Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Al Ain to host cultural programme of performances and workshops throughout November

Highlights include a military band performance, tours to historic houses and traditional dances at the Al Ain Palace Museum

The Emirati folkdance Al-Ayyalah will be performed in Al Ain for the programme. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi
The Emirati folkdance Al-Ayyalah will be performed in Al Ain for the programme. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi

This month, Al Ain is hosting a series of cultural events and workshops that highlight Emirati tradition and explore performing arts from around the world. Developed by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the initiatives will be held in various historic sites in Al Ain, including the Jahili Fort, which was built in the 1890s and became the home of the Al Nahyan family, and Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Military band performance at Al Jahili Fort

The events kick off on November 10 with a military band performance at the historic Al Jahili Fort. Members of the Abu Dhabi police will showcase their skills with bagpipes and drums, which are usually reserved for honouring royalty and dignitaries during official visits.

My Old House programme

This recurring programme takes visitors on guided tours of historic homes in Al Ain, exploring their architectural features and personal stories of its former residents. From November 17 to 24, there will be daily tours of Colonel Juma bin Rahma Al Darmaki’s house, one of the oldest in the Hili district.

Events at Qasr Al Muwaiji

Learn about old Emirati ways of life at Qasr Al Muwaiji’s Characters from the 20th Century, which stages silent artistic performances depicting everyday scenes from the 1900s. The performance takes place on November 17.

Qasr Al Muwaiji’s regular programming continues this month, with ‘Characters from the 20th Century’ on Sunday, November 17 and the Royal Bisht workshop on Tuesday, November 19. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi
Qasr Al Muwaiji’s regular programming continues this month, with ‘Characters from the 20th Century’ on Sunday, November 17 and the Royal Bisht workshop on Tuesday, November 19. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi

On November 19, a Royal Bisht workshop will look into the history of the royal garment, often worn by UAE rulers, and what the different patterns on the textile signify. The garment-makers will then take visitors through practical sewing lessons.

Cultural Connection

The Al Ain Palace Museum will host a programme called Cultural Connection, which focuses on performing arts from around the world.

Traditional dances from the UAE, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Russia, India and China, as well as from regions of Africa will be performed from November 21 to 22. These include the centuries-old Emirati dances Al Azi and Al Ayyala, which have been included in the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Performed by men, Al Azi is a traditional poetry recital without musical accompaniment. A poet leads the chorus, reciting lines of poetry, proverbs and sayings. Al Ayyala also involves poetic chanting, with two rows of performers moving in unison to drum music. In both performances, men often carry sticks that represent spears or swords.

Al Ain Palace Museum to host ‘Cultural Connection’, a series of cultural activities and workshops, from November 22 to 23. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi
Al Ain Palace Museum to host ‘Cultural Connection’, a series of cultural activities and workshops, from November 22 to 23. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi

Dances from Egypt such as the Tahtib or "Cane Dance" and Tannoura will also be staged. The Tahtib is typically danced during weddings as a form of celebration, while the Tannoura is a dance of praise, with performers moving in circular motions to prayers or folk songs.

Other performances include the "Dabke", a lively dance from the Levant countries accompanied by drums, Russian folk dances and traditional Indian, African and Chinese dances.

For the workshops, visitors can assemble artworks using spice in a "Spice Art" workshop or learn how to make their own incense by mixing Arabian musk and essential oils in the "Al Attar" tutorial.

Find out more about the Al Ain Cultural Programme at abudhabiculture.ae

Updated: November 8, 2019 04:24 PM

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