27

SUNDAY

“Dervish” is one of those words that conjures both the fascination and the revulsion that Western observers have felt for Middle Eastern culture. Like the Dionysians, gnostics, and druids who have been successfully banished from the Western tradition, the whirling dervishes—members of the Mevlevi Order of Sufi mysticism—seek spiritual enlightenment in the derangement of the senses. This is a notion sure to shock countries with significant Protestant populations, and indeed, strict Muslims have also been known to disapprove of the practice. In the post-LSD age, the dervishes’ consciousness-altering practices have become better known in the West, and the poetry of the original Sufi, Jaluddin Rumi, has become a New Age sensation. The dervishes take their calling from one of Rumi’s lines: “Dazed by the marvels of love, our whirling continues.” Seven dancers will be accompanied by four singers and 10 instrumentalists, who will attempt to make music to—in Rumi’s words—”uplift our spirit to realms above.” At 8 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium, 21st & H Sts. N.W. $18-30. (703) 218-6500. (MJ)