Whirling Dervishes are associated with Sufism, a liberal type of Islamic mysticism that has thirteenth-century origins in Konya in modern Turkey and where the Whirling Dervishes of Konya are based. The idea is to dance oneself into a mystical trance with the repetition of the constant, spinning motion serving as an inducement to transcend this level and enter into a mystical trance of a direct experience of the Divine Presence. It not only works for the dancers, but often has a profound effect on audiences as well as the dancers spin away into ecstasy with their brightly colored skirts, which raise as they dance, becoming visual kaleidoscopes as they do so. (Dennis Polkow)
Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington, (312)744-6630. Thu/9pm. Free.