Trinity to Host ‘Whirling Dervishes’ During ‘A Night of Sufi Music, Dance, and Poetry’

Sufi Dancers Will Perform at the Chapel on Wednesday, November 18

Hartford, Connecticut, November 16, 2015 –

What: The Trinity College Department of Religion, the Muslim Student Association, and the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life will host a performance of Sufi dancers, commonly known as “Whirling Dervishes.” The dancers will be accompanied by traditional instruments like the oud, ney (reed flute), and percussion, as well as a recitation of Rumi’s poetry. Turkish sweets will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

When: Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Trinity College Chapel, 300 Summit St., Hartford, CT 06106. For directions and a map of the Trinity College campus, please click here.

Background: Sufism is the inner, mystical dimension of Islam through which the practitioner seeks a personal and direct encounter with the divine, according to Mareike Koertner, visiting assistant professor for religion at Trinity College. “While Sufism subsumes many different practices, the Whirling Dervishes are the most well-known Sufis to a Western audience,” Koertner said. “Whirling Dervishes were inspired by the 13th century Sufi master Jalal ud-Din Rumi, whose followers started the Mevlevi Sufi order in Turkey and have gained prominence for their dance, spinning in circles, wearing a long white skirt and a tall hat. The act of whirling, called Sema ceremony, represents the human being’s spiritual journey, an ascent by means of intelligence and love to Perfection. Turning toward the truth, he grows through love, transcends the ego, meets the truth, and arrives at Perfection. Then he returns from this spiritual journey as one who has reached maturity and completion, able to love and serve the whole of creation and all creatures without discriminating in regard to belief, class, or race. The ceremony has been performed by followers of the Mevlevi order throughout the Muslim world and is also practiced by some Sufi orders in America.”