After finally feeling way better yesterday afternoon, I decided to try again to go to see Sufi dance.
The first try was on Monday. My guide book and the hotel staff were telling me the show was on on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays so it seemed good. The show is free so the guide book says to be there early to be sure to have a spot. So, with a couple Australians and a French woman that joined last minute, we tried to get there for 6PM. Getting to the neighborhood is quite easy since it is close to the big market Khan Al Khalili but finding the place where the show was given wounded up being very difficult. I had instruction written in Egyptian by the hotel staff but every time I would ask someone, he would send me in another direction than the previous one. We must have walked around the market for 45 minutes asking to 15 people to help us all giving us different and conflicting information. Until we found one that knew exactly! It was actually not in the market but on the other side of the large street. Anyway, we finally made it to the place for 6:45 to find out there was no show on Mondays anymore!!! Ok, I did not take it too bad since I was feeling quite sick already and did not mind that after all ;).
Since I knew where it was, it was easier yesterday so I made it early and got a great seat. I actually arrived too early so if you are in Cairo and want to go. Arrive there for 6:30PM. The place is located in Khan Al Khalili, in the main street where the taxi dropped you off, find the green bridge that people use to cross over that street. Looking north, there is a small street going North-North-East. Take it and walk 100 meters. You have arrived!
Now, the show is quite surprising and different than what I ever saw before. The band is named Al Tannoura. There is a band playing traditional instruments (percussion, cords and wind instruments). And then one dancer comes on stage with very colorful clothes and start whirling and whirling and whirling for maybe 20 minutes while a singer joins the group.
The whole concept of Sufi dancing is to enter a meditation and get closer to god. I don’t know much more about it so I will just say it is quite skillful to whirl for 20 minutes straight while looking up or closing your eyes as some of these dancers do.
[04/29/2006: Added links to pictures]