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anticipating pleasure

June 4, 2009

Well, our big performance is one day away!  I can’t tell you how excited I am!  “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast.  And when I run I feel his pleasure,” said Eric Liddell in the 1981 classic “Chariots of Fire”.  His words resonated in me when I watched the movie last month.  I hadn’t seen it in years and was moved by the words that I can relate to.  Only in my case, I believe that dancing is not separate from the purpose for which God has made me: dancing is a part of that purpose.

Each practice and performance are equally important and are necessary to the purpose for which I was created.  But the performance is what makes practice vital.  A performance is to a dancer what a framed painting is to a painter.  It is my masterpiece.  It is when my work of art is displayed for the audience to enjoy in awe and wonder.

This is both thrilling and terrifying!  There is, of course, a fear of forgetting a step or the choreography, but there is also a fear of rejection.  In John Paul II’s Letter to Artists, he reminds us that “In producing a work, artists express themselves to a point where their work becomes a unique disclosure of what they are and of how they are what they are… In shaping a masterpiece, the artist not only summons his work into being, but also in some way reveals his own personality by means of it.”  In my performance, in my masterpiece, I am sharing myself, and what if the audience is not willing to receive what I have to give?

When the gift of dance is accepted and enjoyed, there is a beautiful, life-giving communication that occurs.  This, of course, is what I find thrilling!  John Paul II also says, “Through his ‘artistic creativity’ man appears more than ever ‘in the image of God’, and he accomplishes this task above all in shaping the wondrous ‘material’ of his own humanity…”.  My form of dance not only communicates my heritage and culture, but a beauty that reflects God through my culture.

The communication is not just between me as a performer and my audience, but also between myself and God.  “God therefore called man into existence, committing him to the craftsman’s task.” (JPII Letter to Artists)  As I said before, dancing is part of the purpose for which I was created.  If God has committed me to this task and I give myself to it in union with him, the divine Creator, is it any wonder that when I dance I feel his pleasure?

Oh reader, I am so looking forward to tomorrow’s performance, but I want the next twenty-three hours to go by slowly.  The performance will be over before I know it and I want to savor every minute of basking in God’s pleasure!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2009 8:05 pm

    “Anticipating Pleasure” is a fabulous title, Cecilia.

    Love it.

    All of it.


  2. Jim permalink
    June 8, 2009 9:01 am

    I first read this on 4Marks and posted this there:

    Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. He tells the story of Gillian Lynne who was diagnosed as “learning disabled” because she couldn’t “sit still” in school and was taken to a psychologist who observed her and told her mother “she’s not learning disabled – she’s a dancer”. They put her in a dance school and the rest is history. She went on to start her own dance troupe and was the choreographer of “Cats” and “Phantom” of the Opera.

    If you don’t want to listen to he whole thing (I suggest you do) then move the slider to 14:00 to hear the part about Gillian Lynne.

    Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

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