By Sherrie Norris
A special event at Boone United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 9 is sure to offer something a bit out of the ordinary for parishioners and guests, alike.
As part of its Fine Arts Series, the church is preparing to host the world-renowned Ballet Magnificat! Dance Company for an afternoon performance that brings to life important elements from some of the Bible’s most familiar scripture.
The 3 p.m. performance will begin with “Heaven Come Down,” which celebrates the journey of trusting Christ, followed by “Deliver Us!” a long-running choreographed story of Moses, the Hebrew prophet from Old Testament Bible teachings who delivered the enslaved Jewish people from Egyptian authority. The program will last approximately two hours, according to Dana Davis, Director of Worship and the Arts at BUMC.
“In Oct. 2017, the troupe first came to BUMC, and its return is something for which I and the entire church family are greatly anticipating.”
Davis said the dance company, hailing from Jackson, Miss. Is known around the world, but has a local connection that has made its Boone stops even more special.
“I first learned about them from Jana Greer, who helps with our Children’s and Young People’s Music Ministry,” Davis told High Country Press. “Jana has helped develop our Celebration Liturgical Dance Tam and is director/choreographer for the team. She trained with Ballet Magnificat! during several summer intensive workshops. She and I spoke about Ballet Magnificat!, and were able to schedule their first performance here. We are thrilled to be welcoming them back on Sunday.”
Several of the BUMC church families will be serving as host families for the company dancers, and many others are helping set up, serve meals, spread the word about their performance and all that needs to be done to ensure the successful weekend ahead, Davis said.
It will take everyone working together, she added, with the “load-in” on Saturday an experience in itself, as the chancel area of the church sanctuary undergoes a major transformation, with lighting, marley flooring, costumes, props, brought it. “It’s going to be very exciting,” she added.
One of the dancers will be leading in worship services on Sunday morning during the 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. services prior to the main performance at 3 p.m., featuring the entire 18-member ballet troupe.
Ballet Magnificat! Has Global Impact
According to information provided by Davis, “Passion, artistry, heartfelt worship and technical excellence define Ballet Magnificat!’s Company.” Ballet Magnificat! began over 30 years ago by Kathy Thibodeaux, founder and artistic director, who had a vision to reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ through original and powerful repertoire. The company has had the privilege of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in over 40 nations.
Executive director, and Kathy’s husband, Keith Thibodeaux, played Little Ricky on ‘I Love Lucy.’
The company artists command the stages of theaters, opera houses, concert halls, performing arts centers, church auditoriums and civic arenas with sublime beauty and unparalleled artistry.
Ballet Magnificat! has become a vigorous force, telling the tale of God’s love, reaching deeply into the hearts of the audience, and inspiring genuine conviction in those who watch.”
Tickets are now available for $25 for adults and $15 for students. A 10 percent discount is available for groups of 10 or more for any combination of adult and student tickets.
Tickets can be purchased at booneumc.org/fine-arts-series or by calling the church office at (828) 264-6090.
“Another exciting opportunity, separate from our event, is for dancers with ballet experience, from age 9 through adult, to participate in a dance workshop to be taught by three of the dancers from the company on Monday, Feb. 10 at Studio K in Boone,” Davis said. “If anyone is interested, they may contact me at BUMC for more information.
In addition to supporting the Ministry of Ballet Magnificat!, proceeds will help sustain the Fine Arts Series at BUMC.
More Fine Arts Series
Davis described The Fine Arts Series as something that she is working to develop as a way to offer various types of performances to the community.
“This year, we have included three performances, which began last October with John Thomas Oaks and his father, Tommy Oaks, presenting “Country Biscuit Jamboree.” The second performance is Ballet Magnificat, and on May 17, a BUMC Music program will include Nexsen Ringers, special music combo and John Rutter’s ‘Mass of the Children,’ performed by the Chancel Choir with Children’s Choirs and Chamber Orchestra.
For more information, visit https://booneumc.org/fine-arts-series/
Boone United Methodist Church is located near downtown Boone at 471 New Market Blvd. For more information visit online at
booneumc.org or call 828-264-6090.