The dancer looks up toward the heavens as he spins, whirling faster and faster until he is no longer a man, but a colourful blur. The long, sweeping skirt he wears round his waist is flat like a table. Each rotation is punctuated with the beat of a tambourine.
The dance, a traditional Egyptian folk style called Tannoura, is centuries old. More raucous and colourful than the Sufi dervish dance to which it traces its roots, Tannoura is visually hypnotising and spiritually moving.
The Al-Tannoura Egyptian Heritage Dance Troupe has been performing the style for more than 25 years. These days, you can catch them any Monday, Wednesday or Saturday at the Wakalat El Ghouri arts centre in Islamic Cairo.
Dancing aside, Wakalat El Ghouri is worth a visit. Sultan Qunsuwah Al Ghouri built the charming, historic building in 1504 AD as an inn for traders. Walking among its great, stone arches is like taking a step back in time.
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