Thursday, May 16, 2024

Liturgical Dance: JOB 23:1-17

Four of my Seminarians composed, crafted, and performed this liturgical-dance interpretation of Job 23 as a final exegetical project in my OT-2 course this Spring. Classmates Santana Bartoldos, Maggie Paul, Ellie Singer, and Lydia Arnts collaborated in creating the dance and recording the video embedded below. Music Composed and Performed by Santana Bartoldus; Liturgical Dance Composed and Performed by Lydia Arnts, Ellie Singer, & Maggie Paul. 

As the video begins, Lydia enters as Job and lays his legal case before God (vv. 4-5). Job kneels on the ground in rebellion (v.2) and God (Maggie) faces away reflecting Job's sense of abandonment but also God's allowing Job space to vent and imagine. Job's beckoning hand movements reflect his imagined ideal of being able to summon God. As Ellie takes up the part of Job (@ 00:26), she enacts vv. 8-9, where Job looks to every direction in search of God, but cannot see him. Job’s fragility is expressed in broken, echoing F major clusters which pass quickly into a circular triplet motive with an upward-reaching, stretched-thin top voice. The circularity of the gesture conveys a sense of motion and also of futility, as Job cannot catch God’s tail, try though he might. She arises as "gold" (v. 10) at 00:47. Then she proceeds to walk in step with God. Planing octave+third chords convey Job’s steadfastness in keeping God’s way. Verses 13-14 come to life as Ellie embodies God's pumping up God's arms. Job's dread seen in v. 15 comes to life as Maggie, as Job, is covered by darkness (v. 17), yet at the end she raises her head expressing the persistence and defiance expressed in the NIV's rendering of v. 17.  


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