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Sufi Whirling Space with Ashik Ensemble 

*ASHIK means lover in many ancient languages

*Turkish: âşık, Azerbaijani: aşıq, Arabic:عاشؽق; Persian: ,عاشیق, Armenian: աշուղ, Georgian: აშუღი, Hindu: आशिक

Experience Sufi Whirling Dance with Turkish Devotional Music!

Evening of mystic Turkish music and journey into the Whirling Dance of the Sufi. Ashik Ensemble will share this sacred musical tradition, singing poetry from Masters like Rumi, Yunus Emre, Niyazi Misri and Ashik Veysel. 

Anna and Aziz will open a participatory whirling space for all to join in the mystic dance of the Sufi. Altogether they create a space for integrating body-mind-soul culminating in a sense of unity and peace.

Ashik Ensemble will bring us to the sacred space through Sufi music: through chanting and mantras -called zikr in Sufi tradition-, playing ancient instruments like Ney -end-blown flute-, Oud -kind of a lute-, bendir -frame drum- and singing words of wisdom which, although in another language, easily pierce through the logical mind. The science of sound vibrations comes from 800 years of experience in Anatolia.


Sufi Whirling dance is a practice of movements to open the heart and to experience the Unity of Love here in the human body. During the whirling, one loses their routine sense of perceptions, like losing the sense of direction, of seeing, of controlled balancing and source of the sound: one feels the centrifugal inner center directly. Since all the sense perceptions are redirected to the source, the mind has no other chance but slowing down and integrating with the being.


Let’s have a little taste of this Sufi ecstatic experience! 


This event is open for everybody in all levels of experience. 

Come with an open heart, wear comfortable clothing for movement and bring socks. 


March 16, 2023


7.30 - 7.45 pm Opening the circle. 

7.45 - 8.15 pm Short intro to Sufi Whirling Dance 

8.15 pm - 9.15 pm Whirling with live music from Ashik Ensemble 

9.15 pm - 9.30 pm  Closing of the Space


Ashik Ensemble is a platform for music lovers who come together weekly to share their zest of Turkish Sufi Music in small practice sessions as well as with the wider Bay Area community on special occasions. Following the Sufi tradition, they improvise upon the musical muses reflecting back from the very bond they created in the circle. Their approach to music, thus, aspires to bring local vibes of their diverse backgrounds and audience into an experience of unity. 


Dervish Aziz and Anna Whirling have been giving instructions of Sufi Whirling Dance for more than two decades. 

Aziz Abbatiello was raised in an American Mevlevi family, as he started to walk the path of the mystics following in the tradition of the Sufi. He was initiated as Semazen in 1996, and has made Sema with several Sufi groups in the US, Turkey and Europe.

Anna Whirling is from Ukraine. In the beginning of the war she moved to Turkey and then came to the US. Anna has been practicing whirling all her life since childhood. She has performed on stage with different groups for 20 years.


Check for more info on Anatolian Ashik series of events organized on Ashik Culture from Turkey, inspired by the recognition of 2023 as the year of Ashik Veysel’s commemoration by Unesco.

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