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The Dance of the Soul: A Sufi Workshop
January 12, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST$50
OPEN TO ALL.
“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter…come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come yet again, come, come.”
Sufi whirling is called the dance of the soul because of its ability to liberate the dancer’s soul from the prison of the body. A background in dance is not necessary to benefit from the alchemy and spiritual richness of this practice, derived from Islamic mysticism. This workshop will focus, in practice and theory, on the four qualities required of a Sufi Dancer. These are essential character traits to be cultivated by any being who seeks to live a life of meaning and depth, emphasizing the importance of a rich inner life interwoven with, and manifesting in, our external realities and experiences. Cathartic and powerful, this practice is life-altering, exerting an irresistible pull on those who are called to it, and therefore meant to remove their veils and witness the intoxicating light of the divinity that lies at the core of our human essence.
In this workshop, the student will learn whirling technique and experience several meditation in motion exercises meant to facilitate connection with the deepest part of our selves. Students will also learn essential facts and some history about Sufism. This will facilitate an understanding of how we can benefit from the wisdom of this ancient tradition in a way that is deeply relevant and applicable to our experience as modern beings. Poetry and sacred music will be important components of this workshop.
Sufi Dance is the dance of unity: unity within our own selves first, and with the outer world and “others” second.
Paola Garcia is a Sufi dance artist certified by Persian master Rana Gorgani as a UNESCO international dance teacher. She holds a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies from Columbia University. She is a writer, Middle Eastern Studies researcher, and translator.
“Dancing is not just getting up painlessly, like a leaf blown on the wind; dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds.” –Jalal ad-Din Rumi.
The workshop fee is $50 until 1/11 and $60 at the door. Registration is available online, by phone (212-677-8621), and at CRS.
Please wear solid colors only and bring bring socks or flat dance slippers to wear. If you have a whirling skirt, you may bring it.
Do not eat for at least a couple of hours before the workshop.