Do you believe that the “Performing Arts” should be used to glorify our great God?
If your answer is yes, I would like to invite you and your family to attend Before His Throne…Boldly, performed by Ballet Magnificat! (America’s Premiere Christian Ballet Company) on November 18, 7:00 p.m. at Patrick Henry College, located in Purcellville, VA.
This life-giving performance is birthed out of the ever-growing need to refocus the passion of the Body of Christ back to Her Redeemer! The moving, inspirational Christ-proclaiming music and choreography, combined with visual media, costuming, production and lighting, stays true to the standard of artistic excellence known to Ballet Magnificat!, yet brings a challenge before the audience to step out of the comfort zone of life into new levels of boldness in proclaiming the Good News of God’s Kingdom!
According to Erin Beaver, tour director for Ballet Magnificat!’s Omega Company, “Before His Throne…. Boldly is a very special ballet, because it reveals the heart of the ministry. It is a collection of worship songs that proclaim who Christ is, what He has done for us and our response to Him. The dancers deeply press into the Lord for each performance of Before His Throne…Boldly with the desire that it would minister in fresh ways to the audience.
I’m looking forward to coming Before His Throne ... Boldly with you on Thursday evening, November 18 and in the days to come as we co-labor to help make Christian worshipers of “all nations” beginning here in the greater Washington D.C. area!
For ticket information please click on: http://www.showclix.com/event/14012/
Please contact us if you would like to receive further information related to this event or learn more about how the ministry of Worship Equippers for Christ can serve your church, ministry or Christian organization with special worship celebrations, seminars, retreats and conferences. Make sure to include any info related to your area of ministry interest so that we can know how to better serve you.
Rev. Dean F. Schultz
Founder / President
Worship Equippers for Christ
21010 Southbank St. # 225
Potomac Falls, VA
Ballet Magnificat!’s Magnificent Summer Dance Training
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” [Hebrews 4:16]
This summer I pursued a dream that came true earlier than I imagined. My two daughters and I attended a Summer Dance Intensive program with Ballet Magnificat!, a professional Christian ballet company based in Jackson, Mississippi. I attended the training track for dance teachers and my 14 and 11 eleven year old daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia, received amazing dance training in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz and physical conditioning. In their “variations” classes the company members and teachers taught them choreography adapted from the company’s own repertoire.
The entire experience greatly exceeded our expectations. For myself, I pushed past physical limits and psychological blocks and danced more than I ever imagined. In terms of teacher training, I obtained a far greater breadth of information than I anticipated. I also networked with some amazing instructors from across the country, who are seeking to bring technical excellence, integrity and passion about their faith into their dance studios.
I also witnessed the growth in my daughters as they lived in the dorms, bonded with their assigned small group, worked through conflicts, and learned what it meant to live for God first - especially in their dancing. In addition to completing assigned daily devotions and attending morning chapel and evening small group Bible study, they danced five hours a day and were stretched to improve their dance technique. They learned to quickly adapt to various teachers who had different styles, accents, and requirements. The teachers began each class with prayer asking God to help them dance with technical excellence, and this high standard was held throughout the classes.
While there we were privileged to watch the company perform four performances from their repertoire. I was thoroughly entertained not only by their technical excellence, but also by the variety in the choreography and music, and the meaning that was conveyed. Before the first performance, Ballet Magnificat! founder Kathy Thibodeaux spoke to the students and teachers saying, “Remember, always use your gifts for God’s glory.” Kathy’s words had authority. She was a silver medalist in the International Ballet Competition, and at age 53 she is a committed, gracious, beautiful teacher and performer who still dances en pointe.
I was not only entertained but spiritually and emotionally moved by Ballet Magnificat!’s performances. What struck me most was hearing Jiri Voborsky, the brilliant and talented company choreographer, tell the audience, “If we could, we would be invisible and point you to God’s love and forgiveness. Instead, God has us dance.” As the performance began I watched Jiri’s dancing with amazement and marveled that his desire was to be invisible. Jiri’s attitude exemplified the entire company and staff at Ballet Magnificat! Dance was the means to a superior end, and that end was to declare the goodness of God.
Ballet Magnificat!’s commitment to their mission distinguishes them from most dance programs because they care about growth in the whole person during each aspect of a production. For example, the teachers and resident physical therapist collaborate and consider carefully what and how they teach their dancers. They are careful to train them for longevity and injury prevention because each company dancer is regarded as essential to their mission and is a valued part of the total team.
In addition to teaching, performing, and training, Ballet Magnificat! company members served student dancers as small group counselors and Bible study leaders and shared personal testimonies of how God uses the joys and challenges of dance in their lives to mold them into the image of Christ. It was so refreshing to see how the whole atmosphere at Ballet Magnificat! was able to counter any negative competitiveness and self-centeredness that can so easily invade the dance world culture.
I met with Keith Thibodeaux, the executive director, about booking Ballet Magnificat! for a long overdue performance here in Northern Virginia. Given my local experience, I knew it would be difficult to find a venue and the practical and financial support needed to host the company for a performance. After I returned home from the training, I called Keith and said, “Put me on the back burner. I need time to assemble a volunteer team who share my vision, find the right venue and raise the money required. Ticket sales alone won’t cover the costs. Maybe we could be ready in a year.”
Two weeks later, we drove back down to Jackson to watch Elizabeth dance in the final student performance. We saw a new side of her as she joyfully, boldly and skillfully danced a duet in a portion of the upbeat song “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho.” After a few more dances, there was a watershed moment for me when one class danced to the song, “Hail to the King.” After the dance was three quarters completed, the dancers stopped. They lifted their voices and hands and began singing the chorus, “Hail to the King, seated on the throne…” Their worship was noticeably authentic. Even though they were on the stage, we weren’t watching them and they weren’t conscious of being watched. Audience members and dancers alike were looking at our invisible God. There were many tears - in the audience and on stage. This was my moment to hear God’s call. “People need to see that this is what dance can be about. I will do my part Lord to help people experience this. I will remember.” The dancing resumed, but I was changed.
This time I returned home with an urgent sense that I needed to find a venue and book Ballet Magnificat! this year. It has been an amazing adventure to see the Lord provide Patrick Henry College as a venue and a handful of generous, hard-working people committed to work with me. It was not logical to make this happen in three months, but now it is less than two weeks away. I still look forward to seeing how God is providing all the help and money that is needed. I have this incredible opportunity to live out the theme of the performance from Hebrews 4:16 and come Before His Throne… Boldly receiving mercy and finding grace to help in our time of need. Every day I look for the big and small miracles God provides and thank Him for allowing me to participate in a small way in what He is doing through Ballet Magnificat!
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