Dancing dervish. 2004

Author: Алексей Леонов
Material: shamote
Location: Private collection

There are different ways of knowing the Almighty. Sufis preach a special state of discovering God through circular movements. This is one of the branches of Islamic teachings that preaches increased spirituality through asceticism. Sufis are real philosophers who strive to reach the level of a “perfect person”, completely free from worldly bustle, someone who has transformed the negative qualities of his nature into positive ones. A real Sufi is an esthete, writer, poet… and also a dancer…
As a tool for knowing God, Islamic ascetics use rhythmic rotations around themselves – this is both meditation and a path of deep self-knowledge.
The sculpture masterfully conveys the state of inner alienation, directed towards the center of the universe during Sufi circling. During rotation, the dervish holds his right palm to the sky, and his left hand to the ground. The dervish, like a small cog of this amazing world, at first slowly and majestically, with gradual acceleration, circle around its axis and around other dervishes, in time with the rhythm of the cosmos.