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Prayer Dance Project, Fall 2015

Arts in the Library

Fall 2015 Performance

November 13, 2015, 5:30 pm

Falcone Library Atrium, Le Moyne College

Ruth Arena, adjunct professor, and students in the Dance Minor Program at Le Moyne present an experience of dance as prayer. The program explores dance as a direct reflection of the soul, as a way to fall in love with the spirit of all things, adn as a connection between all humans. Designed to engage with our community this even aims to encourage reflection, give a peaceful pause in a busy life, and a stimulate breath and movement in everyone.

Look Homeward Angel explores adaptation and expectations. The piece originated as a poem by Elizabeth Twiddy titled “Baptism” which is decidedly not religious. Rather it is an exploration of how a word that has widely understood religious meaning can be just as- -if not more-- spiritual when it is represented in life “as the thing itself.” Composer Edward Ruchalski wrote music and set the poem as song. Choreographer Ruth Arena used the score as a way into exploring ideas about angels; where they live, what they do, whether people become them. The dance was not originally intended as prayer or meditation and this performance of it addresses the question of whether dance must be specifically conceived as prayer/meditation in order to serve that purpose for the performer or audience.

Gabrielle Procko (dancer): "I am blessed: I have a loving family, food, shelter, my health and protection. I can not fathom the suffering that others encounter daily: abuse, war, death, disease, hunger. What am I to do, when I feel so helpless and insignificant to suffering? I am only one person and my skill-set is underdeveloped for alleviating such pain. So, today I dance. I dance on behalf of my hope in prayer. I look upon the suffering of the world and "I Can Only Imagine" what His plan is after this life is over. A tree loses its leaves to withstand the harsh winter before it can regrow new leaves again. We are not insignificant and suffering is temporary. Have faith in His plan. Have faith in His plan."

Chelsea Powell (dancer): "My inspiration for this piece was all of the little things we take for granted in our everyday lives.  We are given so much to be thankful for and it becomes so easy to become wrapped up in our own worlds, forgetting to appreciate all that we have. Especially in the middle of the semester when there are so many things to be worried about, I was thankful for this opportunity to express my appreciation for dance and for all of the little things that I have to be grateful for."

Joelle Mounlavong (dancer): "For some people, Faith and Spirituality comes easy. That isn't always the case. This piece is meant to reflect the struggle, anger and doubt inherent with trying to find the beliefs that can reflect a bit of you.”

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