Trans n Dance | Sufi whirling by Rana Gorgani
I arrived to the studio and the atmosphere was amazing, silence ! The sound of Rana’s leather shoes steps was breaking the silence in a nice way. The participants were there on the floor of the studio, sitting there focused, relaxed… Then came peaceful words from Rana. Asking the attendees to lay down on their back, to take a deep breath and to relax. For me, especially that I came there walking fast, it made me relax too. I wasn’t expecting that, I had no idea how the workshop will go. Somewhere I was thinking they are just coming there and they start to whirl like dervish, this is how the Sufi dance goes, right? It’s how it looks, but to arrive to the point of whirling like a dervish you need to get ready for that, to enter this universe, to put yourself in the condition… and it’s here where Rana is holding your hand to guide you through.
The partcipants were laying down and forms a circle, their eyes closed, foscused on what Rana’s instrcutions. They started to move and to try to stand up in slow movement. The aim was to find the balance with their body. After that they started to walk while they were breathing deeply. Rana started walking between them with a daf in her hands. She broke the silence and she gave the rythme with a deep and loud sound of the beats. I almost forgot that I was there for the photography. The sound of beats were the opportunity to release the shutter of my camera and to follow Rana’s rythme with my clicks. Since the participant were not expecting me there, and while they had to keep their eyes closed I didn’t want to distract them.
Rana made them walk around the studio one after one by giving them a signal with a touch on the shoulder. They were breathing out loud the participant had to use the space around them, without being scared to touch others or to hurt themselves. Music started slowly, inspiring the participant more elegance and freedom in their movement, the gestures started to have more confidence. While they were breathing out loudly they walked and walked and explored the studio whit their steps doing movement, not being afraid to fall. Then Rana asked them to get close to sound that they hear, it was the loud breath of each participant. They hesitations start but after few seconds they started to gather to the same place getting close until they formed a circle again. Until here no one opened his eyes, they trusted Rana’s words and themselves too. they’ve been invited to have a sit a then finally to open their eyes….There was a loud silence, you could have even heard them breathing.
Then they started to whirl…
After this long peacefull and relaxing hour, the group of participant received the first advises for how to manage to turn and whirl. The position of the hands and important things to know about the sufi dance. After that, Rana offered them to wear the dresses that she brought to the workshop. The dresses are realy nice, personally I’ve dind’t wear any but why not maybe I’ll be intiated to whirl one day with the help of Rana !
Since few months I’m working about movement, body gestures through the “YogaGraphy” project or “Trans n Dance“. For me photography is about to freeze one particular moment. I’ve always been impressed of how we move how we are and especially about at a specific moment when you catch a moment on a picture.
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