“Tarab”? What does it mean?
As is typical in any translation of words from one language (culture) to
another, you will find almost as many different meanings as the number of
people you ask.
One element seems to be consistent, however. It indicates an expression of
An Egyptian travel guide describes the word “tarab” (pronounced “Arab”
with a “t”) as “the ecstatic emotion experienced by Arabs when listening
to poetry and music”.
Other translations for the word “Tarab” include: soul shaking, ecstatic,
overwhelmingly joyous, transporting...
To borrow a quote from Morocco
(A.K.A. Aunt Rocky):
nuanced translation of Tarab, especially in relation to the Arts is: *so*
moved by passion/emotion, that you can’t help expressing it via dance or
singing or playing music to release it......”
Then I found a definition that clicked and distilled the meaning for me:
I could find no word more aptly befitting the spirit of this joyous group
of dancers, so “Troupe Tarab Middle Eastern Fusion Dancers” was born.
The classes are taught by the
troupe’s founder and choreographer Julianne Battaglia, who is also the
director and choreographer for Sahara Silk Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble.
The following link opens a new
instance of your browser. It provides class information, and also
leads to Sahara Silk's web site.