Egyptian Zār & folk-music workshops

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Experience playing & dancing with some of the most ancient, unique, and mystic forms of arts before its too late..

About this event

Musician/dancer? do not miss the opportunity to immerse in this unique experience.

From the heart of Egypt, BELONG brings few of the remaining artists on the planet who still master the Egyptian Zār music ritual, alongside those who perform the beautiful melodies of Mawal music, to Luxembourg for workshops and exchange with local artists.

Zār is a community healing ritual of polyrhythmic drumming and dancing whose tradition is carried on mainly by women (men have the secondary roles) and whose main participants are women. It’s distinctively different from other Egyptian music traditions. This ritual has been widely misconceived as a form of exorcism. However, the goal is to engage participants with their inner selves and workout their tensions and frustrations by freeing their movement, their state, and even their dreams.

Mazaher is one of the rare ensembles in which women play a leading role and are connected to a most ancient tradition practiced in several countries in the region. Apart of the Mazhar, which is a frame drum with strings attached to the back of the leather, featured instrument in the Zār ritual is the tanbūra, a six-string lyre, which, like the Zār practice itself, exists in various forms in an area stretching across East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. Although this sacred instrument is pictured on the walls of tombs and temples of Pharaonic Egypt, the practice of Zār in ancient Egypt is still a matter of conjecture. Other instruments are the mangour, a leather belt sewn with many goat hooves, and various percussion instruments.

Mawal music is commonly used weddings and festivals in Egypt. Mawal itself is a form of free style and improvisational poetic singing, which can sometimes be used in story telling. Across the history, musical instruments have been introduced to Mawal and played an important part in its development. Mawawil ensemble preserves Mawal´s musical legacy by combining tradition Egyptian instruments such as Kawala and Arghoul, a reed instrument that has been used since ancient Egyptian times, with the relatively recent influences of western instruments such as Saxophone and trumpet.

In collaboration with the Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts (Makan), BELONG invites Nass Makan ensemble, which is a fusion of Mazaher ensemble and Mawawil to exchange their art with local artists in workshops towards a concert in Escher theater.

Interested to join them onstage? Apply now. Due to limitations in capacity, applications will be screened and reviewed for admission.

Workshop dates: 1 May 2022 – 5 May 2022 (11h – 18h)

Where: Rocklab (The lab), Rockhal, 5 Av. du Rock’n’Roll, 4083 Esch-sur-Alzette

Concert (Escher theater): 6 May 2022

BELONG is hosted by IWHO asbl, and benefits from the support of ESCH 2022, the City of Esch-sur-Alzette, OEUVRE Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, Rocklab, and Bâtiment IV.

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Event Detail

May 1, 2022 11:00 am
May 5, 2022 6:00 pm
The lab
5, avenue du Rock’n'Roll Rocklab, L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette