For several weeks now, I have been introducing Khaleegi (Arabian Gulf) movement, more specifically Saudi, to my students. To help students better understand the thobe (nasha’al) dance with its lovely footwork and hair tosses, as well as to give them a better idea of different musical styles of the region, I have created a few YouTube playlists for you to explore the rich dance and music traditions of the Arabian Gulf.
For many years, dancers and researches from outside this region rarely had the opportunity to learn about this region’s dances. Luckily, more native born dance teachers are beginning to share what they know of the Khaleeg’s best kept dance secrets with dancers/researchers outside the region. Thanks to the internet we are getting more and more opportunities to see the dance goings-on within this region that have previously been private. Giving us a bird’s eye view, where we would not have been able to see, or knew where to look, otherwise. We live in an amazing time of information sharing!
The following is a list of YouTube playlists for your research into Khaleegi dance and music. Some music is appropriate for raqs al nasha’at, some selections are not. The purpose of these playlists are to give you a sample of the various dance/music styles, not a comprehensive list, from Kuwait, UAE, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. As time goes on, I hope to add more countries and music to each list.
So here goes….
For more information about Khaleegi dance styles, here are a couple of resources:
Kay Hardy Campbell – American researcher that specializes in Arabian Gulf dances. She also has thobes for sale on her website/
Khadijah – born in Saudi Arabia, now based in Denver, CO, specializes in Raqs Al Nasha’at
Assala – born in Iraq, now based in Switzerland, specializes in Kawliya (Iraqi Gypsy dance)