By now, we’ve established that we are citizens of a perpetually chaotic world. Instead of looking for stability, how can we embrace the sensation of being off-balanced? As we hurtle through this chaosmos, Ziya Azazi, a dancer-choreographer and founder of Dervish In Progress, said at a recent Unrehearsed Futures conversation that for him, spinning is a fantastic tool to dive into oneself.
“If I move constantly, if I’m not rigid, if I’m not a fixed image, but keep moving, then I’m still. I’m in balance,” he said and added that whirling, or spinning, is a “fantastic tool” to dive into oneself; to go from the shallow self to the deeper self.
Ziya has been exploring whirling and the dervish for nearly 23 years. He describes himself as a “hacker dervish” who is trying to understand a traditional art form and add it to an “open source reality”.
“[This knowledge] should be open source, and not just framed by some people and sold. This is a reality that belongs to everyone. We have to really fight to get it and offer it to everyone; only then will it be useful,” he believes.
Ziya also believes that whirling has scientific implications on one’s mind and body. The collection of synapses in the brain, or the connectome, has high plasticity. “The connectome is plastic; like the spinning self, it changes all the time. It is never static,” he said and added that through spinning, he creates more and more energy which changes the connectome in the brain, and helps access forgotten memories of the body.
“Because of the spinning, one is in a blurry state. Because I’m busy with myself, I’m diving faster and deeper into myself. This is the power of it.”
STAY TUNED! We will be publishing a long-form article about the talk and the ideas/themes that emerged during the session on our blog in the coming weeks.
Compiled and written by Phalguni Vittal Rao
Access the entire session on our YouTube channel: