A Comparative Study on the Relationship between Spiral forms in Sufi Spiral Dance (Sama) and Persian Islamic Paintings
Tala Azizi Koutanaei

Iranian painting enjoys an external beauty to which is added the internal spiritual purity and exquisiteness. This painting which is saturated with mystery and secrecy is in close relation with Iranian mysticism. The present article was an attempt to investigate the comparative relationship between spiral forms in Sufi spiral dance (Sama: the Arabic word Raqs) which takes its name from the order of the whirling dervishes in Konya where Mawlawī (Rumi) used to practice it with his disciples and Persian Islamic paintings. To do so, the quality and quantity of spiral and whirling movements was scrutinized in both of these art forms. The present research employed both the library research and content analysis to collect the data and analyze them, respectively. The paintings of famous Iranians in the Islamic era, especially those of Kamala Din Behzad (a famous painter of Heart school) were meticulously surveyed and compared with the principles of Sufi dance and the results revealed that Iranian artists and mystics have taken inspiration from each other and one of the common points between their art forms is “the movement”. The results also showed that the spiral Iranian miniature art form named Arabesque (Islamic art) involves the development of the movement and rotation of dancers seen in Sufi dancing. While turning around them, the dancers dance around their mentor, and this way they represent the particles associated with movements around the world. The present findings are in line with the findings in Physics as well. The findings of this study can be used by those interested in Iranian- Islamic art, architects, painters, researchers in mystical literature, and fine arts students.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jisc.v3n1a14