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Middle Eastern music adds some spice

The Al Mutamid festival of Middle Eastern and North African music and dance is returning to the Algarve for its 12th anniversary with performances in Lagos, Lagoa and Loulé.

The event starts with the Sunqur Sa‘Di ensemble on January 27 in Lagoa, who will demonstrate dances traditional to Egypt such as the Tanoura, which represents the connection between heaven and spirituality in its repeating spinning movements.

This dance is usually observed at the ‘Mooled’ festivals in Islamic Cairo and has close origins to the Mawlawi Sufi dance.

The Beth Nahrin group will perform in early February and are influenced by the sensual rhythms of belly dancing from the courts of the Caliphs and Sultans as well as music from various Middle Eastern countries.

King Al Mutamid, after who this festival is named, was the last ruler of the medieval kingdom, the Taifa of Seville (between 1069-1091), of which the Algarve was a part.

Sunqur Sa‘Di perform at Lagoa Municipal Auditorium (call 282 380 434) on January 27 and in Loulé at the Cine-Teatro Louletano (call 289 414 604) on January 28, both performances start at 9.30pm.

Beth Nahrin will be playing at the Convento de São José in Lagoa (contact 282 380 434) on February 10 and at the Cultural Centre in Lagos (contact 282 770 450) on February 11, both at 9.30pm.

More information can be found at (only available in Portuguese and Spanish).