Author Topic: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"  (Read 8659 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2015, 04:52:02 PM »
well, he wasn't nude, was he? and of course you would think that having pineapple on pizza is good.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2015, 05:13:03 PM »
Have we heard from anyone who was actually present to see if this actually happened at the Metro NY Synod Assembly? About all I get from their webpage is that the assembly was held May 29-30. (If it was being held next weekend, as ours is, I would have said the picture is a fake.)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 05:15:15 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Weedon

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2015, 05:26:34 PM »
Krauser would have been there. Jimbo?

Satis Est

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2015, 05:34:34 PM »
listen carefully. That dance might have been the worst thing ever since somebody decided to put pineapple on pizza. My point is that we do not know exactly what it was, how it looked or in what context it was presented. So I don't know whether it was a good thing or not and neither does anyone else who wasn't there.

I agree with Charles on this. (Well, maybe not with the pineapple on pizza part. Spam and pineapple on pizza can be sorta good. But I digress...) Context is everything in the arts, and especially with dance. The photo is unfortunate in that there is no context.

Now, I don't really care for liturgical dance in worship, usually. (It is often badly done, is 'stuck in' for no good theological or liturgical reason, and is performance and leaves the worshipping community out except as spectators. There are exceptions, and I am usually open to the exceptions when they occur.) When it is done, exceptional care needs to be taken for the costuming worn, because of the worship setting and often the closeness of the congregation to the dancers. What works on stage often does not work in the center aisle or on the chancel.

In an attempt to be 8th commandment explanation here, it appears in the photo that this dance's theme could be baptism (the colors of white and blue, the flowing blue fabric, the appearance of a bowl with water on a blue cloth). The dancer's costume (that is what it is, after all) could be an attempt to approximate the new life rising from the waters of Holy Baptism. (Yes, this might be a stretch, but work with me here!) Not having seen the dance, and not knowing anything about the worship service itself, I cannot begin to guess if that is close to being what is going on, or if the dance was effective both as a piece of art and as an expression of worship that added to the experience of the assembly in worship. Did it give glory to God? We just don't have enough information to know.

I personally think the costume needed to be revised, as my first thought before reading any comments when seeing the photo earlier today was, yes, "Tighty-whities in worship? No!" However, I have no reason to think that the dancer was trying to shock in that setting. I just don't think it worked, as the costume only draws attention to him and not to what he is doing in praise of God. But I'm sure no one here has ever, ever, ever made a wardrobe choice that they later regretted after seeing a photo of themselves on Facebook.   ::)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 05:37:04 PM by Satis Est »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2015, 05:39:40 PM »
Here's a video of Roberto Lara doing liturgical dance in his congregation, St. Peter's Lutheran, New York. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY-PwxNLAPU It's not something we would do. We have no orchestra. We have no choir. We have no dancers.


I note that the picture of him that showed up on Facebook, was not posted there by anyone from the Metro New York Synod. The original seems to have been posted on this site http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com/ (scroll down some) where his name is misspelled. It's not clear if that is a picture from the synod assembly, or a stock picture of Lara, with a statement that he danced at the assembly.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2015, 05:43:36 PM »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2015, 05:55:57 PM »
It was published on the Metropolitan New York Synod's Facebook page yesterday with a caption of "Liturgical dancer Roberto Lara at the opening of Synod assembly."  The context was there.  It now is not because it was removed from the FB page.

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2015, 06:04:11 PM »
And again, the problem isn't with liturgical dance or his particular skill at it (he's gifted and credentialed), it's with the lack of coverage.  It is quite unusual for men to dance in such little attire within the dance realm.  (Crikey, even Chippendale dancers wear pants!)  That certainly goes without saying in the church realm.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2015, 06:25:45 PM »
It was published on the Metropolitan New York Synod's Facebook page yesterday with a caption of "Liturgical dancer Roberto Lara at the opening of Synod assembly."  The context was there.  It now is not because it was removed from the FB page.


