World Council of Churches Office of Communication|
150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
The World Council of Churches is learning to dance
Together with the Marzia Milhazes Dança Contemporânea and Trio Aquarius dancers, "Peace to the City" producer Lusmarina Campos Garcia has created a dynamic 40-minute dance drama that challenges churches and civil society to consider manifestations of violence in their various contexts worldwide.
Karin Achtelstetter talks with Brazilian theologian and artist Lusmarina Campos Garcia about the production.
KA: "Peace to the City" becomes a musical! Was it difficult to create a dramatic dance production about a campaign?
What was the greatest challenge for you?
Art offers this possibility. But what type of art? When we began thinking about this project, we talked about theatre. But theatre needs spoken language. And we're going around the world! Translation wouldn't work. So we opted for an art that, in principle, doesn't need translation: music and dance.
The second challenge was finding a language that could be recognized as being an integral part of the campaign but, at the same time, would bring new elements. I'm talking about objectivity and subjectivity, being literal and not being literal. How to make certain that the experience of the partner cities is there and recognized but, at the same time, that this artwork is not just literal.
I think we've managed a good balance. The music - sometimes light and playful - gives the more literal and objective side in that it uses the rhythms of the seven partner cities in the form of a suite. The choreography is more subjective and much less literal in relation to the campaign. It presents movement and images that reflect the tension inherent in peace processes, and successive resurrections amidst situations of violence.
Whom do you want to reach?
What is the Peace to the City dance drama's message?
Is there something special about creating a music and dance production for the World Council of Churches?
Let me conclude by saying that it is very, very special for a Brazilian like me to see the World Council of Churches learning to dance! This is an opportunity to see my own and other cultures redeemed - cultures that, historically, have been only partly (if that!) integrated within the religious-theological world of the Christian churches.
I firmly believe that WCC member churches around the world are gaining an opportunity to open up a new channel of communication with parts of the population to whom they normally have no access. They are also gaining a new form of expression through which the message of love and peace will be received, and deeply appreciated. Congratulations to the World Council of Churches!
Would you like to schedule a performance of "Peace to the City" in your city or region?
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 337, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.