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Middle Eastern Line Dancing

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DEBKE, defined:

From liner notes of Karim Nagi's Arab FolkDance DVD:
DEBKE is a line and formation dance found in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq (under the name Chobie). The dance is a proud, communal dance done at weddings, parties, theatrical plays, and even social protests. The movements consist largely of walking steps, leaning, jumping, feet shuffling, kicks and unison stomps.

From Oriental

Debke (pronounced "DEB kee") is ... executed in a semi-circle with participants holding hands. The torso is held upright and the legs/feet are active. Participants may make forward stomps, simple progressive steps, repeated knee bends, a combined leap and kick and the marking of a rhythmic pattern with one foot...It is done by both genders, in women only, men only, or mixed lines, depending on local tradition.

From Wikipedia:

Dabke ( also transliterated dabka,dabki and dabkeh) is an Arab folk dance native to the Levant countries only. It is popular in several Arab countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine,Northern Saudi Arabia, Hatay (a city of Turkey), Syrian coast, and among the Assyrians of Iraq. A line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions. The leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers.


Page seven of musician Simon Shaheen's Educator's Resource Guide has a one-page intro to Debke.

Dabka steps chart by Karim Nagi, a popular American-Egyptian musician and folk dancer who teaches and performs internationally. Debke instruction is included in his dvd, ARAB FOLK DANCE : Dabke, Khaliji, Saidi & Sufi.


Assi Al Helani produces a lot of popular debke music. Here we have him singing while a kick-ass debke group (probably Hayakel-Baalbeck)(including a drummer who does Turkish drops) performs behind him.

Assi Al Helani sings while members of a professional debke group, Hayakel-Baalbeck, come out on stage and do debke-like solos.

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