OK. I searched for Metro New York Synod on Facebook and there was no synod group. However, there is one when searching for Metropolitan New York Synod. There's a nice picture of Bishop Benke in the collection of pictures that are still there.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Satis Est

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2015, 06:30:06 PM »
  It is quite unusual for men to dance in such little attire within the dance realm.  (Crikey, even Chippendale dancers wear pants!) 

 Tell it to the New York City Ballet.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqLmH-f9VOw

Matt Hummel

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2015, 06:37:08 PM »
The picture was up on the MNYS  Facebook page early this AM. It was not there after Noon.

I usually brag on my MNYS roots. Not this time. How anyone can think that having someone however talented & credentialed flopping around like a Captain Underpants story as interpreted by Martha Graham is a good idea boggles the mind. And to think that posting it to Social Media would not bring well deserved scorn shows a second lapse in judgment. The low rumble you hear is William Lazareth rotating at high speed.
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Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2015, 07:57:06 PM »
  It is quite unusual for men to dance in such little attire within the dance realm.  (Crikey, even Chippendale dancers wear pants!) 

 Tell it to the New York City Ballet.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqLmH-f9VOw

Must be a New York thing.  :-\

Though I know some ballet companies offer the occasional contemporary performance which might not involve the typical leotard.

I'm baffled that anyone would even try to explain this away or justify it in a church setting.  Apparently enough people agreed or the post wouldn't have been removed.

Charles Austin

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2015, 08:16:03 PM »
We out here don't need the approval of non-ELCAers far away. Maybe the post was removed because we are disgusted with your response.  Don't need the hassle.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. It is now clear that the election of 2020 was not stolen. But we see now how it was nearly stolen after the balloting. Some of our top officials assisted by corrupt lawyers, attempted to steal the electoral college. Some true patriots saved us.

DCharlton

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2015, 08:48:35 PM »
Now, I don't really care for liturgical dance in worship, usually. (It is often badly done, is 'stuck in' for no good theological or liturgical reason, and is performance and leaves the worshipping community out except as spectators.

That's why I prefer liturgical square dancing.  Everyone get's involved. ;)
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Satis Est

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Re: "Liturgical Dance? Really?"
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2015, 08:54:39 PM »
  It is quite unusual for men to dance in such little attire within the dance realm.  (Crikey, even Chippendale dancers wear pants!) 

 Tell it to the New York City Ballet.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqLmH-f9VOw

Must be a New York thing.  :-\


No. It's a professional dance company thing.

Here is a (wonderful, by the way) clip of Rudolf Nureyev in "Sleeping Beauty," a classical ballet, and he is fully clothed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNqVhddnbiQ
   
 For a male ballet dancer in a classical role, that is. The first time my mother (a proper Southern lady) saw a male ballet dancer walk through the hallways while she and I were waiting for class to begin, she promptly clapped her hands over my eyes! And then said, "Well, THAT left nothing to the imagination!" (I was 14.) If one isn't used to seeing male ballet dancers, even with legs fully covered in leotards, well, let's just say it does take some getting used to.

Which is why I both agree with you, Deaconess, and disagree with you. Yes, what works on the stage for a professional dance company may not work in the context of a worship service. Some physical things which are fine in one venue are not in another. It is too distracting, especially when dance in worship is only an occasional thing and not an everyday occurance. The issue is not whether the dancer was male, or had the ability to perform properly.

Where I disagree (and will defend this dancer and the Metropolitan New York Synod in this one instance) is over the matter of whether we actually have enough evidence to make a judgement here. One picture does not tell the whole story. And even if the costume was ill-chosen (and I think it may well have been), that doesn't automatically translate into the entire dance being inappropriate. A little charity toward the arts (and to one sharing his art and his gifts and talents with the church) might be in order.

Of all the things I have complained about in my former synod, this is one I find to be so not a problem.