BEL LEIL AL ZAMAN – The Nile Café – Egypt
Tribute to the Baladi culture of the Nile
In collaboration with the French Institute in Fes
The Boujloud Cinema with its 1950s charm has been converted into a small village café for festive events for children and their parents.
Here we are at Abou Djoud, on the banks of the Nile near Luxor, our eyes and ears wide open for the traditions of Upper Egypt. Tea, shisha, garlands, all a familiar scene on saint’s days … and look! Here are the Musicians of the Nile!
With their invigorating spontaneity, the Saïdi musicians ensure a lively and jovial traditional world and are the timeless representatives of the mythical river. They are inheritors of the oral tradition, experts in the rababah, the fiddle made with horsehair, coconut and fish skin from the Nile, they tell the stories. They know how to tell the tale, with a flurry of trills, of the marvels of a star-studded night or more generally, of daily life through simple poetry rich in innuendo: one goes to the ‘market of love’, the train symbolises distance, and sugar cane, sweetness.
For the Festival, Mohamed Mourad, patriarch of the Musicians of the Nile used to touring the world, presents some of the youngest members of his family.
Two teenagers from Abou Djoud perform the tanoura dance originally from the Mevlevi (or Mawlawiya in Arabic) Sufi order, from which come the whirling dervishes of Konya and Aleppo. During his ecstatic turning, a truly cosmic incantation, the dancer removes multi-coloured layers of clothing like the four seasons. His right arm is held up to the sky and the left stretched down to the ground symbolising the meeting of the elements.
We will also watch the traditional baton dance (Raks Al-Tahtib) and some performances by the magician and illusionist Mohammed Mustafa Bakhit.