Whirling Dervishes head to Abu Dhabi

Whirling Dervishes head to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi - The shows are part of the Umsiyat series, launched by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) last January.


Silvia Radan

Published: Fri 4 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 5 Mar 2016, 5:27 PM

Whirling Dervishes of Turkey will spin a five centuries old Sufi tradition in Abu Dhabi's Mushrif Park this March 7. The Kudsi Erguner ensemble and their Whirling Dervishes ceremony will be followed by another performance by Islam Blues.
The shows are part of the Umsiyat series, launched by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) last January.
"The series celebrates world heritage performing arts, combining music and poetry, bringing here some of the best musicians from the UAE, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Spain and Turkey," a TCA representative told Khaleej Times.

When, where?
Mushrif Park, Abu Dhabi, on March 7 at 9pm. Tickets for the performance ranging from Dh50 to Dh200 are available via ticketmaster.ae
What is Whirling Dervishes
It is a form of physically active meditation which originated among Sufis. It is a customary dance performed within the worship ceremony, through which dervishes aim to reach perfection by abandoning one's nafs, or egos or personal desires. This is achieved by focusing on God, listening to the music, and spinning in repetitive circles, seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun.
The series included so far the Lebanese singer Abeer Nehme, famous for traditional Arab performances - from Tarab and Rahbani styles to Syrian-Maronite, Syrian-Orthodox and Byzantine traditions.
Renowned Pakistani qawwali singer Faiz Ali Faiz, joined by flamenco Spanish guitarist Chicuelo also got together in the park for an evening of sacred and gypsy music.
The Umsiyat series, part of TCA's music programme, runs alongside Abu Dhabi Classics international concert season and Bait Al Oud concerts.
This Monday evening in Mushrif Park, Kudsi Erguner and his ensemble will present a programme that includes prayers and poetry, music and dancing and represents a mystical journey to find perfection through the abandoning of the ego.
Considered today one of the masters of traditional Mevlevi Sufi Music, Erguner has, from a very young age, been in touch with the authentic, century old tradition of Ottoman music.
Along with his brother, Suleyman, Kudsi Erguner is one of the top players of the ney, a Turkish reed flute. He learnt the secrets of the ney from his father and grandfather, both masters of the instrument, but also from older musicians who often visited his childhood home.
Throughout his nearly half a century career, Erguner has written film music for, among others, Martin Scorsese (together with Peter Gabriel) and Peter Brook, produced ballet music for the great choreographer Maurice Béjart and, in an acclaimed Salzburger Festspiele production, brought out the oriental influence in Mozart's "The Abduction from the Seraglio".
His band, the Kudsi Erguner Ensemble, was formed in 1988 with the aim of preserving the classical music of the 16th century Ottoman Empire.
The Whirling Dervishes Ceremony will be followed by Kudsi Erguner's Islam Blues, another of his masterpiece interpretation of Sufi music.
Umsiyat series will conclude on March 10, with another outdoors concert in Mushrif Park, this time from Azerbaijan, staring Alim Qasimov's quartet and his daughter Fargana Qasimova.
Azerbaijan's best known and most beloved singer, who won the
cultural centres of North Africa, Middle East, West Asia and Central Asia beginning more than a millennium ago.
Tickets for the performance, which starts at 8pm are available from Dh 50 to Dh 200 via ticketmaster.ae. [end]

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