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Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes from Turkey Perform at the Fisher Center on October 23
An Intoxicating Evening of Mystical Poetry, Music, and Whirling Dance
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts presents “Rumi and the Amazing Whirling Dervishes from Turkey,” performed by the Mevlevi Sufis. The performance takes place on Thursday, October 23,at 7:30 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater. Tickets are $15 and $25 and can be purchased by calling the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900, or visiting the website at www.fishercenter.bard.edu.
The program opens with a dramatic reading from the works of one of the world’s great poets, Jelaluddin Rumi. A 13th-century mystical poet born in what is now Afghanistan, Rumi has consistently been a best-selling poet in America. The poetry of Rumi will be read in Farsi and in English with musical accompaniment by four Mevlevi Sufi musicians on classical Turkish instruments.
The highlight of the evening is the Sema, an 800-year-old sacred whirling ceremony recognized by UNESCO as “one of the world’s great cultural and spiritual heritages.” The Sema is performed by 16 Mevlevi singer-musicians and whirling dervishes known as semazen. Wearing long white skirts and tall black headresses, the semazen perform the whirling dance which symbolizes Rumi’s cycle of human spiritual development.
Rumi also encouraged the creation of a learning community of Sufis, called Mevlevi. Dr. Celaleddin Celebi, previous head of the Mevlevis, wrote:
The Sema ritual began with the inspiration of Rumi and was influenced by Turkish customs and culture. It is now recognized that ... all beings are comprised of revolving electrons, protons, and neutrons in atoms. ... By revolving in harmony with all things in nature, with the smallest cells and the largest stars in the firmament, the whirling dervish testifies to the existence and the majesty of the Creator. ... Everything is worshiping God.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Efendi, leader of the Istanbul Music and Sema Group, was raised and educated in Konya, Turkey. He began his career as a whirling dervish at the age of 10. He received his first Sema lessons from Master Selman Tuzun Dede of Bahariye Mevlevi Lodge, recognized throughout the world as one of the most important artists in this field.
Tickets: $15, $25
Ticket Information: Phone the Fisher Center Box Office at 845-758-7900, or visit www.fishercenter.bard.edu.
Producer: Rumi Performances LLC. email: firstname.lastname@example.org 212-532-8567
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This event was last updated on 10-27-2008