A whirling time for Mumbai

Nov 21, 2013, 08:19 IST | Soma Das

The act of whirling is a form of remembrance of God 

All eyes will be on the fifth edition of Sama’a: The Mystic Ecstasy. The Sufi music festival will feature Sufi poetry, Qawwalis, popular Sufi songs, a film screening and Tannoura (Sufi whirling) performed by the Egyptian Mawlawiyah group (here, dervishes are dressed in colourful Egyptian skirts). The festival opens with a film screening of So Heddan So Hoddan (Like here like there) by Anjali Monteiro and KP Jayasankar, which looks at the legacy of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a medieval Sufi poet. Day Two will see Salim Arif and Lubna Salim host a session on Sufi Poetry reading. It will be followed by qawwali by Wajahat Jaffar Badayuni and his group who will present Dargahi Qawwalis composed by Sufi saints. The festival will conclude with Parthiv Gohil’s performance where he will sing traditional as well as famous Bollywood Sufi songs.

Singer Wajahat Jaffar Badayuni will perform a Qawwali 

Speaking about the festival, Dr Suvarnalata Rao, Head Programming (Indian Music), NCPA, says that the idea behind Sama’a is to bring the true essence of Sufi philosophy to the fore, which is to go beyond entertainment. “The vision is to curate a multi-genre festival to offer a holistic experience through the medium of film, music, poetry, etc, and also to present national as well as international traditions.” Started in 2009, the event has in the past featured performers like Rajasthani Folk singers, dervishes from Tunisia and Turkey, Sanam Marvi (Pakistan), Wadali Brothers, Haji Aslam Sabri, Salim Chishti, and several others. “Sufism is concerned with union with the divine and experiencing the bliss of His love and grace. The festival seeks to spread the message of love and brotherhood through arts. The Sufi ideology transgresses the man-made divides of caste, creed, religion and region, and is absolutely relevant in today’s times,” emphasises Rao.

Singer Parthiv Gohil will sing traditional and Bollywood Sufi songs

Sama’a: The Mystic Ecstasy will be held from November 22 to November 24 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point.
at So Heddan So Hoddan — Godrej Dance Theatre, November 22 (5.30 pm); Egyptian Mawlawiyah group — Tata Theatre, November 22 (7.30 pm); Sufi poetry — Experimental Theatre, November 23 (6 pm); Qawwali by Wajahat Jaffar Badayuni — Experimental Theatre, November 23 (7.30 pm); Sufiana Songs by Parthiv Gohil— Tata Theatre, November 24 (6.30 pm) call 22824567 

The Egyptian Mawlawiyah group of dervishes who perform in colourful skirts

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