Wedding dances bring out emotion both from the dancers and those who watch them. This video is a perfect example, with a Lebanese family performing the Dabke dance at a wedding ceremony in Calgary, Alberta in Canada.
Dabke is an Arab folk dance, where the performers form a line and move on a circular path. It’s very popular at weddings and other festive occasions. It’s really heartwarming seeing a family dancing together like this one. It shows how united they are. This type of event strengthens a family’s relationship.
In 2011, a line of 5,050 people lined up for a single, huge, world-record setting Dabke dance in a Lebanese village Dhour El Choueir, Lebanon.
One folk tradition says the dance originated when houses were built from stone with straw and dirt roofs—which needed to be compacted via hard stomping.
The family members would work together to stomp the dirt tightly in, and making it an entertaining piece of work turned into this dance.
Today, there are different kinds of songs for different types of dabke dances, depending on whether it’s for a group of women, or men, for a wedding, or for some other occasion.
Some of the most popular song genres are Dal Ouna, Al Jafra, Al Dahiyya, and Zareef il-Tool.
The music for these dances almost always include a lute-like instrument, a sort of reed clarinet (often a mijwiz), and a small hand-drum like the one in the photo above. These “tablah” hand drums are also known as a durbakke, and sometimes smaller rambourine-like drums are used as well.