September 23, 2007

The Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul

The Philadelphia Society for Art, Literature and Music (PSALM) presented the first phase of their "Full Circle Project," a multi-year cultural dialogue, with an event entitled "One House –Many Doors." The Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul with special guest Coleman Barks performed at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, preceded by two afternoon colloquia on the life and philosophy of Rumi.

The gala performance was a celebration of the UNESCO 2007 International Year of Rumi, which marked the 800th anniversary of the ancient ceremony of the Sema, a visually stunning meditation in motion by the Whirling Dervishes, accompanied by an ensemble of Turkish master musicians playing traditional instruments. The turning ceremony originated with the 13th century poet, scholar and Sufi mystic Jelaladdin Rumi, as a means to demonstrate and affirm the intimate relationship between the human being and the divine source of life.The afternoon colloquia were free and open to the public, and featured a number of noted Sufi scholars and the actress, TAMIR.

The event was supported by the Philadelphia Dialogue Forum, Penn Presents, the Middle East Center, the Global Dialogue Institute of Haverford College, and the Turkish American Friends Society of the US.