Episode 2, Fact 1 - El Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe
El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe is a virtually entirely volunteer based, independent, non profit artistic organisation founded in 1979 by a group of talented and committed men and women who wanted to present a special flavor of authentic Palestinian music and dance to safeguard this heritage from expropriation and loss.
Led by these convictions, El-Funoun continued to develop and grow despite the banning and expropriation of any form of Palestinian cultural expression by the Israeli occupation. Through their productions they counter-acted systematic attempts by the Israeli to suppress the Palestinian national identity by carrying political messages through artistic expression.
El-Funoun assumed a significant role in reviving the rich music and dance heritage not only through its productions but also by initiating the "Palestinian Folklore Day" in 1986 as an annual celebration, El-Funoun has been crowned as the lead Palestinian dance company in Palestine, as well as among Palestinians in exile. It holds an impressive track record of over one thousand performances locally and internationally with a myriad of awards under their belts.
Since its inception, El-Funoun has aimed at expressing the spirit of Arab-Palestinian folklore and contemporary culture through unique combinations of traditional and stylized dance and music. The Troupe's repertoire comprises folkloric dance forms called "dabke", in addition to more elaborate choreographed forms that embody El-Funoun's own unique vision of Palestinian dance. As well as in exile El-Funoun has achieved an unprecedented popular recognition, quite a few of the Troupe's songs and dances have become household tunes. El-Funoun has continued its generous artistic and community work, encompassing over the years hundreds of members coming from various social backgrounds.