Sunday, June 01, 2008

DIVERSITY


We had last night such a wonderful evening as a family. Julie and I went to the St. Louis Dance Festival Showcase to watch our three girls dance together with the Arts in Motion Company Ensemble for the very last time. We thought we had seen their last dance in the beginning of May until they were invited to perform at this very prestigious annual dance festival held at Washington University last night. There were dancers that ranged from accomplished high school level on up to professionals, even MADCO the group that Amie has dreamed of dancing with for many years were there. Lindsey and Gavin from MADCO did a piece later in the show that was just stunningly moving and beautiful. My girl's group was the second to dance and they performed a dance created by Lindsey from MADCO who has been an instructor of theirs. They all performed this dance at a level none of us parents had seen all year. I think it might have been the adrenalin rush of being on a stage with such a large group of very talented people from very diverse backgrounds and in front of a large audience?

But as I sat there watching 12 different groups expressing themselves through dance and music, I got to thinking about diversity and how we as people look at diversity. It got me to thinking about my experience for most of my life and how very little diversity had been a part of it. And then I got to thinking about how that had even become more the case when as an adult I put aside my prodigal wanderings and re-entered the Christian sub-culture I had been raised in.

To say I love music is such an understatement and the diversity of music last night was just stunning. It's sad that the religious mind ever created the division of Secular and Sacred and in that division, diversity has suffered and in many cases began to be looked at as evil.

I sat there last night so enjoying the musical diversity and how it was expressed through such diverse dance influences from Flamenco, to Hip Hop, to the Classical music of Ballet, to Modern Dance, to the music and dance of India, the Middle East, South America, and Western culture, just to name a few. And then I had this thought: How does Father Son and Spirit relate to people from all these diverse cultures and influences and what might that look like? I at least know this, the diversity would remain intact and that diversity would turn into a beautiful tapestry.

It all made me think of the beautiful expression of freedom I used to end the previous post. Do we dare explore outside the narrow confines of what we have been shaped by? Or do we allow the division between Secular and Sacred and all the fear created there, keep us in a small box, looking out thinking everything outside of our expression is evil and might corrupt us and is in need of being converted or destroyed?

3 comments:

Sue said...

The dance is global, I'm sure of that.

What a wonderful time. It sounds like a blast.

Kent said...

Sue, I'm sure the dance (the one with Father Son and Spirit and those being joined to them) is gobal and it is just stunning to me that when you speak in terms of the all the different people from all the different cultures it just seems that most Christians go weird on you, at least the Christians I know that have been shaped by Americanized Christianity.

I get the sense that this phenomenon is rather unique to the isolationist/arrogant mentality of the United States, thinking the world has much to learn from us and we have rather little, if anything to learn from other cultures. And it just seems that within the Christian community here in the states this mentality is even more entrenched?

I hope that is about to change.

Sue said...

Yes, hmmm, well Americanized Chrisianity seems to have slapped with the isolationist stick quite hard :) But then all Western countries have the same attitude to an extent.

I guess in Australia it's maybe a bit easier because for one we are not a Christian country anymore and no one is under the illusion of that (thank God :) and also we are such a melting pot of cultures that mix together reasonably well, that maybe it's a bit easier here. The strong Christian cultural focus in the States I imagine has entrenched it further, yeah.

But ooooh, yeah, I think it's about to change too. How exciting :)