In Ashland OR and Arcata CA in September, 2011:

An Evening with Rumi
A journey into sacred words, music and dervish turning, and the heart and soul of the world's most God-intoxicated poet

Dan Furst as the poet Jalaluddin Rumi

Music by Seabury Gould, bamboo flute and bouzouki, Marko Zonka, drums and vocals, and Nils Olof Soderback, violin

Dervish turning by Yahya Suzanna Nadler (Ashland) and Mary Flowers (Arcata)

To see this poster enlarged, click here.

"Dan Furst becomes Rumi in his illustrious portrayal of the Sufi poet.  Each scene is a revelation and the poems are so clearly elucidated and emphasized by movement, music, expression and feeling that one forgets we are not in the room with the great and favorite poet himself. I've had the delight and privilege of attending this performance twice, and each time the choice of material, the luminating gestures and the beautiful music was exciting and relaxing at once. It is a memorable evening, one that your heart will be gladdened by."
Catie Faryl, The Chamber of Commons, Ashland, OR

In a vivid, lively montage of Rumi poetry and “first person” narrative threads, the life, levity and luminosity of Rumi himself all come alive onstage, as award-winning actor Dan Furst bodies forth the revered, reverently irreverent poet Rumi himself, LIVE! In this delightful one-man play, based on translations from Coleman Barks, Kabir Helminski, and Jonathan Star, Dan Furst does not merely “recite” Rumi -- he dramatically “embodies” the great poet with verve, aplomb, and gusto! With sound and mood-scape accompaniment by musicians Seabury Gould on bamboo flute and bouzouki, Marco Zonka on percussion and vocal textures, Olof Soderback on violin and guest appearances by whirling dervishes, we evoke an atmosphere of earthy passion and ecstatic reflection amplified by “living presence” in dramatic action, verse, and song.

An Evening with Rumi

On Sept. 24 (Sat.) in Ashland:

Produced by:

Ashland Contemporary Theatre and Hermes 3

Where:

Bellview Grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland, OR

When:

Sept. 24 (Saturday) at 8:00pm

Running Time:

One hour and 50 minutes

Admission:

General Admission $15.00, Seniors $12.00, Students $8.00

Tickets and information:

Ashland Contemporary Theatre, (541) 646 - 2971

 

 

On Sept. 25 (Sun.) in Arcata:

Produced by:

Humboldt Folklife Society and Hermes 3

Where:

Bayside Grange, 2297 Jacoby Creek Road, Arcata, CA

When:

Sept. 25 (Sunday) at 7:00pm

Running Time:

One hour and 50 minutes

Admission:

Sliding Scale, $20.00 - $10.00, Students $8.00

Tickets and information:

Seabury Gould at seaburygould@hotmail.com; and Dan Furst at dan@hermes3.net and 941 - 465 - 7470

 About Mevlana, Jalaluddin Rumi

The parents of Jalaluddin Rumi knew well the theme that appears so often in his poetry: the pain of separation, and the longing to return.

 

The family lived in Kars, Afghanistan, until 1201, when they fled from the approach of Genghis Khan, and settled in Konya, in Turkey Turkey. Rumi was born in 1207, and lived as a respected scholar until he was 37, when he experienced the life-changing "glance": his first meeting with the itinerant Sufi teacher Shams, from Tabriz in Iran. The two men formed a profound spiritual friendship that changed Rumi from an intellectual who had never written much to an astoundingly prolific poet. His most admired work, The Mathnawi, is as long as the works of Shakespeare.

Rumi's way of writing was intuitive. He did not craft his poems, but poured them out as he walked through the town, usually flanked by scribes who wrote the words down as the poet turned and spoke, and the people gathered to listen. 
Rumi's stories are deliciously dramatic, and not only because of their vivid characters, dreamlike changes of direction and gorgeous imagery. To actors, it makes sense that Rumi spoke his poetry in public as he walked to the school, the assembly hall, the town square, likely too "dissolved in love" to deliver "performances," much less "act" for effect on an audience. Yet his conversational style, and his images that flow like jazz rather than verse, seem to show that the poet knows others are present when he speaks, and they may even be having fun listening to him -- and he knows they are present.

Coleman Barks writes in Rumi Illuminated, "Rumi is the 13th-century sufi mystic, whose ability to open the heart so dissolved the boundaries of religion that he made human friendship and the longing to merge with the Source one thing. His spontaneously-spoken poetry celebrates the sacredness of everyday life and gives voice to the soul's deepest mysteries."

Those who have preserved Rumi's words and seek to apply his teachings are called the Mevlevi Order, and refer to the poet as Mevlana, the Master. It is said that when Rumi passed away in 1274, people from every faith in Konya walked in his funeral procession: Muslims, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists and all came to honor the one who spoke for them all, and for the truth of every sacred tradition.

 

About the Artists

Dan Furst has worked as an actor, singer, ceremonial artist, stage combat director and producer in theatre, film and TV in New York, Europe, India, Japan, Hawaii and Egypt. He has also published two books: Dance of the Moon (Llewellyn, 2009) and Surfing Aquarius (Red Wheel Weiser, 2011). He is now on his 40-city Living Aquarian tour of talks, booksignings, performance events and ceremonies from Sept., 2011 to March, 2012.

