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Whirling (Sufi Dance) Practice with Live Music
January 25, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST$20 – $25
Sufis, lovers, mystics, CRS and Sufi Artist Lale Sayoko invite you to join us for an hour of meditative whirling known as Sufi dance or Sema (Sama in Iranian). This is not a class (i.e. there is no instruction) but an open space where we can come together to practice and is open to people of all backgrounds who whirl and follow the path of oneness. This month Tomchess of the American Sufi Project will honor us by playing live music for us.
You should already know the basics of how to whirl. If you have not already learned whirling from a Sufi teacher — for example, from our teachers Rana Gorgani, Lale Sayoko, or Paola Garcia, or at one of our whirling events, or from a Sufi lodge or community — please first attend our Sufi Dance Class with Lale Sayoko, which takes places the first Thursday of each month from 7:30 – 9 pm at CRS, to learn the basics. Sayoko is also available for private instruction weekdays and weekends by appointment.
This Whirling Practice with Live Music will usually take place on the fourth Friday of each month from 7 – 8 pm, and live music will be provided each time by one of our musician friends. In February and March, the fourth Friday falls the day after the third Thursday, when our Healing Circles are held, so in those and other such months we will endeavor to have live music and whirling in our Healing Circles (meaning there will be no fourth Friday events in those months).
Please remember that whirling commonly induces dizziness or nausea. Avoid eating a large meal for two hours prior to class. Over time, through whirling, we learn to trust ourselves to go off balance, to be dizzy, to surrender control, allowing us to whirl for longer periods. You do not have to whirl for the entire hour, but you are encouraged to explore whether your perceived limits are immutable or only self-imposed.
We empty our minds of all thoughts of the individual self as we give ourselves over to prayer and connect with a greater power, the still center within, around which we turn. Into this emptiness floods a divine fullness, which sometimes gives rise to a state known as “mystical intoxication,” a reflection of knowing and experiencing that you and I and the Divine are One. Together we can take courage and inspiration from one another and strengthen our practice.
Please wear comfortable clothing (white, gray or black color is preferable, avoiding prints and shiny material which might distract the eye while whirling) and wear socks or soft soled shoes. If you have a whirling skirt, please feel free to bring it.
$20 with advance registration, $25 at the door
Learn more about Sufi dance:
About Sufi Dance Artist Lâle Sayoko
Sayoko was one of the founding members of Japan’s famous Samanyolu professional bellydance group, and has since developed her own solo career touring with UK’s Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on a 44 city tour of the UK, to Turkey’s Baba Zula, and with New York’s Bella Gaia multimedia Earth from Space journey show. Lale aspires for dance to be a powerful communicator though traditional technique and spiritual embodiment. She has lately been studying Sufi dance with Rana Gorgani, and in April 2018 Gorgani awarded her the International Sufi Dance Certification Of Cid UNESCO, granting her authority to teach Gorgani’s method of Sufi dance training. With CRS co-founders Yasuko Kasaki and Christopher Pelham, she leads the CRS Healing Circles + Whirling that take place every third Thursday of the month at CRS (2nd Thursday in Aug 2018).
About Musician Tomchess
Tomchess (oud, ney, morsing) is a New York City–based multi-instrumentalist, improviser, and composer who has played and recorded with some of the most esteemed players in the improvisational scene (Dewey Redman, Butch Morris, Pharoah Sanders, Drew Gress, Ronald Shannon Jackson) as well as Moroccan sintarist Hassan Hakmoun. He has performed around the world and at New York City venues like Lincoln Center, the Turkish and Pakistani embassies, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the United Nations He has played on Grammy-nominated recordings and was awarded grants from the Turkish American Society and the Maryland Council for the Arts. In 2012 he was nominated for an Independent Music Award.