Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Project Dance Performs in Times Square


On my way to a show last weekend, I was surprised to hear some Christian worship music blaring from the area of Times Square. There, just off the square on 44th Street, members of Project Dance® were sharing their gifts with crowds in the heart of the city.

What a treat, and what an encouragement to see Christians unafraid to worship the Lord. So many Christians I run into in this industry are afraid to let folks know they follow Jesus. It isn't politically correct; they'll be seen as judgmental; they'll be shunned. All of those things are possible, but how exciting to see a group rise above that and say "this is who we are."

While many folks pray, write or sing to worship the Lord, this group uses their bodies, project founder and Rockette Cheryl Cutlip told the crowd. The organization seeks to positively impact culture through artistic integrity (and Cheryl said she had just referred someone to our site, http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/, for Broadway and theater reviews with an added Christian perspective, so thanks, Cheryl!)

The dancers offered hours of entertainment and danced to everything from worship music to salsa. And the crowd just kept getting bigger.

For more information on this ministry, visit http://www.projectdance.com/.

2 comments:

Rich and Joyce Swingle said...

A gal from our church danced there this year. I performed my play on Jonah at the founder, Cheryl Cutlip's program in her bid for Miss New York in the early '90's. They've also done this in Sydney, and are gearing up to do it in Toronto, Atlanta and Hong Kong.

Retta Blaney said...

Thanks for calling attention to this, Lauren. Cheryl is such an impressive person -- she really puts her faith into action. I got to know her better when I interviewed her for "National Catholic Reporter".

Your readers should know they can see Project Dance at this year's Broadway Blessing -- 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It will be their fourth year dancing at this interfaith service of song, dance and story that brings the theatre community together each year to ask God's blessing on the new season. It's free and reservations are not required.

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Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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