Famous dancers engaged in religious ritual.

By John Pitcher


Legend has it that the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi chanced by a goldsmith shop one day and began whirling to the rhythm of the hammers. The order of the Whirling Dervishes was born.

Next week, some of the great Islamic poet’s spiritual descendants — the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi — will appear at the Rose Theater. The group, sponsored by the Niagara Foundation of Nebraska, will perform in several Midwest cities. The tour will culminate with an appearance at the Turkish World Festival in Chicago later in the month.

The dervishes, with their long, twirling, umbrella-shaped skirts, are among the most famous dancers in history.

Yet their famed movements are not theatrical performances. They are part of an elaborate religious ritual. Applause, therefore, is discouraged at the end of a Whirling Dervish performance.


Continue Reading….