Music and Dance in Kuwait

A look into the Culture of Kuwait, will tell you that the traditions of Music and Dance in Kuwait is quite rich and old. Before the Gulf War and Iraqi invasion there was a good archive of Music and Dance in Kuwait which was destroyed. However, after the Gulf War and henceforth liberation of Kuwait now again there is a renewed energy in the scenario of Music and Dance in Kuwait which is enriched by strong influences of Arab, East Africa and India.
When we talk about the Music and Dance in Kuwait, then mention must be first made of the traditional music of Kuwait. This music is a mixture of the music of East Africa and India that was brought back by the Kuwaiti traders. Foreign traders who came to Kuwait also left their own music which added extra flavor to the music of Kuwait.

If you attend any program on Music and Dance in Kuwait you will find that the performers of traditional Kuwaiti music are mostly women and you can rarely get an opportunity to hear them in public since they mostly sing in celebrations like weddings and other festivals. The instruments accompanying the traditional music along with clapping are mirwas drums, rubabah, an instrument used by the Bedouins and the oud, tanbarah and habban. The most famous wedding song is the Al-Fann, participants in which are all women both singers and percussionists. A unique song of Kuwait is the Al Arda Al Bahariya. This is a sailor song along with al-Nahma, which is also related to sailing activities. The other well known song is Mawled, which is a recitation of Muhammad’s biography which is chanted during religious festivals.

But Music and Dance of Kuwait is not just traditional; Kuwait was known to be the center of sawt, a bluesy music style that was made popular by Shadi al Khaleej during the 1970s. Now you will find Nabil Shaeil and Abdullah El Rowaished as the popular sawt performers. Kuwait also has immense talents in recent pop music. You will find lots of pop bands in Kuwait having unique style of their own.

There is also a rich and old tradition of dancing in Kuwait. You will find most dancing to be associated with festivals mostly wedding. The famous wedding dances are Al-Khamary which is danced by an individual dancer and Al -Sameri which is performed in a group. Other women dances are fraisah, zifan and tanboura. Another unique feature of the Music and Dance at Kuwait is the ‘ardah’ dance which is performed by males only. In this dance, males dance to the rhythms of music on drums and tambourines with open swords in their hands.

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