|Terra cotta oil lamp - early 6th Century BC|
|Glass vases - early 6th Century BC|
There were so many wonderful artifacts at the museum; each one has importance and weight in the record of human civilization. But tangible objects are not the only way we leave our cultural mark on the world. Dance is another way culture is identified.
Tonight we went to a live performance of Whirling Dervishes. I had no idea what the Whirling Dervish was all about before I read the website of the cultural center before going to the performance. It is a religious ceremony that is very highly revered in the ancient Turkish tradition. I won't try to explain the symbolism of everything - I'll put a couple of links at the bottom of the post where you can read about it - it's quite extensive. I will say that the ceremony and the music are mesmerizing. And I have no idea how the dancers (the Dervishes) don't get dizzy! They twirl in circles for about 10 minutes at a time, then stop suddenly with no stumbling or swaying. The basic idea behind the dance is love, tolerance, and closeness to God. I am also putting a link to a YouTube video of a Whirling Dervish ceremony - it is not as beautiful as the one we saw tonight, but you will get the idea of the dance.
Click here for the YouTube video.
Click here for the description of the ceremony. This website is the actual venue we went to - it is a renovated Turkish bath that is now a beautiful cultural center.
Maybe I am biased, but I think that art is one of the most important records of the cultures of our world's civilizations. There are so many different groups on this planet with many varied cultures, but one of the things I love most about traveling is seeing the similarities that we share as a human race.
Here's to art!