Alibi Picks

Whirling Dialogue: Whirling Dervishes of Rumi with Sufi Music Concert

From the ancient city of Konya, Turkey, the Sufi Mevlevi Order of Islam is recognized for its iconoclastic Sema ceremony in which devotees, or dervishes, twirl continually in flowing skirts and camel hair hats. Even after the order was outlawed in 1925, this peculiar dance was kept alive as a tourist attraction. The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest, founded in 2002 to facilitate exchanges between constituents of different faiths, offers a moving statement on cross-cultural appreciation with a performance by the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi at the UNM Continuing Education Conference Center Auditorium (1634 University NE, tickets here) at 7:30pm on Friday, Jan. 30.

Though this revolving hoedown might put audiences in a hypnotic trance, an altered state of consciousness isn’t the aim for the performers themselves. Encompassing seven centuries of custom, the Sema ritual symbolizes the revolutions found in every corner of the natural world and represents a spiritual journey to find the capacity to love and serve the whole of creation without regard to belief, class or race. Hailing from a country famous for straddling both Europe and Asia, these spirit seekers might have something to add to the debate about peaceful coexistence. Tickets run from $15 to $20. UNM Continuing Education Building • Fri Jan 30 • 7:30-9pm • $15-$20 • View on Alibi calendar