International Christian Dance Fellowship Foundation Newsletter December 2021 

On- line Christian dance workshops

New On-Line Christian Dance Workshops - coming soon
The Foundation is pleased to announce that it is supporting two dance groups in Australia and South Africa, to film On-Line Christian Dance Workshops.  These will be freely available to download from our website early next year.

Lucinda Coleman of faithdance, Perth and Melanie Erasmus, Co-Ordinator of International Christian Dance Fellowship of South Africa have received assistance to film three workshops each.  Both projects are very exciting and very different from each other and we eagerly await their release.  
In this Newsletter we will focus on the Perth project: ICDF Movement Workshops/ Dance_ ABC (The abc of dance).  It is sponsored by the Foundation in partnership with Mt Pleasant Baptist Church. Below is an interview with Lucinda Coleman: Behind the scenes! 

Sarah Christopher, Samantha Coleman, Claire Forrest, Marcella Teo, Georgina Earl (L to R) by Lucinda Coleman, on location in Fremantle, WA ©2021, used with permission
Behind the scenes: Interview with Lucinda Coleman of faithdance, Perth
on the making of the abc of dance workshops

Jenny Dennis: “What inspired you to conceive the idea of the ABC of Dance?”
Lucinda Coleman: “Dance is a language of the body, and as with spoken language, there are infinite ways to communicate. It seemed pertinent to draw a parallel between the notion of a letter and its construction within a word, to that of a movement concept and its application to the dancing body. The idea of exploring three broad concepts: A for Alignment, B for Breath, and C for Control, has potential for application to any genre of dance.  fAITHdANCE was keen to extend their collective skillset through developing dance films which might inspire, instruct, and inform dance as a spiritual act of worship.” 
JD: “How did you develop the concept?”
LC: “Each of the three one-hour dance films focuses on exploring a key movement concept.  They are pitched for any skill level, although some understanding, or experience of dance technique, would be advantageous. Movement ideas are drawn from modern/ post-modern dance pioneers with contemporary dance practices. Other dance ministry teams might select their own dance concepts and develop workshops based on a particular movement principle. The use of ‘ABC’ allows for continuation through the Latin alphabet, with the possibility to explore other alphabets. Might we become multi-lingual dance artists by learning about movement concepts developed from a range of alphabets and scripts?” 
JD: “Who are you working with- musicians and dancers? Have you been teaching this group of dancers for a while?  Do they present any work in the church?”  
"fAITHdANCE includes the dancers- Sarah Christopher, Samantha Coleman, Georgina Earl, Claire Forrest, and Marcella Teo who attend Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, WA. we run weekly adult dance classes for the local community, and Sunday workshops which focus on prayer, choreography, and dance as ministry. We have been creating dance pieces for church services and recently for Perth’s ‘Christmas Nativity’ pageant this December. We are collaborating with other artists from our church for this project; singers, musicians, a soundscape composer/ audio engineer, and filmmaker.  Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is sponsoring the project with the Foundation.”

JD: “Where have you been filming?” 
LC: “The dance workshops are being filmed on location on Whadjuk Noongar boodjar | Perth, and alongside the Derbal Yerrigan | Swan River in Western Australia.”
JD: “How has the film process been going?”  
LC: “Collaborative dance filmmaking on location is fun, challenging, exhausting, inspiring with generally unexpected and unpredictable outcomes. We have had a wonderful learning experience as a team and as individuals. Reflections from the dancers:
Sarah Christopher says; “The opportunity to take part in this project has been an incredibly inspiring experience, but also demanding and challenging. God has shown me that He is the one who breathes life in us, has aligned our purpose for His good and is in control of our lives; all we must do is have faith in this….In this process I was forced to let go of control and simply learn to trust in Him.”
Claire Forrest says; “It has allowed for new experiences dancing in different locations, dancing specifically to scripture and while being filmed. It has been a great way to stretch us and find new ways to worship God through dance.”
Marcella Teo says; “It has been so interesting to explore the concepts of scripture, movement, and dance: Then applying them together in harmony, to create work that can speak to an audience, but also be used for individual prayer." 
JD:  “What has been fun about the process?”
LC: “I have enjoyed working with each person involved in the project, and listening to what has been challenged, stretched, encouraged, and released within each dancer.” Here is what the dancers have said: 

Samantha Coleman says; “I have loved collaborating with other movement artists. Each artist’s unique movement language has informed the development of these online dance workshops.”
Georgina Earl says; “It's also been really fun to see the creative process play out, to see how an idea, a prayer or a bible verse, can be built on to craft a beautiful lesson or phrase. And it's been fun getting out and dancing together!”
Marcella Teo says; “It’s also been such a joy working with Luci, who is such a talented and visionary director, and the other dancers - each from different dance backgrounds, and who interpret the concepts in their own special way.” 

JD: “What has been unexpected?”  
LC: “I hope when the films are released and others join in the workshops, there will be unexpected, beautiful revelations of how God moves in and through each one of us, through divinely danced dialogic exchanges.” 
A few thoughts from the dancers:
Sarah Christopher says; “I found freedom in worshipping through dance. I could truly find appreciation for the body God created and designed specifically for me.” 

Georgina Earl says; “The weather and the environment. The unpredictability of things like the ground surface, space and the rain forecast has meant we've had to be flexible in translating our movement and flexible with our schedules. More than that, it's caused us to really think about the environment while dancing.”
Marcella Teo say; “I too have enjoyed the challenge of being aware of the environment and interacting with the land as we dance.  Coming back to dancing in nature has again reignited an awe and wonder of our great, creative God who has brought to life every living thing in this world and reminded me of my smallness and yet ability to make an impact in the world in Him.” 
JD: “Who do you think the audience will be for this film?” 
LC: “My hope is that as anyone in the world starts looking for online dance classes, God might guide the search and that those for whom these workshops are made, will connect with the dance films.”  A few thoughts from the dancers: 

Samantha Coleman says; “I hope that the audience for this online dance workshop will be anyone, from any background, who is seeking a deeper, more meaningful, four-dimensional way to move.” 
Georgina Earl says; “A Christian with a background in dance will most likely be the most common audience.”

Marcella Teo says; “Although some level of dance knowledge is helpful to participate in these workshops, I love that they could also be for someone who is exploring the ideas of moving to scripture and prayer, and who wants to explore how they can do the same in their own space.”  
JD: “When will it be released?”  
LC: “Ideally post-production will wrap early January, with a launch in WA in mid -January 2022. Each workshop will be available online via the ICDFF and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church and College websites. We hope you enjoy the workshops and find them useful additions to your own creative dance practices!”
Samantha Coleman, by Lucinda Coleman, rehearsing on Fremantle Bridge, WA ©2021, used with permission. 
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About the ICDF Foundation
The ICDF Foundation supports the International Christian Dance Fellowship (ICDF) in its aim to serve the movement arts in ministry and mission in a visible, available and relevant way by:
·       recognising excellence in Christian Dance/Movement ministry; 
·       raising money for scholarships/special projects;  
·       promoting Christian dance/movement internationally. 

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