By Adrienne Daniels, CHVN Radio 95.1 FM
Sometimes working in radio has its perks. One of those perks came my way last Wednesday in the form of two tickets to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Pure Ballet: Fluid Motion, Vurtuosic Dance. I love the arts, but don’t support them as much as I would like. This night was a beautiful opportunity to go and appreciate all the talent that resides in our city.
As my sister and I sat down and proceeded to go through the program, we noticed that something special was happening that night. The RWB was premiering a brand new work, called The Doorway, featuring the music of Canadian poet and artist Leonard Cohen. We both grew up listening to the music of this true Canadian treasure and as we studied the songs in the program we realized that they were some of our favorites. Everything from ‘The Letters’, to ‘Sisters Of Mercy’ to the song that is now sung in a few churches ‘Hallelujah’. What made this performance even more spectacular was that local artists were on stage to perform a few of the songs live. ‘Bird On The Wire’ was done by Winnipeggers Keith and Renee, and ‘Hallelujah’ performed by Allison Crowe…just her and a piano. But the triumph of this performance was Mr. Cohen himself. He wasn’t there, but the RWB used audio from interviews he did regarding the songs being danced to and it gave such an incredible insight into the performance that it took it to that magical level. Where spirit and art connect and you FEEL the music. You feel it in your soul, its tangible with your hands and you can literally taste it.
When asked about the song ‘Hallelujah’, Mr. Cohen explained ‘"It's, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion... It's a rather joyous song." The songwriter continues: "I wanted to write something in the tradition of the hallelujah choruses but from a different point of view... It's the notion that there is no perfection ~ that this is a broken world and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still that is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances."
While sitting in my seat in the 10th row, I couldn’t help but notice something. That the beauty of movement can convey such passionate emotions, both positive and negative without ever speaking a word. That these bodies we’ve been given, created by a Holy God, are the most incredible vessels to convey the love and loss and passion and sorrow that we are confronted with on a daily basis. That we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ to bring Him glory and honour. I was witness to one of the most moving spectacles of human expression that I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. My soul took flight for over 2 hours as I watched the poetic nature of the human form in motion; dancing, swaying, fighting, loving, understanding and confusing all at once.
Beauty in movement.
In standing still.
In human expression.
Oh, how He loves us!