IDI Toronto has organized two huge tributes dedicated to Rumi in 2007. Most beautiful evening was on  Sunday the 4th of  November 2007, when the Mevlevi Group from Konya, more commonly known in the West as the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi appeared for a performance at Toronto Center for The Arts in Toronto. Close to 900 people were in attendance

Whirling dervishesThe audience was mesmerized by the Sema ceremony dance that took place during the second half of the program. The 12 member group performed from their heart the very spiritual Sema. Some of the comments made regarding the event were:

– The performance by the musicians and whirling dervishes was extremely impressive. It was an enchanting experience to hear this traditional music and see the graceful movements of the dancers. It was a good religious experience.

– It is an inspiring and informative event. It is always of great benefit to learn about, and participate in, other religious practices. The highlight of the evening for me was the Sema Ceremony. It made me realize the total devotion required to be able to properly participate in this service.

– We felt very honoured to witness the Whirling Dervishes on Sunday night. There was a solemn atmosphere of the sacred present as the men performed what seemed to be a very intimate form of prayer, in a very special way. We left feeling uplifted by the experience.

– It was a rare and special occasion to see the whirling dervishes right here in Toronto. I appreciated the warmth and generosity of the AIS in sharing this part of your culture and faith with me. The performance was beautiful, and through watching it I learned a lot about diversity and different expressions of spirituality within Islam.

– This was the first opportunity in my lifetime to witness the amazing Dervishes, live in concert.  At the outset I was unprepared as to what to expect since there are few spectacles akin to this in our society. And I am pleased to say that I was certainly not disappointed. The performance and overall presentation were incredibly professional with the Whirling Dervish in particular demonstrating a captivating performance.  Their skill and devotion inherent in this specialized art was genuinely awe inspiring.

– It was a privilege to be present at the 800th birthday celebrations of Rumi. He was a poet who transcended his time and remains an inspiration for people of all faiths, worldwide. The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony was stunning. It was performed with a reverence and disciplined ecstasy that was mesmerizing. It was unforgettable.