Rumi and The Whirling Dervishes

Event time: 
Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 12:00pm
Event description: 

Rumi and The Whirling Dervishes from Turkey

Battell Chapel, 400 College Street, New Haven

Free and open to the public; no tickets required.


Battell Chapel will be the setting for an intoxicating experience of mystical love poetry, music, and whirling dance on Sunday, October 26 at 4 pm.

The internationally recognized sacred Whirling Ceremony, known as SEMA, will be preceded by a dramatic reading from the poetry of one of the world’s great poet-saint-geniuses, Jelaluddin Rumi. A thirteenth century jurist, theologian, and mystical poet born in what is now Afghanistan, Rumi has been the best-selling poet in the United States for the last few years.

This event centers around the unique expression of a deep love between human and divine, between lover and Beloved, communicated through the remarkable poetry of Rumi and the spiritual practice of whirling that he inspired almost eight hundred years ago.

Rumi also encouraged the creation of a learning community of Sufis, called Mevlevi, which has continued over the centuries to this day.  Opening remarks will be by Faruk Celebi Efendi, world head of the Mevlevi Sufis and 22nd generation descendent of Rumi himself.

Peter Rogen, the reader in English, has performed in Shakespearean theater in New York and established a successful international business career in communications.  The reader in Farsi is Nuri Simsekler, assistant professor and head of the Rumi Society at Konya Selcuk University in Turkey, where Rumi lived the second half of his life.

The readings are followed by the 800-year-old Mevlevi Sufi Whirling SEMA Ceremony, symbolizing the cycle of spiritual development possible for a human being. It is recognized by UNESCO as “one of the world’s great cultural and spiritual heritages.”

This performance is made possible with the support of the Mayor and City
of Konya, Turkey and the International Mevlana Foundation.