Palfest Sheffield festival celebrates culture of Palestine with mass dance event

A festival celebrating Palestinian culture is taking place in Sheffield, starting later this month.

By Julia Armstrong
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 2:55 pm

Palfest Sheffield opens on June 14 with a talk and an exhibition of photographs from Palestine, will celebrate food, dance, poetry, film, stories and more.

The Arts Council has suppported the event by helping to fund a mass participatory dabke dancing performance in Barkers Pool, Sheffield. It forms part of a day of events taking place around the city centre on Saturday, July 2.Dabke plays a significant part in the festival. It is a traditional dance, frequently danced at weddings and celebrations throughout the Middle East.

In Palestine, this traditional dance has evolved to play an essential part in cultural expression and in the resilience of Palestinian communities.

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The dabke, which forms a key part of Palfest events in Sheffield, is a traditional Middle Eastern dance that is performed in Palestinian celebrations

One feature of the festival is the partnership with communities in Broomhall and Sharrow.

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At community centres in each of these two areas there will be a photographic exhibition, talks, workshops on learning the basic steps of dabke, food and Arabic music.Alan Deadman, chair of the festival organising committee, said: “We are delighted to offer this opportunity in Sheffield to share in some of the culture from this part of the Middle East and especially to work with two brilliant dancers to bring an amazing event to our city centre.

“We are very grateful to the Arts Council and all our supporters for helping make this festival happen.”To see the whole programme of events, which run until Saturday, July 9, visit the festival website: palfestsheffield.co.uk/programme