Rabat – Essaouira has earned the title of the “City of Trance.” The host of the renowned Gnaoua and World Music Festival is offering its inhabitants and visitors another chance to rejoice in the rhythm of spiritual and trance music. The “wind city” will welcome the fifth edition of the International Festival of Women’s Hadra and Trance Music, to be held August 17 to 19.
The festival aims to shed light on the presence of women in Moroccan arts and culture and raise awareness of Sufi beliefs and customs, often misunderstood by the general public, said the organizers in a statement.
The festival will kick off on August 17 with a parade, followed with performances by various women artists, notably Africa Begue from Senegal, Al Maoulaouiya Al Masriya from Egypt, and the Moroccan troupe Lalla Menana de Larache, together constituting the feminine voice of Africa.
A meeting with the artists is scheduled at the Sidi Mohamed Museum at 10:30 on August 18. Evening performances promise a séance with Marrakechi band Jil Jilala, Bnatte Al Nakhoua Al Aisaouia from Fez, Zaouia Darqaouia Haraqiya, and Bnat Hadarat from Essaouira.
The festival will close to the rhythms of the world with Anandita Baso from India, Hassnaa Bacharia and Souad Asia from Algeria, and Al Mchaheb band from Casablanca.
Through its four previous editions, the International Festival of Women’s Hadra and Trance Music has become one of the rare festivals of traditional women’s music with international dimension, said the festival’s organizers.
The festival is organized by Haddarates Souiriyattes association, which aims to highlight the place of women in Sufi music and to enhance their role in the cultural dynamic and influence of the city of Essaouira.