“There are various ways of dancing the ‘Tanoura’ (meaning dance, dancer or skirt in English) .The different elements of ‘Tanoura’ stand for various messages. As told, it is a story that connects men to the divine; a dance that refers to the relationship of land and the sky, man and God. The performers’ round skirts and swirling actually refer to the circle of life or the universe.
The performance of El-Tanoura is consists of three parts: the introduction which is a demonstration of the various musician and their instruments.The tanoura presentation dance, which is a warm up of sorts introducing the dancers and finally the Sufic tanoura dance (Darawishes).
The philosophical basis for the spinning is from the idea that says the movement in the world begins at a certain point and ends at the same point, there fore the movement has to be circular. When the tanoura dancer moves he is like the sun and the dancers around him are like the planets.The dancer unties and removes four different skirts during the finale.
Their various roundabouts symbolize the succession of the four seasons and their anti-clockwise movement is exactly like the movement around the “Kaaba” (the holy Shrine in Mecca) When the dancer raises his right arm up and points his left arm down, this represents the joining of earth and heaven together. When he turns himself around, it is said that he enters a trance-like state, trying to become light and go up to heaven.”