Dancing on the Edge Urgent artistic dialogues with the middle east



Nourredine Khourshid and the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus

Ensemble Nourredine Khourshid

The capital of Syria, Damascus plays an important role as a pilgrimage destination in Islamic Sufism. Since the 9th century, the city has been replete with Sufi brotherhood, who find their way to God in different ways. The Mawlawi Order is the well known Syrian equivalent of the Turkish Mevlevi Order. The wisdom of Jalal ad-din Rumi (1207-1273) is the centre around which the whirling white-robed Dervishes circle. Nourredine Khourshid is from Damascus and his ensemble brings a Mawlawi ritual full of music, singing and dervish dance to the stage. The music, influenced by the classic traditions of Bagdad, provides a thrilling intensity that both compliments and inspires the dance. The intensity of Khoursid’s singing makes the ceremony into a devotional ritual.