Traditional folk and devotional music from a noted Turkish musician and the trancelike dancing of the "whirling dervishes" will be the focus of several upcoming programs at the University of Rochester. The events, which include a lecture, demonstration, workshop, and concerts, are all open to the public and all are being held in Spurrier Hall on the River Campus.
Turkish born singer/composer Latif Bolat is appearing as part of the Performing Artist Series sponsored by the Dance Program. A classically trained musician, Bolat is renowned for his interpretation of music from the Sufi mystical tradition.
On Wednesday, April 5, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Bolat will give a free lecture and demonstration. He will be accompanied by Shakina Reinhertz, an American Sufi trained in whirling dervish, who will talk about attaining the ecstatic state of the dance form.
Later that day, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Bolat's ensemble will give a free performance that includes music, poetry, and zikar, which is the practice of remembrance through melodic chanting with simple movements.
Reinhertz will hold a free workshop, "Turning the Path of the Whirling Dervish," at 4 p.m. Friday, April 7, which will give participants an opportunity to learn how to do the whirling dervish turn. She'll also discuss the traditional training of the whirling dervish and the practice of Sama, which is movement to the inspirational sound of devotional music.
The concluding event is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday, April 7, with a concert of Turkish devotional music, mystical poetry, and dance featuring Reinhertz. Admission is $7 dollars for the general public and $5 for University students with ID.
Bolat was born in Mersin, Turkey, and attended the Gazi University in Ankara, where he received a degree in folklore and music. He is highly regarded as one of the most distinguished Turkish musicians in the United States. He plays classical, folk and Sufi music, accompanying himself on the baglama, a long-necked lute, and other traditional Turkish instruments. He also uses discussion and slides of Turkey as well as singing and dancing to illustrate folk traditions and sacred melodies.
Bolat has toured throughout the United States, written music for the George Lucas Studios television series Young Indiana Jones, and is the musical director for the Mevlevi Association of America, a Sufi organization that produces performances of Turkish dance and music.