“Libera — The Joy of Believing”

“Libera — The Joy of Believing” is a show by choreographers and dancers who have “a biblical worldview.” Wait, wait, don’t run off to the hills. This isn’t “praise dancing” (efforts by well-meaning amateurs to incorporate a dance performance into a worship service, usually with results of questionable quality). It’s just dancers who acknowledge and incorporate their faith into their art. “What can happen sometimes is that the arts become tools for the church,” says Ad Deum Dance Company Artistic Director/choreographer Randall Flinn. “The particular focus is not on the excellence in the art form, it’s on getting the message across. Which is valid, no doubt. But that’s not what we do.

“For myself, as a choreographer, I believe there is a need for artists to make contributions to humanity, beyond just Bible stories,” Flinn goes on. “There’s the need for art that inspires and offers hope.”

“Libera’s” program includes Walk of Promise, a new work about the perseverance of the human spirit, which saw its premiere at Miller Outdoor Theatre recently. I Told Jesus, choreographed by Bobby Wesner, features music by Roberta Flack, including “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” (Still not quite convinced this isn’t hokey “praise dancing”? Just remember that Martha Graham was a Sunday school teacher as well as a groundbreaking -choreographer.)

Ad Deum performs “Libera” at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Barnevelder/Movement Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-626-5050 or visit www.danceaddeum.com. $15.
Sat., May 17, 8 p.m.; Sun., May 18, 3 p.m., 2008

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Olivia Flores Alvarez