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atm711

Liturgical Dance

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There is an excellent article in the March 25 issue of the magazine "America" on liturgical dance written by Robert Vereecke. He first began choreographing dances in his parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass in the 1970's. The web-site is: www.americamagazine.org. It was good to read of something positive going on in the Church today.

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Thanks for posting that, atm. Liturgical dance is an area that doesn't get very much attention these days. I know very little about it, and have seen only comunity level liturgical dance -- dance groups connected to churches, where the dancers were all parish members first and dancers second.

So thank you for posting this -- it's good to know what's going on.

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A former ballet dancer in a regional company, I'm also a long-time member of the Sacred Dance Guild, the national organization for liturgical dancers, and I currently serve on the board of the Lakeshore Chapter (Chicago area, including Indiana and Wisconsin). For the past several years, I have led my own small but determined liturgical dance group at the Episcopal church where I worship.

A large and prominent Sunday Chicago Tribune article not long ago highlighted how much liturgical dance there actually is in the Chicago area. I'm sure that this is also true elsewhere, it's just that, unless you're "plugged in" to a sacred dance network, you might not know about it at all (local dancers tend to dance at their own churches and not to advertise that fact). I'd be happy to share whatever I know about liturgical dance with anyone who has an interest or a question.

Claudia

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Casloan---I saw liturgical dance only once. It was at a church on West 49 street in Manhattan , St. Malachy's which is usually called the 'actors church' because it is located in the heart of the theatre district. Unfortunately for me, this is not my parish church.At this particular service, the gospel was danced. It should always be this way!

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Hello, atm. Thanks for your comments. I agree. We've yet to dance the Gospel (and given our high-church Anglican liturgy, it might not ever happen), but we have danced to a Psalm chanted during Ash Wednesday services, not to mention many Offertory anthems and an occasional postlude or prelude.

(Incidentally, in December, I stayed across the street from the church you mentioned and will do so again this summer -- it sounds like I ought to visit it.)

Claudia

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As a member of the choir at my church, I'm introducing dance to the service on May 5, as a special farewell to our Rector. Our minister of music brought up that so much music used for hymnody today started life as dance music. I suggested we dance "All Things Bright and Beautiful" as an offertory. It's right there in the hymnal, Tune: Royal Oak by John Playford, The Dancing Master, 1684. So the choir will be reeling up and down the presbytery, as opposed to just in the stalls. ;)

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It's a lovely choice of a hymn, Mel. And a delightful way to say farewell to your rector. You must tell us how it went and was received.

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I'm a Liturgical Dancer. Being a Ballerina eally helps because they like you to be graceful. And because I'm a Ballet dancer, I'm graceful. They were just amazed at how high I could rise on demi-pointe! Anyway, The last time we danced was a t a Mass for Sept. 11th.

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Hi, Perfect Performer.

I'm so happy to hear that you have been doing liturgical dance (on very high demi-pointe and for the September 11th commemoration).

The day before yesterday, our Sacred Dance Guild chapter (based in Chicago) did a gathering to share dances. There were nine. I was delighted at how good the dancing and the choreography were overall (and, believe me, I'm highly critical).

Please keep on dancing in church -- we need really good dancers like you to do so.

Claudia

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