Movement and Dance

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Comments

  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    In charismatic evangelical or conservative evangelical settings? I would be surprised if it was the former.

    With regards to not expecting our singers to sing at a Royal Opera House level....I would prefer to have no singers than bad singers. I would rather do less but do it really well than trying to include things that the particular congregation isn't really suited to. Not all churches have to include every type of worship. It probably doesn't help that I cannot dance and have dyspraxia, so my body and my 'self' (soul, I guess?) are not really connected in that way. Like, whatever my body is doing is not relevant to what my inner being is doing - my body is just an outer shell for getting from A to B.

    Also, the idea of a Christian mime artist sounds like something dreamt up by Viz, and not in a flattering way. The only thing I would want to see less would be something involving Christian puppets.
  • Charismatic evangelical, believe it or not. I am going back a while mind.

    It was all relative. Back in the day some, but not all, charismatic 'streams' were quite arty. Others were quite sceptical of arts and humanities subjects at university.

    I had some run ins over those issues.

    Some, but by no means all, of the Brethren could be stroppy about arty stuff as were many of the hyper-Calvinist types.

    It did vary from individual congregation to individual congregation though.
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    Poppy wrote: »
    I suppose there are two things that interest me in dance in church. One is bringing the body into prayer. How does standing, sitting, kneeling, raising the hands, holding hands over the heart being aid prayer? Can a gesture say something or bring something that words cannot? Holding the hands as if cupping water and visualising the things you want to let go of and then turning your hands over to symbolise letting it go, putting it at the foot of the cross or handing it over can be helpful. The physical action mirrors and gives form to the prayer’s intent.

    One of the most beautiful things I think I've ever seen was a deaf priest signing the Eucharistic Prayer as he spoke it. It added a whole different dimension, almost to the point where it felt like it provided an additional harmony line to the words I was hearing. I'm wired in audio, rather than video, and generally respond much more to what I'm hearing that what I'm seeing. But that was an occasion where the movement really did add something, and I'm not sure I understand or can explain what it was that "got" me. To the point where I still remember the occasion with a level of wonder some two to three years after the event....
  • Classical ballet is all coded messages in the movements - I've seen TV programmes about ballet with Deborah Bull chatting about the meanings of the gestures. And some of it matches the symbols used in signing. I have some Makaton from working with special needs younger children and was fascinated.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I don't object to liturgical dance as long as no one demands I do it.

    I once moved to a city up north and wandered in to the nearest Anglican church. I had only been attending for a few weeks when there was a service that included dancing. The dancers did this thing where they swept up the whole congregation - minus one - me, because I chose not to join the dance. I felt really uncomfortable, but joining the dance would have felt totally false to me.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Huia wrote: »
    I don't object to liturgical dance as long as no one demands I do it.

    I once moved to a city up north and wandered in to the nearest Anglican church. I had only been attending for a few weeks when there was a service that included dancing. The dancers did this thing where they swept up the whole congregation - minus one - me, because I chose not to join the dance. I felt really uncomfortable, but joining the dance would have felt totally false to me.

    It's a dilemma. Feel like everyone's looking at you because you're doing these weird movements, or feel like everyone's looking at you because you're not joining in with what everyone else is doing.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    No one should force you to do anything. I am creative but not an artist. I cannot draw or paint for toffee. The best artist in the school was in my class so they sat me next to him in the hope something would rub off. I know people who produce the most beautiful work but I cannot. I have some dance talent. Now having no talent is not a reason not to try but if you don’t want to don’t
  • Pomona wrote: »
    Also, the idea of a Christian mime artist sounds like something dreamt up by Viz, and not in a flattering way. The only thing I would want to see less would be something involving Christian puppets.

    I like Viz (I'm kind-of surprised it's one of your cultural touchstones :smile: ) and I've seen mime artistry done really well in a service - and yes, even puppets. That was especially memorable, because when the minister started to make noises to the kids about meeting a friend on the way to church (and I was sure it was puppets and not the squirrel gag) my a*** started screwing itself up into super-C-trumpet-territory and I prepared to get through it with as many iterations of the Jesus Prayer as it was going to take.

    And she was fantastic (and the relief of how good she was, made it even better than that). A really quick-fire ventriloquist act with a monkey loosely based on Orville's nemesis 'Cuddles', if you remember them.

    'So, children, an an angel appeared, and said - Mary, you're going to have a-'

    '-Heart Attack!'

