Friday night saw El Harti Square in Marrakech transform into a vibrant musical stage, offering an enchanting journey of sounds and songs to both Marrakechi locals and visitors. This event was part of the 53rd National Festival of Popular Arts (FNAP), which continues until July 8th.

Situated in the upscale Guelliz neighborhood, El Harti Square attracts a large number of music enthusiasts each evening during the festival. These visitors come to enjoy a festive atmosphere and witness performances by a variety of folklore troupes from different regions of Morocco, showcasing the rich and unique artistic and cultural heritage of the country.

The festival features a diverse array of artistic performances each night at this historic and iconic venue. Participating troupes, such as “Gnawa,” “Ahouach Taroudant,” and “Dekka Al Marrakchia,” highlight their ancestral skills through a stunning display of songs, dances, and sounds, all adorned in meticulously crafted and decorated traditional attire.

Armed with traditional musical instruments, these folklore troupes deliver generous and vibrant performances, delighting art lovers with their colorful displays. The evening at El Harti Square began with a captivating performance by the “Gnawa” group. Dressed in traditional costumes, the artists enthralled the audience with a medley of enchanting songs and energetic dances, accompanied by traditional instruments like drums, castanets, and the famous guembri. This performance recreated the mystical and hypnotic ambiance characteristic of Gnawa ceremonies, taking the spectators on a profound musical journey.

Following this, the stage was taken over by the Ahouach Taroudant troupe, providing a delightful show of synchronized dances and polyphonic songs. These performances reflected the cultural richness and ancient heritage of this region, with spontaneous movements and impeccable coordination showcasing the longstanding traditions of the area. The festival-goers were captivated by the lyrical poems and mesmerizing rhythms.

The Dekka Al Marrakchia troupe added to the festive atmosphere with a dynamic and percussive performance. Known for their lively rhythms and festive songs, the troupe made El Harti Square resonate with powerful and rhythmic sounds, inviting the audience to dive into the heart of Marrakech’s celebrations, adding a joyful and festive touch to the event.

To conclude this unforgettable evening, the Chinese troupe “Silk Road” took the audience on yet another journey, this time to explore another culture and art form. They performed a beautiful musical comedy that elegantly combined Chinese and Asian melodies and rhythms, telling a romantic story that highlighted the richness of Chinese popular culture.

Under the theme “Eternal Rhythms and Symbols,” this edition of FNAP brings together hundreds of artists from over 30 Moroccan folklore troupes as well as numerous international troupes from China, Indonesia, and Burkina Faso.

Organized in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication, the Wilaya of the Marrakech-Safi region, and several other partners, this edition features two performance stages: Place Jemaâ El Fna and Place Jnan El Harti. For the first time, themed evenings are being held at the Bahia Palace.

This edition also stands out for its international evening, showcasing Chinese, Indonesian, and Moroccan artistic groups, as well as a special segment titled “Nights of the Stars,” which this year honors artist and composer Nouaman Lahlou.