The English invented curry and paisley, right?
The dabke (or debka) is an Arab dance. I’ve seen Arabs dancing it in several countries. Zvi Gotheiner is an Israeli-born choreographer in New York. He has a dance called the “Dabke,” and the New York Times has given his dabke a lot of ink over the last year or so.
June 3, 2012 in the Times:
The dabke is a line dance of the Levant. At weddings in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, people link up arm to shoulder or hand in hand and stomp out rhythms and patterns. Israelis, so often at odds with their neighbors, also have a version. Dances are easier to share than territory.
The Times again, June 19, 2013:
The dabke is a line dance, traditionally for men only, often performed at weddings and celebrations in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories. But it is just Mr. Gotheiner’s starting point. Music makes people dance communally, and the sense of community in “Dabke” is so strong that at times we feel that we are on a kibbutz.
The Times August 1, 2013, in dance listings:
ZviDance (Saturday) Inspired by the Arab Spring, the Israeli-born, New York-based choreographer Zvi Gotheiner created “Dabke,” named for the traditional, celebratory line dance performed at Muslim weddings in the Middle East. (The title means “stomping the ground” in Arabic.) A free class in Lebanese dabke and its Israeli offshoot, debka, precedes this Lincoln Center Out of Doors performance, which is a split bill with El Gusto, the recently reunited Algerian band of Muslim and Jewish musicians.
Hasbara: First we made the desert bloom. Then we invented hummus. Then we came up with an amazing line dance. Thanks to Helen Schiff.