    :smile:
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    R.C. Bishop to parish priiest, observing a liturgical dancer whirling down the aisle towards them: 'If she asks for your head on a platter - she can have it!'
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    R.C. Bishop to parish priiest, observing a liturgical dancer whirling down the aisle towards them: 'If she asks for your head on a platter - she can have it!'

    :lol:

    Is liturgical dance common in Catholic churches?
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    I doubt it. I think that's the point of the story.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    I doubt it. I think that's the point of the story.

    True...but not necessarily.

    The hierarchy may not like it, but I daresay there are parish priests who do, and who encourage or allow liturgical dance in their churches, Not that many, maybe, but enquiring minds need to know.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    R.C. Bishop to parish priiest, observing a liturgical dancer whirling down the aisle towards them: 'If she asks for your head on a platter - she can have it!'

    :lol:

    Is liturgical dance common in Catholic churches?

    My wife was involved in a (then) very large, middle-class RC parish in Dublin, 35 years ago. So yes, it appeared in those circles about the same time it dawned on my (English Methodist) consciousness. I am still involved with (English) charismatic RCs, and whilst the songs, band and mode of 'prayer and praise' are very like I would sometimes bump into in New-Winey CofE settings, I haven't seen them dance. I do like it that all the bits of the mass still (of course) appear with them - there's a limit to what can be done to the mass itself.
  • I've seen liturgical dance in a local RC shack. Something on the scale of a dozen women in floaty purple did their thing in front of the altar whilst liturgy happened. I think I gathered from the announcements that they had this every month or two.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    Huia wrote: »
    I don't object to liturgical dance as long as no one demands I do it.

    Me either. Very happy for it to happen without my participation. On the other hand, there are some hymns and organ voluntaries that just BEG for the choir to start doing knee bobs in time with the music. Those I am definitely up for. Sortie in E flat by Lefebure-Wely being a corker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrsvQFDKgtQ
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Our Vicar disapproves of Sortie. I think the organist uses it from time to time to wind her up.
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Our Vicar disapproves of Sortie. I think the organist uses it from time to time to wind her up.

    Absolute schoolgirl error on the part of your vicar. Once let an organist know that you disapprove of a certain work and it WILL appear from time to time, ideally when the bishop is visiting.
  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    HelenEva wrote: »
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Our Vicar disapproves of Sortie. I think the organist uses it from time to time to wind her up.

    Absolute schoolgirl error on the part of your vicar. Once let an organist know that you disapprove of a certain work and it WILL appear from time to time, ideally when the bishop is visiting.

    Never irritate an organist. We are a feral lot, and liable to turn without notice.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    HelenEva wrote: »
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Our Vicar disapproves of Sortie. I think the organist uses it from time to time to wind her up.

    Absolute schoolgirl error on the part of your vicar. Once let an organist know that you disapprove of a certain work and it WILL appear from time to time, ideally when the bishop is visiting.

    Never irritate an organist. We are a feral lot, and liable to turn without notice.

    Indeed. Talk too favourably about the Tory Party and the first Sunday in May might hear Chorale Prelude in F on the Red Flag
  • As pointed out in a post on another post, An Organist Of My Acquaintance refused to lay said Sortie because he thought it too frivolous for church use - I wanted it and it would have gone down well with the congregation.

    He also refused to have the Christmas carol "O Tannenbaum" because he couldn't rid the tune of its Red Flag connotations. However he had no problem with the tune "Austria"!
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    HelenEva wrote: »
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Our Vicar disapproves of Sortie. I think the organist uses it from time to time to wind her up.

    Absolute schoolgirl error on the part of your vicar. Once let an organist know that you disapprove of a certain work and it WILL appear from time to time, ideally when the bishop is visiting.

    Never irritate an organist. We are a feral lot, and liable to turn without notice.

    Indeed. Talk too favourably about the Tory Party and the first Sunday in May might hear Chorale Prelude in F on the Red Flag

    I did a fanfare after a particular UK election won by the Labour Party where I vow to Thee My Country (Tory song) was gradually overwhelmed by the Red Flag creeping up from the pedals. Mercifully not too many people noticed...
  • Very clever, I wish i'd heard it. Next time see if you can subliminally include "Flower of Scotland" and "Land of my fathers"!
  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    HelenEva wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    HelenEva wrote: »
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Our Vicar disapproves of Sortie. I think the organist uses it from time to time to wind her up.

    Absolute schoolgirl error on the part of your vicar. Once let an organist know that you disapprove of a certain work and it WILL appear from time to time, ideally when the bishop is visiting.

