Al-Hadra troupe chanting during their first concert in Ramadan on Friday April 16, 2021.Photo courtesy of Hassan Sanad
El-Hadra troupe held their first Ramadan concert on Friday at the Zamalek Theatre. Founded by Nour Nageh in 2015, the troupe took the lead in bringing Sufi zikr (remembrance of allah) and madih (praise of Prophet Muhammad) from mosques to theatre stages.
Egyptian artist Hend El-Rawy joined El-Hadra in a unique Sufi chanting experience that surfed into the rich mystical poetry and the eloquent hajj songs.
Haga ya haga yamo shal atifa, ray7a fein ya hagga ray7a azor el nabi Mohamed wel ka3ba el sharifa (Where are you going hajja, with your velvet shawl, I am heading to visit Mohamed the Prophet and the Holy shrine), sang El-Rawy with the troupe.
Part of the charm of El-Hadra troupe is the variety of Sufi chants that they perform. Depicting lyrics that are simple yet deep enable audiences to enjoy this genre of music effortlessly. This is the core idea of the troupe. Audience engagement is quite felt as they chant along with their favourite troupe, ask for encores, and move their bodies along the rhythm. The lyrics of Sufi pillars such as Sidi Omar Ibn El-Fared, Al-Halaj or Ibn Arabi are part of El-Hadra’s repertoire.
During the Friday concert, El-Hadra chanted famous Sufi chants such as Talama Ashko Gharami (I have always lamented my love) and Aya Man Bel Wafa qad Awadouni (O those who promised to be faithful).
Despite there being several groups that have Sufi chants in their repertoire, El-Hadra was the first troupe to take zikr (remembrance of God and chanting his name) to the stage. It’s a way to attract audiences towards serenity and the essence of life.