Dance production The Veil: The Story of Creation features reminder of war and new ending
Warriors storm the stage this weekend to present “The Veil: The Story of Creation” for the 6th season.
Unity Dance Troupe presents “The Veil” at the Conn Center after two years of being absent from the stage at Lee University. Founder and executive director of Unity Dance Troupe Alexis Burleson said this year’s goal for “The Veil” is not to introduce a new concept but to offer a reminder for Christians.
“Every year, I ask for revelation on the ‘year's theme’ or the banner over ‘The Veil’ that God is pouring out,” Burleson said. “This year, I felt that I was supposed to remind Christians that the war is over and that Christ has already won the battle over Satan.”
To showcase the theme even more than any previous year, Burleson said, required a change to the ending.
“Something completely new this year is the ending song of the show,” Burleson said. “Not to give too much away, but quite literally: ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord,’ even Satan himself.”
Modifications to the routine itself are not the only changes that Burleson has overseen over the years. She graduated from Lee in 2011 and said she still has ties to the school through some her students at Unity Dance Troupe. She said she has heard of the change happening from within the institution.
“From what I've heard, dance has been more accepted at Lee as a form of worship,” Burleson said. “I honestly believe that Unity has helped in making a case that dance doesn't have to be ‘competitive’ or ‘immodest’—that dance was made for worship. I love that Unity was able to make that kind of an impact.”
What has stayed the same, according to Burleson, is the teamwork aspect of the show and the dedication of the cast.
Senior music major William Moore is playing the lead role of Adam in this year’s production and has performed with Unity for three years. He said that “The Veil” has helped reveal God’s love in a visual, tangible way.
“This production has shown me how God is unrelenting in His love for humanity. No matter how often we fail, God never gives up on us. He still chases after us and pursues us to the very end,” Moore said. “Each year as I dance in ‘The Veil,’ my eyes are opened more and more to the deep love God has for His creation and for His children. He is with us, closer than our very breath. He loves us, more than our closest love on this earth. I'm realizing more and more that nothing is lost in Christ.”
Because Moore is also a student at Lee, he said he recognizes the impact that the production has on the campus and the people who see it.
“Every year we perform ‘The Veil’ at Lee, we continue to hear testimonies from people about how this show has broken up the lies that they've come to believe about God's character. Many people come to ‘The Veil,’ expecting it to be a simple story about Adam and Eve,” Moore said. “Through seeing this show, they begin to realize that it's about them. Just as God runs after Adam and Eve, calling them back to Himself, God runs after you and me. We have forgotten our First Love, but our First Love has not forgotten us.”
Anna Thompson, a dual-enrollment student playing Lucifer, said she will also be offering something different for her upcoming role in this year’s production.
“I will be highlighting the subtleties of evil. With past Lucifers, they have highlighted different aspects of evil and rebellion, including…the ferocity of evil and how it can consume a person, but the twist I am putting on it this year is to lift the facade that evil is always blatant and in-your-face and to show that evil is subtle as well,” Thompson said. “As it is true that evil is blatantly raging around us in different ways, most of the time—especially in our personal lives—the enemy tries to steal, kill and destroy in subtle and sneaky ways. I hope that those watching me this weekend will be able to see that although the enemy is sneaky, he is also powerless because of Jesus' death and resurrection.”
When asked about the creation story, Thompson said she used to see the events as somewhat mundane and “robotic.”
“Growing up in church and hearing the creation story, I envisioned it as a series of events that happened, almost robotically, because God spoke them into existence. However, dancing in this production and growing closer to God these past few years has shown me that He takes delight in His creation and takes delight in us,” Thompson said. “That is why the fall of man was such a drastic turn for humanity—because although Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden of Eden and knew God without the barrier of sin to separate them, they still bought into the lie that God was withholding something good from them. God gave them free will, and they abused it.”
“The Veil: The Story of Creation” will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18.