Most weeks, I prepare a short devotion for our Ballet Cast, which is shared after warmup and barre and before we begin the choreography portion of our rehearsal. This is one I thought would be particularly interesting to our audience and families who have been a part of our story ballets for several years:
Relevant note: this devotion took place near Easter;-)
The months of February and March usually find Miss Gail and me making a “musical tour” to most of the local high schools- to watch our dancers perform and, full disclosure: to celebrate that they will soon all be back in class again;-)
A couple years ago, I began to notice that often, after Intermission, the storyline of the musical begins to drag a bit. (sometimes a lot) I began to examine this after concluding that it was something beyond my personal attention span. Then I remembered watching movies when I was little- it was often during this same portion of a movie that my mind would also wander (yes, this may have been attention span) and I would often begin playing with toys on the side, or ask my mother for a snack.
I’ve also noticed while planning recitals- especially when I get to the part when I schedule dress rehearsals, that the distribution of ensemble classes between Act I and Act II is nearly always uneven. Most of our ensemble classes, and nearly always our youngest classes, dance in Act I. It often turns out that Act II consists mostly of Cast dances. It’s a fabulous setup for a studio, since it means that these dress rehearsals allow younger dancers to go home for an earlier bedtime- it is not entirely intentional in the original planning stages of the show. As I began reflecting on why all these might be, something came to mind that most of us learned in an English class somewhere along the way: the Plot Diagram. Most of the Cast instantly recognized this, so they seem to have experienced it somewhere along their academics.
Something I failed to notice when I encountered this plot analysis in high school English class: most of the fun stuff happens in the beginning half. We meet new characters, we hear fun songs, there aren’t a whole lot of complications to the storyline that make emotions fall beyond the carefree. This is why our younger classes are inevitably assigned parts in the first Act=) The middle-end section though, is usually where the deep stuff happens- the “ugly” stuff, the life-changing stuff. And to someone who’s not fully invested in the storyline, it can get boring. For those who are fully invested, it can get uncomfortable. But: this is where the really good stuff happens. It’s where hearts are frozen and thawed, where love is discovered, and where dynamic characters (remember those too?) are transformed.
This is the part of the Easter story where Jesus was in the tomb. This is where they had to WAIT three days for the resurrection. This is where- even though YOU know what happens- they did not. And it was uncomfortable and scary. But this is the part where it’s important that we not walk away. This is the part of the story that may not be butterflies and rainbows (or snowflakes and trolls) but it’s when it’s more important than ever that we be present. And trust God, and cling to faith- even if we don’t know at the time if faith is truly real. Because this is where the transformation happens, and it’s something we don’t want to miss.