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March 16: Spin Spin and Touch the Divine at IMA

A performance of excellent cross-cultural music and dance by Islamic mystics at the IMA

When: Thursday, March 16, 6:30 pm

Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Asian Galleries and Pulliam Great Hall

In anticipation of the opening of the Asian Galleries in June 2006, the IMA is presenting a continuing series of special events that highlight Asian religious and cultural traditions. Sufism is a mystical movement within Islam, which has been practiced in various ways in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Sufi music and whirling are meditation practices, aimed at creating a feeling of oneness with the universe and the divine, the source of all creations and art. Witness the demonstration of a Sufi blessing ritual with Aziz, a Whirling Dervish, accompanied by Sufi music featuring the vocalist Najwa Gibran and members of The Yuval Ron Ensemble.

This ought to be great music. Najwa Gibran is becoming known as one of the best young Arabic female singers living today in the west. She often sings for concerts that promote peace in the Middle East. Najwa Gibran was the feature vocalist on the US Network mini-series “Helen of Troy” soundtrack and is featured on the latest Yuval Ron Ensemble recording, “Under the Olive Tree.”

Formed in 1999, the Yuval Ron Ensemble includes Arabic, Israeli and Jewish musicians as well as Christian Armenian artists who seek to unite the sacred musical traditions of Judaism, Sufism and the Armenian Church into an unusual mystical, spiritual and inspiring musical celebration. The ensemble is actively involved in creating musical bridges between people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths, and is dedicated to fostering an understanding of Middle Eastern cultures and religions through music.

I assume Najwa Gibran and the Yuval Ron Emsemble will perform songs from "Under the Olive Tree" ... it's pretty good. You can hear a sample here and here.

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