Dan is the first actor to play Rumi onstage. Since 2003 the production history of An Evening with Rumi has included Hawaii; Silver City, NM; Kansas City, MO; and Pisac, Peru as well as in Ashland in Feb. 2010. Dan lives in Pisac in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru.
Eclectic musician Seabury Gould is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, storyteller and music teacher.
He performs on the guitar, bamboo flute, Irish bouzouki, piano, percussion and the Indian vina. He plays solo and with other musicians in a variety of styles including Irish and other Celtic traditional music, contemporary folk, classical music of India, blues, and Beatles songs. Seabury also performs the poetry of the Sufi mystic Rumi either solo with his own musical accompaniment or with other musicians using percussion, flute, and strings. His quartet gave a well received Rumi performance at the first Ojai World Music Festival in 1997 as well as several repeat performances at local venues. He has also performed at presentations by Robert Bly, Coleman Barks, and Deepak Chopra. For his full profie and recordings, click here.
Percussionist for world-music from Eastern Europe to the Mediterranean, North India to North Africa, Marko Zonka plays tar, tabla, bendir, ziltar, udu, ghataam, dharbuka, djembe, and composes drum & vocal arrangements of traditional or original melodies, for movement, love, and celebration. Zonka studied classical Indian Music with maestros Ali Akbar Khan, Allah Rakha, Zakir Hussain, and Swapan Chaudury, and has toured the US and Canada with master sitarists Pandit Shivnath Mishra and son Deobrat Mishra (Varanasi, India). He performs with crystal bowl & sacred music songstress Ashana, Ena Vie (Spirit Voyage) Nastrave (Eastern European/Bulgarian/Klezmer) and other exponents of world music and dance. For his songs and complete information, click here.
Nils Olof Söderbäck was born in Sweden in 1954. He plays violin, piano, accordion, tabla and dilruba in concerts and recordings of Swedish folk music, Indian ragas, and East European music such as Bulgarian, Klezmer, Galician and Portuguese folk music.  Olof resides in Talent, OR with his wife Seeta, whom he met in India 30 years ago while studying Tablas in Mumbai and Pune. His CD's are available on CDbaby.  
Olof teaches at Lark camp every year and he often performs at the Oregon Shakespeare festival Greenshow and in many local restaurants .  He has also been on staff of  the festival of American Fiddletunes in Port Townsend, Washington.
Yahya Suzanna Nadler loves to dance! She is a performer, a body-mind counselor and a spiritual guide.
She has performed in many venues and genres, mostly African, modern, dervish turning, improvisational dance and her latest creation, body poetry. As a dance -movement therapist, she uses movement in her counseling practice and groups. As a spiritual guide, she is a longtime student and teacher of three Universal Sufi paths: the Whirling Dervishes, the Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Dances of Universal Peace.
Mary Flowers is a local Sufi dancer living in Arcata, CA.

The Turning of the Dervishes

Everyone has heard of the "whirling dervishes," but few dervishes try -- or want -- to explain what they do. People committed to the dervish path become semazens who practice in song, movement and meditation to refine their "turning," and prepare for sema ceremonies sema in which nine or more semazens, forming a geometric design, all turn together in a communal ritual of music and turning. Semazens always turn to the left. Why? Because the heart is to the left of the center line of the body, so by turning to the left the dervish turns on the axis of the heart.

Balance is easier to keep, and the dervish can enter deep meditation and bliss states. In the turning, the dervish seeks the ecstasy of direct union with God, so that, in Rumi's words, "all qualities of doingness disappear."

 

Pieces of Mevlana

 

Come in! The Beloved is here. We are all drunk.

No one notices who enters or leaves.

Don't sit outside in the dark, alone, wondering.

                         "The House of Love," translation by Kabir Helminski

What I do is born out of love,
Not malice or spite.

I am here to make your heart

a shrine of love,

not a pen for holding sheep.

     I Cried Out at Midnight,

       version by Jonathan Star

I am a sky where spirits live.

Stare into this deepening blue,

while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

                        Like This,

version by Coleman Barks

Nightingales are kept in cages      because their songs give pleasure.

Who ever heard of keeping a crow?

 

Passion     can restore healing power, and prune the weary boughs

back to new life.     The energy of passion is everything!

In Baghdad Dreaming of Cairo, version by Coleman Barks

 

In the hand of love I'm like a cat in a bag,

Lifted up and whirled around overhead.

That's how much control I have over circumstances.

          "Full Moon, Bilal," version by Coleman Barks

We have fallen into the place      where everything is music.
Where everything is Music, version by Coleman Barks

 

Friend, I've shrunk to a hair

trying to tell your story.

Would you tell mine?

I've made up so many love stories,

Now I feel fictional.

 

 The Fragile Vial, version by Coleman Barks

 

 

Copyright 2011 Dan Furst