Hz. Suleiman Hayati Dede, Mevlevi Sheikh of Konya, Turkey (d.1986) traveled many times to Western Europe and North America, bringing compassion and love to the lives of all who were fortunate to meet him. In 1978 he sent his son, Postneshin Jelaluddin Loras to America to continue fulfilling Dede's inspiration; to bring the traditional teachings and practices of the Mevlevi to the west. The Mevlevi Order of America offers regular classes, seminars, and public Zikr ceremonies, and offers Sema, the Whirling Prayer Ceremony to the public for Shebi Aruz, the anniversary of Mevlana's passing, on December 17th each year. Music is an important part of their Remembrance and Prayer. They have active circles in many cities on the west coast, in upstate New York, Maui, and Honolulu. All people, of any religious or spiritual tradition, are welcome to participate in these practices and classes.

Perhaps one of the oldest records of a dance contract can be found in the archives of Greek papyri purchased by Cornell University. The following contract, recorded in koine (the Greek used in the Hellenistic period), dates from 206 AD. "To Isadora, castanet dancer from Artemisia of the village of Philadelphia. I wish to engage you with two other castanet dancers to perform at the festival at my house for six days beginning with the 24th of the month of Payni (May 26-June 24) according to the old calendar, you receive as pay 36 drachmas for each day and for the entire period four artabas of barley and 20 pairs of bread loaves and whatsoever garments or gold ornaments you may bring down, we will guard these safely; and we will furnish you with two donkeys when you come down to us and a like number when you go back to the city. Year 14 of Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax and Marcus Aurelius Antonius Pius, Augusti, and Publicus Septimus Geta Caesar Augustus, Payni 16." The dancer Isadora is referred to specifically as a "krotalistria," whereas the normal term for a dancer in Greek is "orchestria." Therefore, Isadora was a specialist in castanet dancing.

Another type of dance associated with Egyptian folkloric dance is the men's cane dance, or stick dance. The Tahtib is the oldest form of Egyptian martial art to have survived, intact, from remote antiquity according to Magda Saleh. Egypt's first theatricalizer of folk dance, Mahmoud Reda, reports viewing representations of this form depicted on the great monuments and tombs in Luxor. The long stick used in the Tahtib in Egypt - thick and solid bamboo staff - is known as Asa or Asaya, shoum or Nabboot. As Edward Lane reported: "The Nebboot is a formidable weapon and is often seen in the Egyptian peasant: he usually carries it on a journey; particularly when he travels by night." The tahtib is a favorite at any festive occasion, such as weddings, welcoming parties, and harvest festivals. It is also practiced by the men as a pastime and used as a means of self-defense.

Snippets - Monthwise listing