Dancing in Yemen Differences between Bara and lub Bara and lub relates two genres of dancing performed in Yemen Lub and differs in three most imperative areas. First, Bara is the most indispensable genre and a unique representation of the Yemenis culture (Adra, 1998). Second, Bara performance takes place at all time while lub specifically remains performed in the evenings, extends into the night and is restricted to weddings. Third, the performance of lub takes place inside a small room where musicians sit and dancing is in the largest room. For lub, a host excludes himself from the performance area. Bara, on the contrary, is performed in the public and all the guests sit together with the host or hostess to enjoy the dance.
Apparently, Bara is the most important dance that is a tribal marker in Yemen. Its performance is by men only with drumming accompaniment (Adra, 1998). The performance of Bara is similar to the composition of QabäI poetry. There are tribal characteristics of Bara that differs in the wielding of performer’s daggers, steps and beat.
In addition, the performance of Bara takes place outdoors. Occasions like religious holidays, weddings, travelling together of tribesmen, honouring distinguished guests or weddings necessitates the performance of Bara. Bara in conjunction with zämil has important features for resolving disputes. Interestingly, republic leaders also appreciate the performance of Bara particularly in vital functions (Adra, 1998). The aforementioned features of Bara distinguish it from lub and give it the reference of a unique dance that is entrenched in the culture of native Yemenis.
In brief, lub has numerous characteristics of raq and remains regarded as a raq. For instance, the indoor genre is intimate and accompanies love songs. Lub is primarily performed by a couple of women at women gathering and two men where men gathers (Adra, 1998). There is an expectation of constant change of lub with regard to its tempi and new steps. Lub changes with fashion clothing. Such changes begin in Sanaa and take a while before filtering to al-Ahjur. Just like Bara, lub performance varies with village or region. Steps copied from adjacent villages influence the local dancing of lub.
Why the term raqs is not used in the description of Bara
Despite the Yemenis agreement and reference of Bara as a dancing behaviour, Bara do not classify as raq. Rags, is a term that generates from Arabic language. The term translates to ‘’ dancing’’ in English is ‘’dancing’’. Raq composes music, light headed paly and flirtation. Interestingly, it is a contrast of the dignified presence of scholars and leaders (Adra, 1998). The performance of Bara, as aforementioned, primarily takes place in important occasions and before dignitaries.
Bara performers can perform raq. However, the performance of raq must be in a context that is the most intimate. The delimitation of the appropriate context of raqs’ performance differentiates it from Bara. There is censorship for performing raq outside the stipulated contexts. Bara’s performance is not frivolous. The performance demonstrates valour and skill and requires the legitimate performance by adults in the public.
Adra, N. (1998). Dance and glance: Visualizing tribal identity in Highland Yemen. .Visual Anthropology, .11(1/2), 55. doi:10.1080/08949468.1998.9966746