The Word in the Wings

A behind-the-scenes look at how GPA artists are engaging with Scripture, from study to studio to presenting a Spirit-filled message on stage.

When you read “The Word in the Wings,” you’re invited to learn about the deep, biblical roots of our performance and about how GPA artists make connections between the biblical texts we study and the art you’ll see on stage.

 

We hope this opens the door for even deeper dialogue between you and God as the story of Scripture presents itself in new, perhaps unexpected ways through the medium of movement.

Without further ado...

From the stage: hope for what we do not see

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
One of my favorite things about storytelling through dance is the way dance layers together various elements to invite novel connections, generating new dimensions of meaning even for familiar ideas. Come Alive uses this layering capacity of dance to portray hope as certainty even in what we don’t yet see as reality.

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From the studio: Emily, Audrey and Lindsey on dancing in Come Alive

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
As Glorify Dance Theatre prepares to perform Come Alive, I spoke with several of the dancers about how they portray their characters in connection with narratives about resurrection from Scripture. Emily, Audrey and Lindsey each share some biblical and personal inspiration for their artistic choices in how they embody the message of resurrection hope in this original ballet.

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From the study: breath for bones, hope for life

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
In May 2022, Glorify Dance Theatre performs Come Alive, an original ballet about two young women who experience trials and transformation in their faith through relationships in high school and college. The ballet brings together the stories of characters who search for meaning and purpose from different sources and suggests that God’s spirit is a life-source with the power to sustain and restore.

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From the studio: Stephanie Morales on choreographing “Renovare”

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
For several weeks this spring, a group of GPA dancers have worked with guest choreographer Stephanie Morales on a piece set to portions of “Spring” from the album “Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, the Four Seasons” (2014). The piece explores ideas associated with the season of spring as well as seasons of renewal and refreshment in faith. Read on to learn more about Steph’s inspiration for the piece.

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From the study: inspired to create

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
Artists at Glorify Performing Arts are inspired to create works of art that honor the Creator God, and we hope that these works in turn inspire audiences to walk faithfully with Jesus. From a Christian theological standpoint, what does it mean that we are inspired to create?

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From the stage: two-level gospel drama in Walk This Road

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
For many centuries, Christians have engaged with performing arts to speak, embody and witness the story of Holy Week. Walk This Road adopts and adapts this tradition of dramatizing Christ’s final week of earthly ministry. Using the medium of movement, this ballet focuses on the emotional experience of Jesus’s disciples, past and present, surrounding those events and their enduring significance.

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From the studio: Anna Si on dancing in Walk This Road

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
Company artist Anna Si connects her performance in Walk This Road to a very personal experience with the grief of Holy Week, and she hopes the audience will feel hope through this story. Continue reading for a window into our conversation!

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From the study: called to follow

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
On the first day of the week after Jesus is crucified, he appears to Mary Magdalene and to his other disciples, demonstrating even to the most doubtful that he lives again (John 20). Later, while Peter and some of the others are out fishing, Jesus shows up on the shore, generates a miraculous catch, and prepares breakfast (John 21:1-14). Then Jesus has an important conversation with Peter. Peter’s answers to Jesus’s questions and the turn Jesus makes in the second part of the conversation include imagery and vocabulary that illustrate how Peter’s faith has matured since before Jesus’s death. The way this dialogue fits into the larger narrative of Holy Week shows the centrality of Jesus’s presence with his disciples for his call on their lives.

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From the studio: Amber Aufiero on dancing in Walk This Road

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
Amber Aufiero is a first soloist with Glorify Dance Theatre. For Amber, dance is a powerful medium that forges connection and expresses in ways beyond words. It’s both personal and communal, and dancing allows her to walk the line between vulnerability and security. Amber has graciously shared some of her heartfelt reflections on her expression in movement and her role in Walk This Road.

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From the study: power in peace

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Prasad
John’s Gospel gives an account of Jesus’s trial and execution that centers around questions of kingship and power. The dialogue in John 19 among Jesus, Pilate, the Jewish religious leaders and others who are present illustrates two drastically different approaches to power. Through the contrast between those who adopt a political philosophy of expedient violence, on the one hand, and Jesus who submits to violence against himself, on the other hand, John’s account of Jesus’s crucifixion points to the hope that the peace of God’s kingdom is more powerful than this world’s armies and emperors.

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