I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Flying Fingers and Twirling Feet
Our friends living here in Cairo always
take any of their guests from Canada to see the El-Tanoura Troupe, so
they have probably seen it at least 10 times, but when they took us,
they still tried to fill their camera memory card with pictures. Yes
that is how good this show is.
Commonly called a “Whirling Dervish”
show, it is actually a mixed dance and music performance. Housed in
the formally open courtyard of a beautiful old school, you are
surrounded with ancient Egyptian architecture while you wait for the
However, getting into the show is a big
part of the adventure. Situated on a back street, you first have to
navigate through street vendors, taxies, motorcycles and pedestrians
all vying for spots on the very narrow street. The entrance to buy
tickets (No pre-sales for the limited seats) is down slippery ancient
stone steps crowded with a mix of tourists and locals. I quickly
found that the usual “Canadian” attitude of “Oh, I'm sorry,
were you ahead of me?” had to be replaced with an adoption of the
local aggressive use of elbows and attitude to force your way to the
front. Otherwise we would have been left out on the steps. We also
had the advantage of our friends cane wielding mother who managed to
find a nice seat up front and then convinced them to allow her
companions to sit with her.
The duel . . .
The show started with a brilliant drum
and Egyptian instrument band, including an entertaining duel between
a drummer and a castanet player. Then the first dancer came out.
These Whirling Dervishes are dressed in bright colours and wear long
heavy multi-level “Skirts” which when the begin to spin flair out
around them. What is amazing about these dancers is that they twirl
in one direction for up to 30 minutes without stopping, constantly
spinning their skirts out around them in brilliant patterns, up,
down, sideways and over their heads. The outfits feature multiple
layers and during the show, they detach one layer and spin it over
their heads creating a double layer of skirt. This first dancer spun
for a full 25 minutes (we were told to time him). And some patrons
actually thought the show was over and left to avoid the crush
They should have stayed; the next act
featured three dancers in even more elaborate outfits, spinning any
twirling around the stage among the drummers who were also spinning
and dancing. It really was an amazing performance and I took over 100
photos, so here are a few. Also, you might want to check out a
YouTube video of the performance El-Tanoura Troupe, WekaletEl-Ghouri.