Sunday, 25 Jul 2021
Omani folk dance performances are a common sight at both Muscat Festival venues.

Poetry, efficiency, dance and drums

However, a well-liked Omani folk dance troupe, Nakhal-primarily based Al Wafa, is garnering a lot of interest at the Naseem Gardens for its conventional dance and poetry efficiency.

The 35-member troupe performs mostly two types, Al’azi and Al Razfa. Al’azi is a genre of sung poetry performed in the northern regions of Oman and constitutes 1 of the main expressions of the country’s cultural and musical identity. It requires the kind of a poetry contest punctuated by sword and step movements and poetic exchanges among a singer poet and a choir.

Al Razfa, on the other hand, is performed by guys of all ages and classes throughout social occasions, such as weddings and national festivals. Male performers kind two facing lines with dancers filling the space among. Led by the principal singer, the two rows develop a dual chorus, singing chants in an anti-phonal manner to the accompaniment of drums and other instruments. Many chants are verses of conventional Nabati poetry, very carefully chosen to match the occasion. The dancers execute choreographed movements to the music although holding wooden replica of rifles in their hands.

One could also use sticks in spot of the rifles as properties, stated Khalid bin Saif bin Hamad al Hadrami, the head of the group. “Our band was founded in 2001. Our youngest dancer is just seven years old and the oldest is 65 years. We have inherited this art form from our ancestors and want to keep it alive as a mark of respect. We train two hours every day to prepare for any ceremony.”

Hadrami stated their troupe does not leave out any opportunity to execute. “We participate in all occasions such as weddings and festivals such as Muscat Festival, Salalah Tourism Festival during the khareef season. We even perform in some other Gulf countries such as the UAE.”

Hadrami stated that they make sure that the young generation as well discover this performing art kind so that it lives on. “Tourists come from Europe to see us. We also offer workshops in schools to teach students. We are looking for financial support so that we can travel to different countries and showcase Oman in the best possible way. This will help us ensure that this art form does not die with us.”

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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