Rumi Passion

For over 750 years, the enduring literary heritage of Persian poet and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi has left an indelible mark. Infused with profound insights from his encounters with mentor Shams-e Tabrizi, this pivotal connection played a transformative role in shaping Rumi into a masterful wordsmith. Universally acclaimed as the Shakespeare of the Arab, Persian, and Turkish worlds, Rumi's poetry exerts a timeless allure, delving into an array of contemporary themes such as love, compassion, humility, doubt, jealousy, migration, mental health, and tolerance.

Led by Osama Abdulrasol, a newly formed ensemble embarks on a journey to embrace Rumi's life and his unique connection with Shams, crafting a spectacular experience. This includes a fusion of set design, music, choreography, and poetry.

Our mission is to bring Rumi closer to the audience, providing them with an opportunity to (re)discover his profound work and inner revolution. This immersive experience encompasses music, dance, poetry, and new compositions. Collaborating with Osama Abdulrasol, Farnoosh Khodadadeh, and Filip Standaert are the driving force behind this visionary concept, having curated a musical ensemble. Supported by a top-tier artistic team, the collective breathes life into Rumi's journey. In a world brimming with challenges, we offer a moment for reflection and togetherness, where love acts as the common thread connecting us all. Join us on this extraordinary exploration of Rumi's enduring impact.

Osama Abdulrasol (qanun & compositions)
Khaled Al-Hafez (vocals)
Shahab Azinmehr (tar, setar & vocals)
Pelin Başar (ney & vocals)
Damla Aydin (cello)
François Taillefer (multi-percussions)
Farnoosh Khodadadeh (daf & narration)
Griet Desutter (poetry & narration)

Işıl Bıçakçı (choreography & dance)

Filip Standaert (director)

Jalal ad-Din Rumi (poems)

Filip Standaert, Osama Abdulrasol & Farnoosh Khodadadeh: Concept

Alexander Ronsse (lighting and video design)

Jonas Slaats (advisor Dramaturgy)

Inge Coleman (costumes)

Geert Vandepoele (photography)

Liselotte Vantrappen (Cluster music): Management & finances

Yannick Deleebeeck (Cluster music): Communication, press & bookings

A production of Ha Concerts, De Centrale, Voem vzw, Cluster music vzw, Evil Penguin TV and Handelsreizigers in ideeën. With the support of the City of Ghent, Flanders and Tax Shelter.


On 17 December 2023, Jalal ad-Din Rumi will have passed away exactly 750 years ago. The event will be widely commemorated across the Arab world and Turkey. Worldwide today, he is still considered a master poet of immense literary value. His poetry has a timeless beauty that continues to appeal. Besides his linguistic skills, he dealt with themes of tolerance, migration, identity and mental health.

This performance counts as a poetic journey, guided by the timeless words of Jalal ad-Din Rumi and Shams Tabrizi. Their narrative of love and tolerance is at the heart of our artistic work. Therefore, we not only bring the spirit of Rumi to life, but we bridge different cultures.

We create an experience that brings people together, a unique opportunity to forge deeper meanings. This performance is not just for enthusiasts of world music or poetry. We appeal to a wider community open to wonder. For (new) Europeans who have their roots in the Middle East or Turkey, we create a space where they can be proud of their heritage. This performance is a tribute to their cultural richness and an invitation to feel at home in a story of love and reconciliation.

The stream of love that runs through this performance reaches beyond artistic frameworks. It is a force that unites us, reminding us of our shared humanity and inviting us to reflect together on what is truly valuable. In a world full of challenges, we offer a moment of reflection and togetherness, where love is the thread that connects us all.

Theologian and consultant dramatist Jonas Slaats created the podcast series ‘Groetjes van Shambhala’ (Greetings from Shambhala) as part of this performance. A wonderful series of conversations between Jonas Slaats and author Paul van der Velde, in which the meaning of spirituality and esotericism is extensively discussed. Jonas Slaats also wrote ‘Sufis, punks and poets’, a book about his views on spirituality, Sufism and Islam.

Additionally, tune in to the podcast Rumi, Shams, and the Stream of Love." In this episode, Jonas Slaats engages in a conversation with Farnoosh Khodadadeh, delving into the topic of Rumi Passion.

Press (in Dutch)

De Standaard | newspaper

Musical theatre ‘Rumi Passion’: totally immersed in spiritual quest of 13th-century Sufi mystic **** (21 September 2023)

RADIO 1 | Belgian National radio

De Wereld Vandaag: New music and dance performance in Ghent brings ode to Rumi, one of the most famous poets of the Near East (19 September 2023)

KLARA | National radio

Music Matters: “Music takes care of the soul” Olav Grondelaers talks to the (18 September 2023)

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