Meet the 11-man troupe reintroducing dabkeh to a social media audience

(Photo: Handout from Al-Ajaweed)
AMMAN — With their synchronized steps, fatigues and spirited routines, the Al-Ajaweed Dabkeh troupe has captured the attention of thousands on social media platforms. اضافة اعلان

This eleven-man group, formed in 2018, places quality above all. They cite their strong bond and commitment as the driving factor behind their growing success.

“In our group, the movement is unified, the costumes stand out, we work together during the dabkeh and outside of the dabkeh,” Rami Abu Tariq, Al-Ajaweed member and co-founder said in an interview with Jordan News.

“We were able to reach people and get this response because of practice,” he added.

Dabkeh, a popular traditional Arab folk dance typically performed on festive occasions, is seen by the troupe as a celebration of local culture. Drawing from their Jordanian nationalities and Palestinian origins, the Al-Ajaweed combine the styles of both cultures to create unique routines.

The group has over 135 thousand followers on TikTok, 18 thousand subscribers on YouTube and 16 thousand followers on Instagram.

But theirs is not an overnight success story.

Initially a part of another local dabkeh group, a few of the members decided to start their own troupe and invited skilled dancers from their neighborhood at the Baqa’a camp to join. They would practice in any open space, whether it’s at athletic centers or schools.

“For about a year, it was difficult,” said Abu Tariq. “We’d upload videos, and no one would see them, but good quality draws people in; now our presence has become stronger.”

The troupe began to make a name for itself in 2019. They performed at events and used social media to build an audience. Soon after, COVID-19 hit and the work stopped. ”They were hard times, but we are just starting to get back on our feet,” he said.

Upon deciding to wear military uniforms and updating their routines, the group began to expand their presence once again. They also focused on creating well-made videos for their platforms. Only after selecting the music, deciding on the moves, agreeing on the content and practicing for two to three days, is the group is ready to film and perform, Abu Tariq explained.

The group found the public response surprising. “We didn’t expect this many people to be interested in this,” he said. “We focused on quality, we presented the spirit of the dabkeh and people started listening.”

Looking ahead, the Al-Ajaweed group wants to represent Jordanian heritage and culture and expand their reach to become the face of the Kingdom in terms of the traditional dabkeh.

“We want to film videos with known Jordanian artists, we are looking at strengthening the quality of our videos and shows, we want to participate in and organize more events during Jordanian celebrations like Independence Day,” said Abu Tariq. “We want to be everywhere in Jordan.”

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