Dance as worship? Dance as a way to deliver the Good News? Dance, movement, choreography as a means for expressing one’s faith?
Yes, dance can be all of that, says Randall Flinn, founder and artistic director of Ad Deum, a Houston-based dance and instructional troupe, which conducted a “dance intensive” this week at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Ad Deum, meaning “unto God,” is a professional contemporary/modern dance company, which since its inception in 2000, incorporates Christian belief with dramatic, artistic expression.
“Dance is a sign of restoration,” Flinn told the audience during a short performance Thursday, delivered as part of PBA’s weekly summer chapel series. “Dancers can focus on art form and reconcile that with faith. Excellence and giving glory to God should work hand in hand.”
Tonight at 7:30, Ad Deum instructors will stage a 90-minute performance in PBA’s DeSantis Family Chapel. The event is open to the public, and is free (love offerings are welcome).
|Randall Flinn, founder of the Houston-based Ad Deum Dance Company, shares with PBA faculty and staff gathered for weekly chapel.|
“Randall Flinn is part dancer, part preacher/ proselytizing Christian and his charismatic messages offer hope and inspiration where artists can work as ambassadors of healing, restoration and cultural reform,” says PBA Dance Director Kathleen Klein, who has been friends with Flinn for 10 years.
It was that decade-long friendship that brought Ad Deum to PBA’s main campus for their first dance intensive at the University, July 11-15. Some sixty dancers from throughout South Florida participated in the inaugural camp.
“I’ve sent many of my students to Houston over the past nine summers, but I continued to nudge him about PBA hosting Ad Deum,” said Klein. “He finally listened.”
Flinn’s resume includes working as a dance educator and choreographer with Cirque Du Soleil, Ballet Magnificant and the Houston Ballet Academy, to name a few. He and the national and international dancers in the company have toured the U.S., Asia and Europe.
Flinn and company members Ester van Baren, Daniel Cossette, Lara Lanphier, Betsy McMillan, Stephanie Wingard and Sara Yarbrough, along with PBA dance faculty member Jinyoung Lee, are the dance intensive instructors. The goal is to offer excellence in dance training and a place for spiritual growth.
The dancers have a set daily schedule, which includes worship service, ballet and modern classes and electives. The program’s tuition of $600-$650 includes dance classes, residence at PBA dorms and three meals a day.
To make sure this all happens smoothly, Klein is the site coordinator. Her responsibilities include acting as a local liaison between Ad Deum and the Office of Community Service, disseminating parent and student information and managing miscellaneous paperwork and other duties as requested by the company or PBA.
The Ad Deum dance intensive at PBA will become an annual summer event, said Klein.
|Members of the PBA faculty and staff -- along with a number of dance hopefuls -- look on during a brief performance Thursday (7/14) by instructors from Houston-based Ad Deum Dance Company.||Young dancers share in a moment of prayer prior to a performance by Ad Deum Dance Company instructors.|