Whirling dervishes perform in different parts of the world
KONYA - Anatolia News Agency
The Konya Turkish Sufi Music group, formed by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, is invited from various countries and organizes Sema programs throughout the year.Turkey’s only official Sema dance group, Konya Turkish Sufi Music, has performed in South Korea for the first time, and aroused great interest among the locals.
The director of the group, Faruk Belviranlı said the group, founded by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, was the first and only state group specializing in Sufi music and the Sema (the meditative whirling practiced by Sufi dervishes of the Mevlevi order).
“The group has been invited to Sufi music and Sema programs in Turkey and abroad since its formation. Demand from abroad increases every year. This shows us the interest in Rumi, Turkey, and our traditional culture,” he said, adding that 47 artists were involved in the group.
Belviranlı said the group organized Sema programs every month at Konya’s Mevlana Culture Center and performed Turkish and Sufi music concert under the art directorship of flute player Yusuf Kaya.
“Because of the wide interest in Rumi, we receive many demands to organize Sema programs abroad. We go to many countries, mostly Europe, every year and perform there. We performed in Germany, Belgium and Japan this year. We also went to South Korea this year for the first time, for the Expo 2012 Yeosu International Fair, and staged four performances in Yeosu city,” Belviranlı said. “Their sincerity to us is very unique, and our Sema program really impressed them.”
He also said many people abroad sought material satisfaction, but that Rumi’s tolerance and love drew increasing numbers of people to the spiritual world. “This is why they show an interest in our culture, Sufi music and the culture of Rumi.”
The Konya Turkish Sufi Music group plans to stage nearly 100 programs in Turkey and abroad up to the end of the year, according to Belviranlı.“The top criteria [when organizing a program] is that it should present Rumi and Sufi music. Technical details are also important,” he added.