Dance

The place of dance within Muslim cultures is hotly debated. Some Muslims believe it is never permissible, others believe it is licit under certain circumstances, while a select few feel it is an integral part of worship. The latter view is held by many Sufis, with the most well-known expression being the "Whirling Dervishes" of the Mevlevi order. However, within a U.S. context, few dance companies seem to clearly identify themselves as Muslim. There are troupes such as Kinding Sindaw, founded by Potri Ranka Manis, who is a practicing Muslim. The company is dedicated to the preservation and re-creation of dance, music, martial arts, and storytelling forms of indigenous tribes from the Philippines, particularly focusing on the traditions of the predominantly Islamic southern region of Mindanao. It would also be accurate to state that Islamic practice has influenced various dance expressions within the U.S. For example, in the 1960s, Samuel L. Lewis founded the Dances of Universal Peace in California that has grown into a worldwide movement that brings people of all faiths together in Sufi-influenced dance practices.
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