The Aga Khan Museum was alight and alive on Saturday night, with the stage commanded by a brilliant musical ensemble, reciter and whirling dervish dancer to present Reflections on Hafiz, as part of The Great Poets Series. The performance was all in the name of love, and you certainly feel this, even if words can’t describe fully what it is you just felt.
The works of the 14th century Sufi poet, Hafiz (1320-89) were given life through the instrumental wonders of the kamanche, tar, tombak and daf, synchronised and solo, each sound had its unique role to play, delivered by the talents of the Rumi Canada band. Legendary composer and kamanche player, Saeed Farajpoori, created a positively hypnotic atmosphere alongside the majestic vocals of Fariba Davodi while percussionists Amir Samimi and Bamdad Fotouhi brought a rhythm that engulfed the room. Ehsan Ghafari played the tar with melodic finesse which sweetness balanced the intensity of the arrangement.
Not only was the show audibly captivating, visually it was quite a spectacular delight to watch the facial expression of reciter Sheniz Janmohamed as she spoke the words of Hafiz, with deliberation and meaningful gestures. Farzad AttarJafari was the whirling dervish who enveloped the stage with one of the greatest expressions of love and wisdom in this ancient practice.
The experience was nothing short of mystical, profound, moving and romantic. You can’t help but feel an immense amount of gratitude for being in the same room as these people, both the band and the audience, for sharing something so deeply special. Speechless.