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October 2007 - Nr. 10


The Editor
Freiheit zur Einheit
Freedom to Unity
Raising of the German Flag
Paul Bernhard Berghorn
Dan's Satire
Frankfurt Celebrates Toronto
Down On The Town
KW & Beyond
German-Canadian Citizenship Law
The Sale of Depression
New Kasseler Store
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Dance Classes for Children
A Spanish Fantasia
Newfoundland's Duo Concertante
November Listings
The Whirling Dervishes
Renewable is Doable

The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey

Friday, November 9, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

Tickets: $59.50 to $39.50

Call 416-872-4255
or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

"Stunning in its sheer grace, intensity and spiritual force." – The New York Times

Toronto ― The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey will spin to ecstasy in the Semâ, one of the world’s most beautiful and intense expressions of spirituality, on Friday, November 9, 2007, 8:00 pm at Roy Thomson Hall. The Toronto performance is part of the Whirling Dervishes’ 12-city North American tour celebrating the 800th anniversary of the birth of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), the 13th century Sufi poet and philosopher and the inspiration for this astonishing ritual. Esin Celebi, the 22nd generation granddaughter of Mevlana and director of the Rumi Foundation, will give a brief presentation about Rumi’s life and message.

The Whirling Dervishes are part of the Mevlevi Order, founded by Rumi’s followers as a branch of the Sufi sect of Islam, and they have kept alive the tradition of whirling for more than seven centuries. The Semâ ceremony is based on the belief that the fundamental condition of existence is to revolve, and the individual dervishes strive to achieve a union with God through the process of carefully choreographed whirling. Rumi ended one of his fervent poems with a prophetic line: "Dazed by the marvels of love, our whirling endures."

The performance includes sacred and poetic music and song featuring an ensemble of vocalists, and musicians on tambur (lute), ney (reed flute), kanun (zither) and percussion. The program begins with selections of traditional music of Turkey, followed by the Mevlevi Semâ ceremony, a meditation in motion during which the highly skilled dervishes in traditional white garb seek to achieve a state of trance. Twirling 20 to 30 times per minute with the right palm turned toward the sky and the left turned to earth, the dervishes must train for years before they are permitted to participate in the centuries-old ritual. The musical accompaniment ranges from somber to rhapsodic. To learn more about the Semâ ritual, please visit: Sema ceremony.

The Whirling Dervishes first presented their spinning spectacle to North American audiences in 1978. They have since returned for six North American tours, were featured in the 1992 film Baraka, and released several recordings of their ceremonial music. The mystical folklore surrounding the dervishes has been repeatedly used in children’s stories and contemporary books, and their ritual dance has come to symbolize the values of love and service shared by Sufis around the world. They last appeared in Toronto in October 2000 at Massey Hall. Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the world and has had a major impact on American popular culture. His poetry can be found in bookstores across Canada and the United States, and has been featured in various artistic genres such as composer Philip Glass’s multi-media work "Monsters of Grace," on a CD with readings by spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and pop singer Madonna, and in Hayden Reiss’s PBS documentary, "Rumi: Poet of the Heart." For more information, please visit:


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