Dance, Poetry, Whirling and Prayer

   Soon my dear friend and teacher Farima Berenji will be here in Cumberland for a weekend of dance, poetry, whirling and zikr. This time our magical weekend with Farima falls near Imbolc/St. Brigid's Day/Candlemas/Groundhog Day all festivals that celebrate the awakening of Spring and mark midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox (between the 2nd & 7th of February when calculated as the mid point between the astronomical Winter Solstice and the astronomical Spring Equinox). 

     On Friday February 3rd we will celebrate the returning light and new life emerging with dance performances by Farima, her Comox Valley Simorgh Dance Collective, Arcana Dea Dance and visiting dancers.  Following the dance performances, with Farima’s guidance we will learn personal and spiritual Sema or Sufi Whirling as well as other turning practices, while listening to sacred poetry and music. Feel free to bring a percussion instrument or a poem to share. People that wish to participate in the Sema Gathering are encouraged to wear white or light coloured clothing and, socks or soft soled shoes are recommended for whirling. Doors open at 7:30PM, performances 8PM-9PM, Sema Gathering 9-10PM. All are welcome and admission is sliding scale $10-$15 payable at the door. 

     Also, plan to join us at the Abbey Studio on Saturday, Feb. 4th for a Zikr led by Farima. Zikr is a sufi meditation practice which uses repetitive simple movements and rhythmic chanting as a form of devotion. This evening event is also open to everyone and is done seated, either on the floor or on a chair making it accessible for those with mobility issues. All are welcome to attend on a pay at the door/by donation basis. For more information about these upcoming events call Cathy at (250) 218-0704 or email cdstoyko@uniserve.comThe Abbey Studio is located at the corner of 1st & Penrith Ave. in Cumberland and is wheel chair accessible. 

      Farima is a dance artist and scholar who travels worldwide to perform and teach dance and wellness. Farima and I met four years ago in Turkey when I was there for participating in her 'Awakening Artemis' retreat, since then the Comox Valley has been a stop on her international touring schedule. It's been exciting for me to see the interest in her work  and Persian dance grow and blossom here in the Comox Valley! For more information about Farima and Simorgh Collective visit