Friday, March 5, 2010

Whirling Dervishes

This picture is from the Istanbul Dervishes website, as we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the hall during the performance.

We went to a an evening of Turkish Mystic Music & Dance at the Hodjapasha Culture Center, which was a spontaneous decision. The performance included mysterious rhythmic chanting and music, with a mystical air that comes from the Muslim school of thought called Sufism.

The Sema (Whirling Ceremony) is considered a spiritual journey and is performed by a flutist, drummer, chanters and choir, while the dervishes take their place and begin slowly, and then steadily faster and faster, to whirl around the room. The music was a bit monotonous but the dervishes looked like spinning tops, with their arms raised and their eyes closed as if in a trance, while their feet were raised and dropped as their bodies rotated in a circular motion.

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