The Word in the Wings

The Word in the Wings gives 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.

 

Throughout the year, Jessica Noonan, GPA’s Ministry & Worship Leader, along with guest artists, will share articles connected to GPA productions. 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...

Reflecting El Roi: what should we do?

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
Dancers don’t always know what movements they’ll need to execute during class or rehearsal, but a thorough warmup prepares them for anything the choreographer might ask them to do. In a similar way, we humans usually can’t anticipate exactly how God will show up in our day or in world history. But for as long as God has related to humans, God has given direction for ordering decisions and daily life in a way that prepares us to respond when God does something amazing and unexpected.

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Reflecting El Roi: practicing preparation

The Word in the Wings
By: Audrey Hammitt
Breath of the arm…See the room with your eyes…Oh, my calves are tight this morning…These are some of the thoughts dancers might have as they warm up for a day of rehearsing or performing. How does this compare to preparing the way of the Lord during Lent?

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artistic director

Advent reflection: “the life was the light”

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
To reflect on the arrival of Jesus this Advent season, the dancers and I studied John 1:1-18 and asked the questions: Does John refer to “light” and “darkness” literally and/or metaphorically? What is the relationship among Word, God, life, and light? What is the symbolic significance of the light? What changes when Jesus arrives?

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Oikia: taught and transformed

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’s “Sermon on the Plain” includes a series of images instructing his listeners in how to be good disciples. Jesus’s concluding image in this passage, the parable of the wise and foolish builders, is the inspiration for Glorify Dance Theatre’s short ballet Oikia, which they’ve been performing for preschool audiences throughout the fall. When this parable is considered together with the others preceding it, the images dynamically represent the choices and consequences involved in discipleship.

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Oikia: when the storms come…

The Word in the Wings
By: Audrey Hammitt
You’ve probably said or heard it said, “When it rains, it pours.” This phrase is often used to illustrate that when something hard happens in life, there are bound to be more hard things that follow it. In our company Bible studies for our children’s ballet Oikia, we looked at Matthew 7, in which Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish builders.

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From the stage: freedom, constraints, creativity

The Word in the Wings
By: Kaya Weaver
When you see Glorify Dance Theatre’s Mixed Repertoire performance, you might ask yourself: What parameters define the movement in each piece?
What movements are possible or impossible within the chosen boundaries? How are those constraints limiting? How do boundaries generate greater creativity?

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Alive in Us: moving and internalizing Ezekiel 36:27, 30

The Word in the Wings
By: Jessica Noonan
Alive in Us, a ballet featured in our MainStage show this November, was created to bring the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control) to life. We chose Ezekiel 36:27, 30 as our memory verse for this particular ballet. After diving into the Bible to better understand the fruit of the spirit, we began to ask these questions; “ If we are followers of Jesus, what power fills our lives with the fruit of the spirit? And what makes our effort different from a non-believer?”

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What is Alive in Us?

The Word in the Wings
By: Audrey Hammitt
As a child, I viewed love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as qualities to strive to embody. However, I was probably in high school by the time the Spirit helped me understand what the term “fruit” actually meant. The moment God illuminated my mind and eyes to comprehend that the fruit of something is the result or evidence of something, I was thrilled that these qualities come from the Spirit, not my own efforts.

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Introducing company artist Aleksa Lawry

The Word in the Wings
with Kaya Weaver
Aleksa Lawry joined Glorify Dance Theatre this season as an apprentice. Read our conversation to learn about her love for movement and storytelling and about her goals for spiritual growth within her creative work this season.

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We encourage you to dig into the Word in the Wings archives to learn about the theology in previous GPA productions. From 2021-2024, Kaya Weaver worked as the Biblical Research and Ministry specialist at Glorify Performing Arts, and her articles provide amazing theological connections to our productions. Check out posts from Kaya as well as other guest artists, and enjoy time growing deeper in your faith.

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