Slide Show: ‘Whirling Dervishes’ Perform Ceremony at Trinity College Chapel

‘Night of Sufi Music, Dance, and Poetry’ Described as ‘Beautiful and Powerful’

Hartford, Connecticut, November 23, 2015 – The Trinity College Department of Religion, the Muslim Student Association, and the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life hosted a performance of Sufi dancers, known as “Whirling Dervishes,” at the Trinity College Chapel on Wednesday, November 18.

The dancers were accompanied by the poetry of Sufi master Jalal ud-Din Rumi and traditional Sufi music played with instruments like the oud, ney (reed flute), and percussion. Students and Hartford residents were welcomed with baklava and Turkish delight.

“Whirling Dervishes are the most well-known Sufis to a Western audience,” said Mareike Koertner, visiting assistant professor of religion at Trinity College. The performers began by shedding their cloaks to reveal their long white skirts and tall hats. As the tempo of the music rose, they began to spin. “The act of whirling, called ‘Sema ceremony,’ represents the human being’s spiritual journey, an accent by means of intelligence and love to Perfection,” Koertner explained.

Rachel Lee ’16 said of her experience, “I really enjoyed the performance; I thought the way the dancers and the music moved together was really beautiful and powerful.”

Written by Eleanor Worsley ’17


Photos by John Atashian. To view the Flickr set of photos from which this slide show was generated, please click here.