This year is Jalal al-Din Rumi’s 800th birthday (it was on 30th September, to be as precise as we can be about these things) – and there’s an impressive range of exciting stuff going on in London to celebrate.
Rumi – the original dude poet, truly one of Iran’s greatest exports, and one of the creators of ecstatic dance. From which you will surmise that Londonist is quite fond of him. I mean, what’s not to like about this:
'There is a community of the spirit.
Join it and feel the delight
Of walking in the noisy street,
And being the noise.’There – he could’ve been a Londoner already.
Anyway, the first event is actually tonight, so you’ll have to get your skates on. There is a Shahram Nazeri concert at the Barbican. This guy’s an ostad (master) of Persian classical music, and a real big fan of Rumi: his music is passionate, often extemporised, and thrilling to hear.
Next up, there is a play – Unveil the Sun – which celebrates the meeting of Rumi with his mentor, the legendary Shams. This is on at the Shaw Theatre from 16th – 18th October, and looks set to be an exciting piece of theatre, dervishes and all.
And finally there is a Rumi Rap Concert on 26th October at the South Bank Centre. Yup, you read it right – Iranians are mighty fond of rap at the mo (and the truth is that Rumi’s magical words translate to rap just about perfectly). London band Simorgh and friends will be strutting their stuff, and Londonist is inclined to give this a very big thumbs-up.
The birthday boy elsewhere wrote:
I have banished duality from my mind. I see the world as One. I see One. I know One. I desire One. I seek One.
Definitely part of the ist-averse, then.
Picture courtesy of Haseeb Ansar’s flickr stream. Flickr is a supremely sufist concept of course.
By the way, whilst sauntering through flickr, Londonist was aghast at the number of people who have called their dogs Rumi. Just wanted to share that with you.