'Delhi is a world-class city'

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'Delhi is a world-class city'

We all had a glimpse of Whirling Dervishes in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Jodhaa Akbar but few know that it is the traditional dance form from Turkey.

Konya Turkish Tasawwuf Music Ensemble, one of Turkey’s premier Sufi music and dance troupes, recently performed this traditional dance at Rashtrapati Bhavan and also at the opening of the 6th edition of Delhi International Arts Festival.

Yusuf Kayya, Art Director of the troupe shared his experiences about the City with Metrolife.

This is his second visit to the Indian capital and he admits to being a “little apprehensive about the place, food, people and weather. But once we landed, we found that not only the food was good in terms of its preparation but people were also equally warm and hospitable.”

According to the director, the best part about the City is its similarity to Istanbul as both cities have a modern face with an ancient appeal where modern culture co-exists with ancient culture and values.

The group which was invited by the office of the vice president Hamid Ansari to perform, was elated at the idea of coming to India.

“Salma Ansari, the vice president, played a very important role in initiating the invite to us. We have been rehearsing for fairly long to not only enlighten spectators here but also to inform them about this unique form of dance –  which is a symbol and cultural jewel of Turkey tracing its journey some 800 years back when it was established,” shares Yusuf.

According to Yusuf, Whirling Dervishes is a dance form which is known to be pure and ritualistic in nature where each step has to be analysed before it is executed. They don’t dance for entertainment, but for attaining spiritual fulfillment.

Were there any apprehensions before coming to Delhi as this city sometimes does make news for the wrong reasons especially where tourists are concerned.

“We feel this notion is completely untrue as I and my group members have not faced any such problems during our last and current stay. This has more to do with individual perception rather than a general perception of the people at large.

In fact we see the city has improved a lot since our last visit in terms of setting up of world-class infrastructure and bringing city on International cultural map.

“We think it’s a world-class city with great potential and people are really giving their best. However, a bit of patience and discipline is required for any city to prosper at the desired pace which I feel is lacking,” he says.

Is he familiar with Bollywood films? “Raj Kapoor is quite popular even now. Today, people in Turkey who are above a certain age certainly remember Awara. Unfortunately we are not familiar with latest Hindi films.”

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