Attan Page 02 - The traditional and national dance of Afghanistan
'Expert Attan Maestro'
Born in Kabul, Daud Haneef is currently considered Afghanistan's best Attan music artist.
In this dance, the dancers perform to the beat of the musician. This dance typically performed by men & women. It involves 2-5 steps, ending with a clap given while facing the center, after which the process is repeated again. The hip and arms are put in a sequential movement including left and right tilts, with the wrists twisting in sequence, with ultimately a hand is projected outward and brought in a 'scoop-like' fashion towards the center where the other hand meets it for a clap. This dance is typically performed with the musician dictating the duration and speed.
Wardaki consists of body movements no clapping and lots of turns and twists, and Spotting, as well as handkerchiefs in their hands to accentuate their spins. The men usually boast wild mustaches, including hair that is greased as to accentuate the spotting and give more weight to the hair during turns. This dance is performed either with the beat of the musician or the musician tuning the beat the technique of the performers.
Logari dancers have always been known for their shyness and also for their rythmic interruptions & spins during their local dance. Their attan also has the trademark spins of the Logari style, uses the clapping and the full twists in place as arms are usually in the air and come together medially during the circular dance with one or two claps in the center. It is not uncommon to see one ore two circles in one. This dance typically performed by men and/or women or even young boys and/or girls. The men occasionally wear Turbans and they are taken off usually during the end of the dance when the beats get faster.
The sweat on their heads from wearing the Turban, puts added weight to their hair. This dance is performed either with the beat of the musician or the musician tuning the beat the technique of the performers.
Paktia/Khosti is typically a 5-7 step and can be longer. It is also interesting because of the head movements the head is snapped left & right as their long jet black hair fling through the air, and eventually ends with the dancers turned medially and squatting with arms to their sides towards the center. This dance is performed with the musician tuning the beat to the technique of the performers.
Kochyano Attan or literally Attan of the Kuchi. Women usually perform this attan during their own occasions, such as child birth or new years (nou rooz) and coming of spring. The men usually perform with long hair, almost to shoulder length and cut straight across the back, and some may sport a very wild mustache or beard. It is usually performed with Handkerchiefs, and involves lots of spotting movements, with multiple twists and squatting. This dance can be up to 10 steps, and also involve men walking with their knees or standing erect and snapping their head in random directions to the beat of the Dhol. The depth and complexity of their Attan may be because of the wide range of valleys they trek, and it may have been influenced by many other forms. This dance is performed with the musician tuning the beat to the technique of the performers.
Khattak style is deeply routed during the Moghul period where men performed this dance with their weapons in their hands. A Khattak dancer performs with the zeal of a hero, displaying his physical fitness through body movements, while holding one, two or even three swords at a time. Each sword weighs about one-and-a-half kilograms. The dance is a 5 step routine involving spins, with the swords crossed over their backs and elbows outward, or it can be performed with the swords out to the sides and typical attan half spin in place leading to a full spin. Depending on the rythm of the beat, this spin can be completely reversed in full synchrocity. This dance is performed with the musician tuning the beat to the technique of the performers.
Nuristani Attan is a relatively new attan performed by Nuristanis and involves the use of their own local musical instruments including their own style of drum shown above, and stringed instrument, known as the Wunz, and also the Sarani. This dance was performed by both men and women. The women usually hold hands together or are shoulder to shoulder and came closer to the circle during the central beat. Another version performed across the border in Chitral consists of a dancer stepping in the middle and starting to dance. They will dance very slowly taking small steps and arms spread wide. Gradually, the steps increase speed and finally he will spin round and round encouraged by the clapping of the hands and enthusiastic shouts made by the audience. It is also very focused upon the movement of the shoulders and the elegant moves of the wrists.
Listen to Attan Music
Listen to Dawood Hanif's Music