El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe was established in 1979 by a small number of enthusiastic, talented and committed artists. Since then, El-Funoun has been throned as the lead Palestinian dance company. In Palestine, as well as among Palestinians in exile, El-Funoun has achieved an unprecedented popular recognition.
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. El-Funoun is widely recognized as the cultural entity that has played the most significant role in reviving and reinvigorating Palestinian dance and music folklore.
El-Funoun is composed of fifty dancers, singers, musicians and support personnel. It is an independent, non-profit organization that is virtually entirely volunteer-based. The members are therefore motivated by the vision of the Troupe. This resolve, coupled with a driving commitment to artistic excellence and an authentic Palestinian vision have all afforded El-Funoun its current leadership status.
In Palestine, the Troupe holds an impressive track record of over one thousand performances since 1979, including performances in Palestine International Festivals of 1992 through 1999. Moreover, El-Funoun has participated in many performances at renowned festivals and venues in countries including; Jordan, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Portugal, Sweden, France, Germany, in addition to many tours in the USA.
Since 1982, the troupe has eight Productions, most popular of are: “Wadi a-Tuffah” (The Valley of Apples)-1984, ‘Marj Iben Amer” (The Plains of Iben Amer)-1989, “Zaghareed” (Ululations)-1997, and the latest “Haifa, Beirut & Beyond” 2002.
El-Funoun has won several commendation certificates and awards, most prominent among which is the Palestine Award for Popular Folklore 1997, the highest honour award given in this field by the Palestinian Authority.
El-Funoun believes in building cultural bridges with the world, both to have a healthy exchange of experience, ideas and techniques and to present the long-suppressed Palestinian culture before other nations.