Al-Tanoura dance is based on a philosophical basis for the spinning from the Mawlawis who say that the world begins at a certain point and ends at the same point, so the movement should be circular. Al-Tanoura dance is performed by Dervish or Sufi men, this dance is similar to the Sufi whirling dance in Levant and Turkey. In this dance, men wear long colorful skirts or multicolored dresses which create the illusion of a human kaleidoscope while turning and twisting of the dancers. The dancer removes four different skirts during the finale of the dance. The movements of the tanoura dancer while dancing make him look like the sun rotates around itself, while the dancers around him look like the planets surrounding it. When the dancer points his left arm down with raising his right arm up, this represents the joining of earth and heaven together.
The Tanoura dervish dance is originally a religious cultural contemplative practice. While watching a live show of Tanoura performance, you may get the feel of a spiritual connection behind all these swirls and turns, the groove, the music and the colors that are overwhelming. It is said that the tanoura dance reflects the relationship of the earth, sky, God and man connected all together with that deep and oriental type of dance. It is a special moment when the dancer opens his arms wide open looks like as receiving acceptance and beneficence from God.