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Whirling Dervishes: Mevlevi Sema Ceremony + Devran Dhikr

18:30 - 22:00
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Please note the above timings relate to doors (opening and closing times). Performance times may vary.

Yunus Emre Institute London is pleased to announce the new dates for the upcoming UK tour of the Whirling Dervishes: Mevlevi Sema Ceremony and Devran Dhikr along with two lectures & concerts on Ottoman Sufi Music which will be performed by the Istanbul Sufi Ceremonies Ensemble in London, Cambridge and Oxford between the 23rd – 26th April 2023. In light of the recent events, all the proceeds will be donated to Türkiye Earthquake Relief Fund.

This April, experience an authentic performance of a centuries-old ritual that unites the mind, the heart, and the body through the universal language of music and movement. Join us for the breath-taking UK tour of the symbolic and spiritual Whirling Dervish performance accompanied by traditional Turkish Sufi music by master musicians!

The Whirling Dervishes Mevlevi Sema Ceremony and Devran Dhikr will be presented and performed by İstanbul Tasavvuf İrfan ve Meydan Meşkleri Topluluğu (Istanbul Sufi Ceremonies Ensemble), a specialized ensemble officially established in 2018 under the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and represents master vocal and instrumental artists and ensemble of senior Semazens (Whirling Dervishes).  

Since its establishment, Istanbul Sufi Ceremonies Ensemble has been organising concerts in restored historical buildings and concert halls all around the world. During these events, ceremonies and rituals of Islamic tradition and Sufi culture, known to few people, are performed in their original authentic versions. The ceremonies are conducted by masters in this their respective field and feature a choir consisting of Turkey’s most talented musicians. For the ceremonies, the highest grades of traditional Turkish music are sung, parts of Persian, Turkish, and Arabic poems are read, and the ceremony is completed with a recitation of the Qur’an.   

The unique ceremony consists of not only Sema Ceremony but also Devran a special type of dhikr which form an integral whole and contains different Sufi meanings symbolising spiritual ascent. In this ceremony, clothes, postures, movements, and parts all have significant meanings and in keeping alive the tradition of spiritual music, thorough research is always made by the ensemble to revive forgotten poems and bring them to the public to be enjoyed once again.  

The immense and informative structure of the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony and Devran Dhikr which will be performed by Istanbul Sufi Ceremonies Ensemble will offer an experience in which the audience is not merely spectators but are participants in a spiritual practice with centuries of history.   



11-17 Stoke Newington Rd Dalston London N16 8BH

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