Ballet Magnificat! opens Spring U-Church series
For several years, Lee University has welcomed Ballet Magnificat! to perform as a ministry to students and faculty. On Feb. 17 they opened Lee’s spring U-Church series with “Journey of the Prodigal Son,” a ballet based on the Biblical parable found in the Gospel of Luke.
Ballet Magnificat! is a professional Christian dance company that travels the globe to put on performances. Their goal is to minister to others by telling stories through dance, which often speaks in ways that words alone cannot express.
“Journey of the Prodigal Son” features a man leaving his wife as he gives in to his temptations towards worldly distractions. He eventually becomes impoverished and miserable, realizes his mistake and turns to God, going home to return to his wife and ending with a great celebration.
One of the lead dancers spoke at the end of the performance, explaining that ministry through dance transcends language barriers and that Ballet Magnificat! is able to share their message everywhere because they do not need words to tell stories.
Senior TESOL major Megan Feeny has studied linguistics in her undergraduate classes, which has cultivated her appreciation of language and communication.
“I do love language, and language is a beautiful thing,” said Feeny, “But sometimes, especially when operating in a second language you can’t always say what you really mean to say. … I think that storytelling through dance—the movement, the emotions, the expressions on your face…that can communicate things very strongly.”
Feeny took Irish dancing classes for eight years, giving her an appreciation of the Ballet Magnificat! performance as an artistic expression of communication.
Sophomore early childhood education major Madalyn Barker took tap, jazz and show choir classes for about nine years before coming to college. This helped her to appreciate the hard work and technique behind the dancers’ performance.
Barker particularly enjoyed the worshipful nature of the performance.
“The thing that stuck out most to me was the end,” said Barker, “when the main character summed up why they chose the story of the prodigal son and when they were able to come down and pray for people."
After the performance, the dancers facilitated worship and prayer for audience members who were touched by the story.
Junior anthropology major Danae Chaplin attended the performance and said she believes Lee is dedicated to a variety of worship experiences.
“I appreciate the diversity of worship that Lee is bringing to chapel,” said Chaplin. “I’ve seen Lee become more open to various expressions of worship and performance for U-Church. They’ve had everything from dancers to magic shows.”
Ballet Magnificat! will continue to tour throughout the United States for the next few months.
Lee’s U-Church series will continue on March 17 with “An Evening of Worship,” led by LeeU Worship.
To learn more about Ballet Magnificat! or purchase tickets to one of their shows, you can visit their website.
For more information about U-Church, contact Joyce Lane at email@example.com or (423) 614-8347.
For updates and announcements about U-Church events, stay connected by following U-Church on Twitter: @LeeUChurch, on Instagram: @leeuchurch, or on Facebook: LeeUChurch.