Intellect is delighted to announce that the new issue of Dance, Movement & Spiritualities (3.3) is now available.
The special issue of DMS focuses on ‘Global Journey’s of Sufi Whirling Sufism and Arts Practice.’
Articles within this issue include (partial list):
Authors: Esra Cizmeci
Page Start: 199
This article examines the theoretical and applied relationship between Sufism and performance as embodied acts (including theatrical events comprising dance, theatre, music, praying and meditating and everyday life actions of semazens). I focus on how a Sufi devotee artist, Narin dede with his semazens have come to use performance as a medium for the mobilization of Sufi cultural beliefs and values. Performing their ritual movements as theatrical events outside of Sufi lodges, semazens seek to recognize and embrace world as a sacred stage in which every act is devotional and is embodied and practiced to move closer to God. The analysis of the connection between Sufism and performance shows how Sufism is more than a set of religious doctrines designed solely for Sufi devotion. The connection between Sufism and performance opens a lens through which devotees and non-devotees perceive Sufism’s relationship to different cultures, religions and art forms.
Authors: Hannah McClure
Page Start: 243
This article looks at Sufi whirling as both a sacred act and a purifying process that sorts, sifts and reconfigures the ego. The article highlights the necessity of our spiritual and religious practices to a transmodern effort. By a renegotiation of ritual, practice and doctrine, ingenious solutions for both personhood and collective thriving may arise. The semazen-artist, an initiate who walks in the worlds of both spiritual submission and commercial arts production, emerges at a moment in time to hold the past, literally within their body and living practice, while consciously engaging the present towards a reimagined universal reality.
Authors: Mark James Hamilton
Page Start: 263
The Mevlevi sema, usually described as the dance of the whirling dervishes, can be understood to be both a private transformational passage and a public performance with theatrical dimensions. The exceptional commitment and effort that it requires evolves a participant’s deep focus towards one’s interior. At the same time, the commitment to welcoming guests as witnesses to the ceremony ensures that the practice remains connected to the wider world. What is created through the balance of these two dimensions? What is made possible by the ceremony’s dynamic relationship, in which the participants’ immersion in personal transformation contributes towards an aesthetic composition for onlookers? I explore these questions with reference to the propositions of Jerzy Grotowski, whose transcultural vision seeded my three decades of embodied practice as research and my arrival at participation in the Mevlevi sema in London.