Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Once upon a time I told an elderly church lady that I was going to take a liturgical dance class, and her jaw dropped as she sputtered "you mean... dancing ... IN CHURCH?" When she recovered, she thought it was a brilliant idea. She'd just never really considered it an option before.
I enrolled in Liturgical Dance with Carla DeSoles at the GTU and, despite the professor's tendency to speak in poetic fragments (interspersed with sudden motions and bits of silence) rather than in well-structured prose, I am loving it. I knew I would like it, but am surprised by the "fit" it is for me. I'm even considering taking my dance beyond the doors of the classroom someday.
Today, a rainy Berkeley afternoon, in bright Ugandan garb, I performed my original dance to the tune of Presbybop (Presbyterian jazz! yes, really!) telling the story of Jesus changing water into wine. The presbyboppers went all out on the story. It's obviously a party, and there's obviously alcohol involved. I danced accordingly. My audience giggled at a few points, as I danced the parts of Mary, Jesus, servants, chief steward in rapid succession. But no one giggled and I think I even heard a gasp of revelation as I danced the final line "Jesus showed his glory." Or maybe that was me.
The message? That this ancient story was Real Life, quite a party, joyful, abundant, unabashed. Yes, dancing in church. Yes, yes, yes.