Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Konya Sufi whirling dervishes London event sold out

Whirling dervishes performing at Cadogan Hall in 2007. Photo: Chris Christoforou 

An event in central London presenting the Mevlevi spiritual traditions of music and dance from Turkey has sold out. A capacity audience of 953 people are expected at Cadogan Hall on Friday evening to see the Konya Sufi Music Ensemble, where musicians and whirling dervishes will perform a ceremony based on the teachings established by the 13th-century Muslim scholar, poet and mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

The Sema ceremony comprises of seven sections of both vocal and instrumental compositions that use contrasting rhythmic cycles performed by a small group of singers, a neyzen (flute-player), a kettledrummer and a cymbal player.

Cadogan Hall, 2007. Photo: Chris Christoforou 

Friday’s event was free to the public, with just a booking fee charged, following the generous sponsorship of the event by the Turkish Embassy, Yunus Emre Institute London, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office and Ziraat Bank.

Cadogan Hall, in Chelsea, has previously hosted whirling dervishes from Turkey as part of UNESCO’s ‘Year of Rumi’. 

The performance in 2007, also a sell-out, formed part of the 800th anniversary world tour to commemorate the life and work of Mevlana Rumi. 

Konya, in central Turkey, is globally renowned for its Mevlevi traditions as it is where Rumi spent much of his adult life, before he passed away there in December 1273. 


  1. I love to attend music events, and I am amazed to see how such big events can be free for public. I love Turkish culture. Well I am looking information on Sufi events in New York which I can attend. Any suggestions?

    1. The above event was sponsored by the Turkish government, which is why it was free. Write to the Turkish embassy in Washington or their consular office in New York and ask if they have any plans to put on similar events in NYC. If they see there is a demand, you may be able to enjoy similar events for free too!