DIP Lecture

Dervish Whirling As An Artistic Tool

While science leaves no space for intuitions that are not based on proven facts; and religion strolls around intuitions without searching for proven facts; art, in my opinion, by moving freely between knowledge and intuition; opens up a freer space for mental, physical, and emotional perception.

It is possible to diversify our mechanism and experiences by consciously moving outside of our physical and emotional knowledge. This results in increasing our capabilities in every aspect of our being. Human beings have already developed numerous methods of doing so, however; we simply don’t give enough space in our lives to apply these methods and let them restore and develop the way we function.

Whirling, that we often see at the Sufism traditions, is an effective tool to experience the above-mentioned journeys between knowledge and intuition. Whirling has been experienced for hundreds of years appearing within number of cultures and belief systems in a variety of forms, languages, costumes, instruments and music styles.

The primary physical changes that are experienced through whirling are intense respiration, faster blood circulation, and alterations in perception. Hyperventilation causes adjustments in hormone balances and unusual electrical current among the brain cells. Besides that, due to the centrifugal force sensual perceptions change. (Such as, failure of focusing in sight, difficulty for the vestibular system in balance, confusions in orientation, hearing impairment, etc.) The accelerated

blood circulation increases the body temperature; and as a result of that, the activity levels increase in organs, glands, tendons, and muscles. All these changes also alter the perception and eventually fascinate the human beings!

As a son of a tailor, who is from province of Anatolia and now 46 years old, who’s also an engineer and has been worldwide dancing for 27 years, an artist who has been whirling for 17 years, I have been nourished with the fascination of listening to the unknown and it’s integration with knowledge!

Dervish Whirling as an Artistic Tool, aims at demonstrating how whirling becomes an artistic instrument based on repetitions, variations, and progression; by looking at the accessible examples throughout the history. The presentation is 3 hours long and includes short live performances, images and videos of my various performances that examine the Sufism.


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