Ajl — a dance for wedding day


Ajl dance is mostly in demand in marriages. (AN photo)

JEDDAH: Ajl is a dance form that originated from seafaring people of the western coast of Madinah and Makkah but now is confined to wedding receptions and similar occasions.

It is performed only during the daytime, particularly after the early afternoon prayer at the bridegroom’s house.

The troupe members, who initially stand in a circle, start a procession on the streets in the neighborhood and onto the home of the bride before returning again to the groom.

The dancers are supplied sweets and money by the households in the neighborhood they pass through.

The dance is believed to have originated in ancient times. When the ships of returning merchants are approaching the harbor they start singing, playing instruments and dancing as the main sails are brought down.

The loud music is a signal to people on the coast, particularly families and friends, that the traders have returned safe from a profitable voyage.

They sing, play drums, tambourines, lyres and cymbals and sing in a raised tone. The genre is getting popular, while the fee for a single performance ranges between SR10,000 to SR30,000.

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