Art Alert: Port Said's El-Tanbura folk troupe at Cairo's Opera House

Ahram Online , Wednesday 3 Apr 2019

The troupe will perform a series of folkloric 'simsimia' songs and 'bambouti' dances from Port Said

El Tanbura
El Tanbura band (photo: courtesy of the band's website)

Port Said-based folk troupe El-Tanbura will perform some traditional regional songs and dances at the Cairo Opera House's Open Air Theatre on Friday.

"Let's dance and enjoy together," the troupe urged their fans on their Facebook page, adding that this would be their first performance since their celebration of the troupe’s 30th birthday last December.  

Founded by Zakaria Ibrahim in 1989 in Port Said, El-Tanbura have worked to revive folkloric songs played on the simsimia, a stringed instrument.

The troupe now includes 20 members, including musicians and singers as well as ‎philosophers, fishermen, builders, plumbers, and vendors, ranging in ‎age from 25 to 84 years old.

The award-winning band, who have performed all over the world from Canada to Europe, to Australia and Africa, have released two albums, Between the Desert and the Sea and Friends of Bambouti, in partnership with English production company 30IPS and El-Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music.

As well as the simsimia, the group features the ‎tanbura (a long-necked string instrument), the nay (a kind of flute), the kawala (a kind of flute), the tabla (a drum), the triangle, the sagat (small cymbals), the shakhalil (castanets) ‎and the riq (a kind of tambourine).

El-Tanbura, who will also perform at El-Dammah Theatre on Thursday, will introduce a series of folkloric songs from Port Said along with dances and music from the area of the Suez Canal, such as the local bambouti dance.


Thursday 4 April
El Dammah Theater, El-Mastaba Center, Abdeen

Friday 5 April, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, Open Air Theatre, Zamalek

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