Recently, Barbara Nicolosi Harrington, a Hollywood screenwriter and professor at Pepperdine University, delivered a lecture at Focus on the Family on Christianity and the arts. She offered this definition of art:
Art is something constructed that delights the senses and gives satisfaction to the intellect.
She went on to talk about how Christians tend to fail in producing good art, though we have the most important and powerful story to tell. We copy what others are doing or sermonize. “Christians should be doing beautiful before message,” she said.
With these things in mind, I read with interest a feature in the Washington Post about Ballet Magnificat, the first Christian ballet company. First of all, the article noted the beauty present in this company:
There’s no denying the emotional power of this company. As it turns out, the bright eyes and broad smiles one associates with born-again Christians are excellent stage qualities. These dancers have the kind of lit-from-within presence rarely seen outside the premier companies, and even there the radiant projection of feeling can be spotty.
And perhaps most impressively, the article praised the company for doing something unique (and excellent) in the arena of storytelling:
The unusual repertoire sets this company apart. It may be an exaggeration to say that Ballet Magnificat is single-handedly keeping the fading narrative tradition of ballet alive, but I don’t know of any other company that exclusively performs original works, most of them full-length story ballets. And Ballet Magnificat’s dancers live their ballets — such works as “The Scarlet Cord,” about underground missionaries saving souls in communist Russia, or “Deliver Us,” a whirlwind mash-up of the Moses and Jesus stories. (Think “The Ten Commandments” meets the Rockettes’ nativity scene.)
It seems that not only is Ballet Magnificat holding fast to its distinctly Christian calling, but the group is producing good art. Have you come across good art produced by believers? What made it effective? What made it beautiful?
HT: The Point