This year's production of Christmas Reflections will take place in the Robsham Theater at Boston College on the weekend of December 20-22. We have assembled a wonderful cast of professional dancers as well as BC students, alumni and others. Helen O'Dwyer's company will also be with us. One of the special blessings of the performance is having dancers from A Dancer's Christmas, like Daisy Merritt, Kerri Melley and Tatiana Obeso dancing with their children. If you were a fan of A Dancer's Christmas, make sure you come and see Christmas Reflections!
I can't believe I haven't posted since June! I may have been so amazed at seeing the bishops dancing at World Youth Day that I completely forgot to let everyone know about what I wrote for America Magazine. Here it is
More than 10 years ago (March 2002) America Magazine published an article I wrote entitled “Shall We Dance”. The question that I raised in the article was whether we as a people of God would respond to the invitation to “Praise God’s Name in the Festive Dance” (Psalm 49). When I saw millions of people including bishops and priests joining in a simple but lively dance at the closing liturgy of World Youth Day, I received an answer.
As a Jesuit priest, trained dancer and choreographer who for more than 40 years has been exploring the power and beauty of dance as a very human form of prayer, praise and worship, I was moved to tears and laughter when I saw so many people responding to the call to praise God with “timbrel and dance” (Psalm 150) I was particularly moved to see many bishops enjoying themselves as they were taught the dance.
The criticism that we hear of using dance in a religious context is that dance in Western Civilization is only used for “courtship” or “entertainment”, refuses to acknowledge the wonderful tradition of “folk” dance in Western culture These are the dances that are usually very simple where people join together to express their joy and the beauty of human community. We saw a wonderful example of such a dance of the “folk” on Copacabana beach last week. It does seem that the Holy Spirit was “taking the lead”
The Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble performs the choreography of Robert VerEecke, S.J. During the Advent season, the company presents its major work--Christmas Reflections. On holidays, the company participates in the liturgies at St. Ignatius Church. BLDE hosts sevmalleral workshops each year.