The Egyptians Turned it into the most famous folklore dance

"Tannoura Dance".. 7 centuries of Sufi Dance

A smooth sufi dance,on the melodies of the most famous turkish sufi philosopher Jalal El-din El rumi poems will capture your soul into a peaceful world, A brand new purified soul you will get, no sins , no guilt, that’s what the  believers in Tannoura  feel, Even the children are following the rhythm homogeneously and smoothly.


Tannoura is not only  a sufi dance or a folklore, but through this past 7 centuries it has become a traditional celebration created by Mawlana Jalal El-Din Rumi followed by a rhythm of folklore ballads, Songs and poems of tribute and praising the power and love of god. To shine in the nights of remembrance  at Almshouse (Al-tkia) which was built to rear the poor, the homeless and the dervishes .

The Remembrance in Rumi’s almshouse starts in  a circle(Halaqha)  with at least 40 dervishes, In different colors, the green, red, black and white. Till now we don’t know why there is a color difference.


Dervishes start to utter Allah. In every hail in the name of god they bend their heads,bodies and take a step towards the right so the circle revolves. And a dervish of them moves to the center of the circle and revolves around himself fastly with stretched arms, So his tannoura is dilated in an umbrella like shape, then bends in front of his Sheikh and goes back to the Circle.

In the start of the Fatmia state, the egyptian artist was able to transform the dervish dance into a brand new show with an egyptian imprint, involving the rababa,castanets and tambourine.


The hardest dance is ”The Lantern” the light footed dancer is the only one who is able to do it because the dancer has to put his full focus on the lantern and try not to be distracted by the people around him. These intervenes were because of the egyptian artist to get rid of the boredom of the sufi dance to grab the attention of people.

Tannoura is a group dance rolled by the sufi philosophy. Its dancers think that the movement of the whole cosmos starts from a point and ends in a point so they move in a circular way in an attempt to attain a nirvana level and spiritual calmness because they believe that whirligig is an order of god, Which is clear in the atom, cosmo and sun circulating also in going around Al-kaaba (The holy mosque in makka). The soul transcends when the body is exhausted.


ِAl-Laffif ( the evolver) as they called the dancer of Tannoura, wearing 2 or 3 tannouras each weighs 8 kgs, 7 meter diameter and 1 meter long plus a waistband called ( Alsebta) , to support his back while he is going around himself. And a caftan turned to be a circle.

But actually the turkish tannoura dancers cloth are widely spread in a boring way, giving the show no authenticity at all, everything in a white color even the head covering (  Tarboosh), But with the magical and authentic egyptian hands in the eighties  it turned out to be more colourful and cheerful.


With the nineties a lot of embellishment was added to Tannoura, By 2000 Canvas tents were added over the caftan, and islamic patterns This all is a famous handmade in El-Hussien street.

Technology plays a role in 2006, these patterns were printed using computer, then lights were added as well,  After all Tannoura with the egyptian authenticity has become a very popular show and art which interests tourists who demand Tannoura the moment they step in egypt.


From Egypt to Morocco, a new adventure tannoura has taken, with the same colors but with different philosophy and a unique authenticity. The moroccon tannoura makes the dancer looks like a lantern when the two tannouras  separate. And it makes the body seems like it is burning so the soul transcends.

ِA religious philosophy


Although the philosophy of tannoura dance is evolving around the holy mosque of makka or the evolving of the sun, but it turned out to ba a show, Some of the dancers still use only two colours White and Black, White resembles coffin and used in the lower tannoura- Skirt- Black resembles grave and used in the upper one, And tarboosh is the tombstone.


This Art attracts a lot of painters and sculptors, “ Jan lyon girome” the french artist  painted ( Dervishes of mevlevi) 1895 showing the manifestation of sufism, in an old cloth, rumpled hair and dancing in tambourine rhythm and flute melodies.


The egyptian well known artist Mahmoud Said painted ( The dervish ) 1929, where 6 of mevlevi dervishes looking like each others with different positions while uttering supplications (dhikr) in the othmani era.

This paint was sold in christie's house of auction in Dubai 2010 for 2.546 million dollars to be the most expensive artwork for an arabic painter in the middle east at that time.


The upcoming generations also interested in that kind of art like Taher Abd  El-azzim the egyptian artist who has 35 paints in his gallery ( A move and a colour) 2010, each one shows a  different move in tannoura.


Also Emad Rizk has 6 paints were presented in a gallery named (egyptian details) 2016, These paints  show dervish with tannoura, A lot of national and international photographers were interested with tannoura art also.