    Never irritate an organist. We are a feral lot, and liable to turn without notice.

    Indeed. Talk too favourably about the Tory Party and the first Sunday in May might hear Chorale Prelude in F on the Red Flag

    I did a fanfare after a particular UK election won by the Labour Party where I vow to Thee My Country (Tory song) was gradually overwhelmed by the Red Flag creeping up from the pedals. Mercifully not too many people noticed...

    I LOVE it.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Also, the idea of a Christian mime artist sounds like something dreamt up by Viz, and not in a flattering way. The only thing I would want to see less would be something involving Christian puppets.

    I like Viz (I'm kind-of surprised it's one of your cultural touchstones :smile: ) and I've seen mime artistry done really well in a service - and yes, even puppets. That was especially memorable, because when the minister started to make noises to the kids about meeting a friend on the way to church (and I was sure it was puppets and not the squirrel gag) my a*** started screwing itself up into super-C-trumpet-territory and I prepared to get through it with as many iterations of the Jesus Prayer as it was going to take.

    And she was fantastic (and the relief of how good she was, made it even better than that). A really quick-fire ventriloquist act with a monkey loosely based on Orville's nemesis 'Cuddles', if you remember them.

    'So, children, an an angel appeared, and said - Mary, you're going to have a-'

    '-Heart Attack!'

    :smile:

    I think Viz has had something of a comeback online as it's often used to reply to tweets in a satire-is-dead kind of way.

    I have a phobia of puppets/ventriloquist dolls/mannequins etc which probably doesn't help, but it's the kind of thing I associate with terrible All Age Services.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    And there’s the whole Latin Mass (or Church Slavonic Divine Liturgy) thing.

    I don't mind the Mass in Latin, because I can follow enough to know what's going on. As long as nobody's preaching in Latin - that might be a bit much!

    But I think there's a difference, which is that nobody really speaks Church Latin (or Old Slavonic) any more, whereas Chinese and the sign languages are real contemporary languages used every day by people who are not you or me.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    But I think there's a difference, which is that nobody really speaks Church Latin (or Old Slavonic) any more, whereas Chinese and the sign languages are real contemporary languages used every day by people who are not you or me.
    Very true. But I was really responding more to your reference to Greek chant, as well as to Latin Masses and and Church Slavonic Divine Liturgies being additional examples of languages used in liturgy that can be imbued with spiritual significance and meaning by non-speakers of the language.

  • Pomona wrote: »
    I was comparing a Deaf person using a signed language to someone speaking French, because they are both languages. Except that only one gets all this crap imbued into non-speakers experience of it, I wonder why 🙄 Deaf people aren't there to inspire hearing people.

    This rather reminds me of people who don't speak a Chinese language having Chinese tattooed on them, because they think it's more mystical or meaningful than something they can actually read.

    I think that might be why people like Scandi-noir TV drama - it somehow feels less like 'The Bill' when everyone sounds funny and you're reading subtitles. (That's based on a survey of, errr, one, I am afraid).
  • Well, there's not much you can do about the ignorance-slash-innocence of people who think foreign-to-them languages are WAY COOL. (I should show you the collection of absolutely bizarre English-phrase covered clothing our congregants have brought us as presents from visits home to Vietnam--they are clearly working on the same principle, that English is Exotic™. And so we wind up with a bunch of things we can never wear in public in the United States. Well, my son might, but that's because he's Gen Z and wears everything ironically.)
  • . (I should show you the collection of absolutely bizarre English-phrase covered clothing our congregants have brought us as presents from visits home to Vietnam--they are clearly working on the same principle, that English is Exotic™.

    I'm familiar with the concept, but I really have to ask - are your congregants thinking "The Lambs will get a kick out of this amusing t-shirt: let's find the most startling one to bring them as a present", or are they thinking that you'd genuinely enjoy this shirt, because it had some English on it?
  • I don't really know. I think (but could be wrong) that they are thinking, "Oh, all this Vietnamese stuff is so ordinary" (judging by their own tastes), "I know! I'll get Pastor this totally rad Joe Camel shirt!"
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Well, there's not much you can do about the ignorance-slash-innocence of people who think foreign-to-them languages are WAY COOL. (I should show you the collection of absolutely bizarre English-phrase covered clothing our congregants have brought us as presents from visits home to Vietnam--they are clearly working on the same principle, that English is Exotic™. And so we wind up with a bunch of things we can never wear in public in the United States. Well, my son might, but that's because he's Gen Z and wears everything ironically.)

