Stanford, CA September 14, 2007 - An authentic show of Semah traditions from Turkey will be staged in Berkeley in October by Yore Folk Ensemble.
Yore, a Turkish dance troupe, based in Stanford, CA, will present the religious ceremonies of Alevi-Bektasi communities of Turkey, for the first time in California. Several different dances for this show were researched in various regions of Anatolia, the Turkish heartland. Semah show funded by Christesen Fund and will be performed on October 5th & 6th at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Berkeley.
The choreography for the Semah performance were made by nationally acclaimed artistic director and dancer Ahmet Luleci. Semah (pronounced sam-uh) is considered an integral part of Alevi religious ceremonies, or Cems, and practiced as a religious practice, not as a dance. The origin of this practice goes back to the Shamanistic rituals of Turkish tribes, before their conversion to Islam. Over the centuries, these rituals became a unique blend of heterodox Islamic philosophy and preceding local traditions.
Among the rituals that will be preformed, Tahtacilar Semahi (Semah of Tahtaci), which was researched years ago by Mr. Luleci. Bacilar Semahi (Semah of Sisters) and Kilic Semahi (Semah of the Sword) are the two distinguished parts, since they are rarely known outside of several rural tribes in Turkey. These numbers, who are in the verge of extinction, were specially taught to a troupe member by the expert elder of the tribes, will also be performed during the show.
This is going to be the third show of the group in the Bay Area. Yore's mission is to promote and present different dances and rituals from various regions of Anatolia. “The Bay Area performing arts lovers should not miss this rare opportunity of watching these shivering mystic performance, ” says, the executive director of Yore, which is also a California nonprofit organization.