Author: Agnieszka Ayşen Kaim | Pages: 148–156
The Sema ceremony is a ritualistic dance which evolved from and was inspired by the philosophical ideas of Mowlana and was developed by his son Soltan Valad, becoming a part of Turkish custom. This sacred dance, not approved by early orthodox Islam, represents elements of shamanistic dances from Central Asia and those of ecstatic dance practices of ancient Asia Minor. Movement and dance enables a person to enter the sphere of sacrum and has been a way to attain a unity with God by combining body, mind and emotion. It reflects the structure of the universe and the circle of energy. As a rite, it preserves its symbolic structure, sacred costume and space, it belongs to a certain community. As an artistic expression sema (Pers. sama') involves dance, music and poetry, it has its particular costume, rhythm, choreography and professional performers. Contemporary show culture converts rituals into entertainment and results in a de-sacralisation of the rite.