He Who Burns

Wendy Jehlen's He Who Burns is an exploration through dance, text and music of the figure of Iblis, Satan, as understood in some Sufi traditions. Through this lens, the dance-theater piece explores the nature of humanity's relationship with the divine, the eternal quest for unity and the illusion of duality in the human experience. 

Staged as a trio, He Who Burns takes us on a journey from the time before time, through the suffering of Iblis in his separation from his Beloved and his quest for the same, through to his ecstatic annihilation. The performance at once parallels the Sufi quest, as outlined in the great Sufi text, "Conference of the Birds," and the structure of the Bharata Natyam performance. The text, from the Persian, Arabic and Urdu of Al-Hallaj, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mohammed Iqbal, Farid ud-din Attar, Hafiz and Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi, is performed in Urdu, English and Korean. 

Wendy Jehlen is a storyteller whose unique approach to movement incorporates elements of a wide range of movement styles including Bharata Natyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi; Capoeira, Kalaripayattu, West African dance, Butoh, and wide-range of Contemporary dance styles. Jehlen's emotionally powerful choreography has been performed across the United States, Europe, India and in Japan. Jehlen is a 2011 Brother Thomas Fellow of the Boston Foundation, a 2012 Choreography Fellow of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a 2013-2014 Creative Artist Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies, a 2013 Boston Dance Alliance Retreat and Rehearsal Fellowship recipient and a recipient of a 2012-2013 Boston University Jewish Cultural Endowment grant.