Dancing in the Streets

Jeff Serio, International Director

Have you ever wanted to just do a dance in a public space, even though people would be watching, and you would be embarrassed beyond belief? Maybe you just received a phone call with great news and your first inclination was to jump for joy, but you didn’t because….Why does there always have to be a “because”?

European Initiative invited a team from Ballet Magnificat to simply dance in the streets of Berlin. Ballet Magnificat is recognized as America’s premier Christian ballet company and has danced in nations across the globe, but they have never actually danced on the streets.

Normally they perform in controlled settings, on a nice wooden dance floor in theatres or churches. All of that went out the window when they accepted our challenge to jump for joy on the streets, literally, on concrete and cobblestone.

This was a grand experiment of sorts. Would they succeed in bringing their artistry to a public setting? Would they succumb to injury, dancing on stone and concrete? How would über hipster Berliners respond to a Christian ballet right smack in the middle of the busiest square in the city?

The grand experiment exceeded expectations. Crowds of hundreds gathered within minutes of the beginning of each dance. Berliners appreciate creativity and excellence, and Ballet Magnificat delivered on both counts. 

One of their two dances was entitled “The Time is Now”. The theme of the dance is that life is short; we are not promised tomorrow, and the time is now to make a decision to follow Jesus. This dance was performed under the famous “World Clock” in Alexanderplatz. The massive clock shows the world’s many time zones, revealing the time in famous cities across the globe. Even with the concrete “dance floor”, this was the perfect setting for this particular dance. As they twirled and leaped under the shadow of the clock, the message of the song resonated through the square.

After each performance the throng of spiritually cold Europeans applauded with great enthusiasm. The dancers barely took a breath before jogging into the crowd to meet their audience and explain the meaning of the dance. They asked the Berliners about eternity and their beliefs in God. While standing under the clock, the dancers engaged in conversations sharing that our lives are ticking away by the seconds and the time is now to believe in Jesus! A few Germans made the decision right there in the square to accept Christ in their hearts! In many others, seeds of truth were planted firmly into their hearts.

European Initiative was honored to partner with Ballet Magnificat for the Berlin dance-outreaches. Plans are being made now for a 2014 encore performance in Berlin and other cities. Dancing on the streets may not be best for ballet slippers, but it is the perfect place to jump for joy and bring a life-changing message to Europeans.