demo Video


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