    Hahaha - I actually follow an instagram account devoted to these t-shirts, most of which are unironically amazing. Vietnam seems to be the home of some truly incredible Dadaist t-shirt designers.
  • It cheers me up. I'm glad to know that English speakers aren't the only people who do daft things like getting tattoos that actually read "soapy eyeball."
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Hosting

    I have split out the tangent on ‘Deaf, language, usage, ability and disability’ because it seemed worthy of its own thread. That discussion can be followed here (link). Although it is in Purgatory, I invite posters to keep in mind the Epiphanies guidelines when posting.

    BroJames, Purgatory Host
  • HelenEvaHelenEva Shipmate
    It cheers me up. I'm glad to know that English speakers aren't the only people who do daft things like getting tattoos that actually read "soapy eyeball."

    I'll have you know my soapy eyeball tattoo is a powerful statement of my commitment to purity of vision and seeing only the best in all things. Ahem. *runs away*
  • Well, there's not much you can do about the ignorance-slash-innocence of people who think foreign-to-them languages are WAY COOL. (I should show you the collection of absolutely bizarre English-phrase covered clothing our congregants have brought us as presents from visits home to Vietnam--they are clearly working on the same principle, that English is Exotic™. And so we wind up with a bunch of things we can never wear in public in the United States. Well, my son might, but that's because he's Gen Z and wears everything ironically.)

    I once into a young guy in Ukraine with an English-slogan T-shirt on, which said something like 'groovy girl'. If he'd been in certain parts of Manchester, this would not have been unusual, but he was in a logging camp surrounded by skinhead men in combats. Luckily they were all Cyrillic-users and a fight did not break out. (This was near the town with the outdoor disco with swastika disco lights. It sounds ultra-camp, but it really wasn't.)
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    So any more questions about worship dance?
  • jay_emmjay_emm Shipmate
    What are the (3 or) 4 main divisions of worship dance and their respective histories.

    As someone vaguely with a non-dancer brain (and 2 left feet*), I know the awkwardness of being a non-dancer/actions at somewhere where open actions are encouraged.
    In what ways do you think someone the experience with physical expressive instincts at somewhere with different practices is analogous and in what ways do you think it is not.

    *For me this cuts both ways, I find the "performative movements" of the formal churches being much stricter and in unison just as intrusive and restrictive (so somewhere that gives freedom for a little bit of variety in it's expression gives me freedom to not.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    edited August 1
    Ok there is liturgical dance which tends to be very obvious movements. This is the style people tend to criticise and take the Mickey out of.
    Worship dance tends to cover a lot of styles or mixed styles but is most often modern contemporary style. It is also the over arching name for the whole group.
    Free dance, this has no style in mind. It is movements to the music that seem to have little or nothing to do with the content of the lyrics.
    Presented pieces are just that pieces presented to an audience.

    It is a bit more complicated than that as there is a lot of over lap.
    Just like we don’t expect everyone in the congregation to be good singers we don’t expect everyone who dances to be a good dancer. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t dance to join in. That said if you do you may find something good
  • What do you mean by a contemporary style and how does the dancing in your church differ from 'free dance' to the rhythm of the music or the sort of charismatic bop that used to go on in independent charismatic churches in the '80s and '90s.

    I'm having difficulty in visualising what you are referring to.

    I've seen the kinds of liturgical dance people are talking about.

    I used to bop about during church services in my full on charismatic evangelical days.

    Heck, I hurt the back of my legs and bruised my heel by skanking and pogoing at a punk and ska gig this last weekend - and not just embarrassing Dad dancing either.

    But what is this 'worship dance' of which you speak?

    Back in the day we just used to bounce about a bit and bob up and down. There was no attempt to be 'good' at dancing in any formal sense.

    Have things changed in the 20-odd years since I've been in a church that goes in for dancing in worship?

    If so, how?
  • PoppyPoppy Shipmate Posts: 28
    edited August 4
    If you do a quick google search for liturgical dance you find lots of examples of choreographed dance that sits somewhere in the contemporary/modern dance strand. Most of the women are wearing full length floaty dresses with tabard in liturgical colours. I suspect that street dance has snuck into some worship dance groups where the members are under 25 but this is not my demographic.

    Many years ago I went to a worship dance workshop in a conservative charismatic church where I was told that choreography was the work of the devil. The only biblical form of dance was free form and in response to the words and the movement of the spirit. It was very odd. I wasn’t sure what shocked them more, ballet training or ordination as a priest.
  • Ha ha ... double whammy then.
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