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Whirling (Sufi Dance) Practice with Live Music
July 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT| $20 – $25
Organized by: CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
We invite you to join our Sufi Dance community for an hour of meditative whirling known as Samâ (spiritual listening), hosted by Sufi Dance Artist Lâle Sayoko with live music by Iranian daf player Kamyar Arsani. Together, we create a sacred space for you to free your mind, transcend your limits, and share your light. By receiving the divinely inspired vibration of the music and developing our control of the body while surrendering the mind’s worries, let’s share the ecstasy that arises with repeated whirling.
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. 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, Lâle Sayoko, or Paola Garcia or from a Sufi lodge or community — please first attend one of our Sufi Dance classes with Lâle 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.
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.
Please wear comfortable clothing (white, gray or black color is preferable, avoiding prints and shiny material which might distract the eye while whirling) safe for dancing in (for women your tops should have straps or cover your shoulders) 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
About Sufi Dance Artist Lâle Sayoko
Lâle Sayoko lives to embody and transmit the voice of spirit through music and dance. As CRS resident Sufi Dance instructor, choreographer, performing artist, and musical curator, she loves to welcome people into this holy practice to explore and share their own divinity. After a long professional dance career, she retired to support her young daughter through a life-threatening medical crisis. Several years later she discovered that she could whirl as a form of prayer to support her daughter and began studying Sufi Dance with Paris-based Sufi Artist Rana Gorgani. 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. She currently teaches Sufi Dance classes at CRS every first Thursday of the month from 7 – 8:30 pm and leads the CRS Healing Circles + Whirling Prayer that take place every third Thursday of the month from 7:15 – 9 pm.
Lâle was one of the founding members of Japan’s famous Samanyolu professional bellydance group and 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 around the world many times with New York’s Bella Gaia multimedia Earth from Space concert.
About Musician Kamyar Arsani
Kamyar Arsani (daf) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Kamyar’s musical mission is to spread cultural awareness and unity by mixing contemporary musical trends with traditional Persian folk music. A multi-instrumentalist Sufi poet, from age 7 he studied Daf (Iranian frame drum) with Master Bijan Kamkar. After mastering the Daf, Kamyar learned Kamancheh (Iranian bowed string instrument) with Master Ardeshir Kamkar and Sohrab Pournazeri. In the midst of the Green Revolution in 2009, Kamyar and his family left Iran and now reside in Washington, DC. Kamyar’s songs and performances are very much inspired by the people of Iran and their history of struggle and protest. He produced his first solo album in 2015, entitled “No Freedom.” Kamyar also plays in two other collaborations: “Huda & Kamyar,” a Daf and Oud Duo, and “Time is Fire,” a weird world/post-punk band. Kamyar recently collaborated with Benjamin Schurr and DC’s BLIGHTRECORDS and produced an electronics-backed Daf album called “Voices in the Dark.” In the words of a reviewer: ”this isn’t so much music as it is downright spiritual. It is a movement.”