This is a popular dance in the northern states of Perlis and Kedah. It started in Arabia and was brought to Malaya via India. Men mainly perform the dance. The unique and sometimes slightly disturbing feature of this dance is some of the performers play the role of women and it has become associated with transvestite performers.
Traditionally an ensemble of thirteen drums each of a different size and resonance provides the music accompaniment.
The drummers and dancers sit upstage with the dancers sitting either at stage left or right or in front of the drummers.
The drummers and male dancers wear the normal 'baju Melayu' consisting of a headgear, long-sleeved Malay shirt and trousers and a 'samping', while the transvestite dancers wear 'baju kebaya', which is a long blouse and a sarung.
Like most Malay dances, the Hadrah dance movements can be divided into sitting, kneeling and standing movements.