Whirling Dervish’s performances began with the inspiration of Mawlana Jalaleddin Rumi, one of the greatest mystical poets of Islam.
Turkey’s whirling dervishes performing a traditional ‘sema’ Mevlevi dance ceremony before dinner at the iconic Hodjapasha Dance Theater in Istanbul! The centuries-old ceremony is a spiritual performance featuring graceful choreography, Persian chanting, and traditional Turkish music, played by the on-site orchestra. Enjoy a drink and some Turkish delight from the bar, and then stay captivated as the dervishes glide around the stage in their eye-catching robes; it’s the perfect evening out to enjoy age-old Istanbul culture.
The Hodjapasha Dance Theater in the Sirkeci neighborhood of Istanbul dates back to the 15th century, it was once home to Turkish baths, and is now, one of the top places to see traditional Turkish dances and ceremonies.
1-hour show, of a 15-minutes Turkish classical music concert followed by a 45-minutes Mevlevi Sema Dance, performed by a troupe of “Sema zens” (or whirling dervishes). The whirling dervishes glide around the stage in a flurry of movement, dancing in time to Persian and traditional Turkish music played by the theater’s orchestra. The flute, kettledrum, and cymbal music are accompanied by songs and the chanting of ancient Persian poems and prayers.
The entrancing ceremonial dance is believed to date back as far as 800 years – a fact that helped the dance land a spot on UNESCO’s Intangible World Heritage List.