These impressions consist of three parts:
1. The performers´ own experiences, illustrated by a few informal off-stage pictures.
2. Professional performance pictures made by the Konya Festival´s photograpers.
3. A short selection of performance video recordings, as recorded by the Konya Festival team, included in the ‘video’ chapter of this website.
All audio and video material presented is copyrighted by the Konya Festival and presented on our website with their kind permission. Do not copy without explicit written consent of the copyright holder: The Konya International Mystic Music Festival.
Movements consist of a strictly prescribed set of gestures and transitions and we are well aware of the risks of a life performance, where each single mistake causes a breakdown of the Movement. For that reason, it was not without hesitation that we agreed to perform Gurdjieff´s Movements at this festival when the Konya Festival´s Committee invited us several times, late 2012 and early 2013.
We were all too well aware that this festival has grown into the world´s foremost event in the field of mystic dance and music during the ten years of its existence. Movements have never been part of such a high- level festival’s program.
In the end, the sincere interest in Gurdjieff’s Movements shown by the Committee that organizes this festival, together with their insistence on a performance by a group of people who are experienced in Gurdjieff´s teaching as a whole, made us decide to partake in this adventure.
So we did ‘set sail’ to Konya with a group of 15 performers. What goes on in the minds of people who have taken such a responsibility and how did they experience this performance?
Their impressions can be found in the following selection of unchanged, unedited diary notes, illustrated by informal, off-stage photographs. Our group, some of whom performed as well, designed and made new costumes, an important element of a performance.
I tried not to identify with the different states I experienced during the days of preparation– calmness and tension – and became more united. During the performance I was not nervous and could express my inner state in the Movements. When we visited Mevlana’s tomb the next day, I experienced a fine energy, which manifested in my breast, and I could understand something of the love on which this religion is founded.
Now I feel a release of all efforts having been made by me since months. The longer I am trying to follow this path in my life, the more intense my efforts have to be, but the force needed to work on myself increases also and I am grateful for that.
I came home satisfied and energetic. All the practising, trying to be in a good condition physical, mental and emotional, followed by the event and now finding myself back at home and having to adjust to daily life, all this seems like a dream, and in a way it is. It was amazing to be able to focus on this experience. After the dress rehearsel I felt at ease and liked to participate and to be part of this all. I liked the days after the performance, being together, visiting the tomb of Mevlana, enjoying the town and having all kind of conversations, it felt like being brothers and sisters. That’s how life has to be. I hope the energy will increase and multiply and make the world a better place to live in .
Today it is already two and a half weeks ago since I am back from Konya….On one hand life is like before and Konya seems like a dream and on the other hand I feel that something inside changed. I feel that there is a need for inner work and I feel a struggle inside to fulfill this need.
During our preparatory meeting I found the taste of a finer energy. The days before Konya I began to feel that we were together. Konya itself was….what was it? A lot of impressions about myself, hours of feeling good, hours of a nervous state, it kept changing. But behind all that there was this question: What do we want to show, what are we doing here? Of cours I wanted the performance to work, but what were we going to show? Than a thought came to me: if only one person in the audience will be touched and will start to search, then it will be worth to perform.
On the morning when I was leaving for Turkey there was a considerable joy in anticipation of the days to come. I had a wish to serve and not to spare myself, I do not think I was alone in my wish, and to be part of the atmosphere of common effort that we shared was special. I am deeply grateful for this.
In the first part of the performance, there was both fear and silence inside, but in the second part, the fear was gone, and it was my impression that something was shared with the audience, and that the purpose of the performance was thus fulfilled.
The hospitality we received in Konya was a help offered to us to connect to something higher and to merge our common efforts in a common aim. The months before Konya my life was full of stress and not much rest. I felt the performance being the culmination point of that stress together with its importance for the work and for myself. Once on our way to Konya all I could do was then to release, as far as possible, all tensions in my body and psyche to open myself for help, realizing my limitations. This gave me energy and hope. Time streched during the days before the performance but during the performance itself it condensed to a moment of experiencing the movements and the group. The silence spread in the public and I felt the quietness lasting for long after the performance.
I was rather tired when I started out on this adventure. A strenuous fulltime job and all the preparations (sewing costumes and practicing) and the tension about whether it all would go right were something like a super effort for me. I had to deal with worries, fatigue, negativity, insecurity, frustration. In the end, I simply prayed each morning the Lord ́s Prayer and I asked God for help. He heard me. Tired but positive, we set out to Konya.
And in Konya: a warm welcome by the Turkish people, a sleepless night that ended with a loud call for prayer from the Mosque nearby, bright sunlight, a different world and hard work. On Tuesday, we all felt tense but confident that we would not disappoint our hosts.
The performance itself seemed to me like a flash of energy in which time did not exist. We landed back on earth after the performance and I was so filled with energy that I barely slept. I kept this energy for days afterwards.
It has been a very positive experience for me. One that belongs to the uplifting memories in my life.
These days were a mountain in the flat lands of my daily life. When the performance started I was amazed to experience time completely different, for me it lasted not even a minute. I remember how the atmosphere behind the stage in our dress-room supported me. A fine energy was manifesting, a quietness surrounded everybody and somehow or other I felt we were taking care of. Visiting Mevlana’s grave after our performance was impressive. The kindness of all the organizing community during the whole stay was to me an example of how people should treat one another in a world torn to pieces by violent conflicts. How rewarding that we, in our own small way, could be part of an event dedicated to the spiritual forces that try to guide mankind.
I’m very grateful to have been part of this wonderful adventure. I have deeply experienced the process of gaining energy, losing energy and regaining it. All that has happened, had a strong intensity of its own: being with fine people, the rehearsal, the performance, visiting the tomb of Mevlana and Shams i Tabrisi, walking alone through the streets of Konya. The more intense experience of life was the gift that I have recieved and still carry with me. Positive and negative aspects of inner and outer life have become more evident as if a brighter light has been brought upon me.
Of course in the beginning of the performance I was very nervous and so I almost only focussed on my part, the pattern of movements and so on. This nervousness calmed down during the ‚trembling dervish’ for the first time and for moments I remembered to try to connect and be aware of the other dancers. Going back and forth between nervousness and expanding the awareness went on for the whole rest of the preformance. During the multiplication the sensing of the group was the strongest. Looking back and remembering this experience I become now quiet. During the days in Konya I found that the energy, focus and concentration in the group went to a very high level. It feels like that left a trace or a place inside me and that it was a privilege to be part of this group and this process.
More photographs can be found at the Facebook-site of the Festival: