The Moving Prayer not only shares the gift of sacred dance through presenting and performing but also through teaching.
The Moving Prayer always incorporates these two elements in their live workshops – witnessing and experience. Many workshops begin with a short performance to allow participants to witness sacred dance, and in particular, to become familiar with The Moving Prayer and our signature style. Many participants who take our workshops are new to sacred dance in general so this opportunity allows them to see sacred dance, often for the first time, before trying it out themselves! The experience portion of the workshop is customized to suit age, ability, and background.
Here is an example of a typical workshop offered.
Introduction to Sacred and Liturgical Dance
This is a popular one-time workshop often offered for youth and young adult groups but also available to people of all ages! It is a great introductory workshop for people who aren’t familiar with sacred dance. This workshop includes, but is not limited to, a short performance demonstration to introduce attendees to our work, our special meditation exercise – The Five Positions of Focus, creative exploration through partner and group work, and more!
A typical workshop lasts an hour but the duration can vary according to each group’s needs. Movement can range from low to moderate intensity and can be adjusted for those with different movement abilities. No experience in dance is necessary for this workshop!
Preparing for Presentation or Performance
As an extension to our introductory workshop, part of the workshop experience can be dedicated to learning a dance to be presented or performed by the participants. We have led many workshops where participants later presented at a Closing Liturgy or similar. Take a look at the examples below.
The examples come from various National College “Preaching in Action” Conferences. College students from across the United States participate in a week-long conference learning the charism of the Order of Preachers, which include one day of Preaching through the Arts. The students seen in the examples below participated in the workshops for Sacred and Liturgical Dance, where they were introduced to the art and prayer form and prepared for presenting at the Commissioning Liturgy. The National College “Preaching in Action” Conference is a project of Dominican Youth Movement – USA.
Choreographed by Jessica Abejar
Many and One was presented during the Meditation at the Commissioning Liturgy for the National College “Preaching in Action” Conference in 2014. Music is by Steve Angrisano and sung by the conference choir.
Choreographed by Jessica Abejar and the 2017 DPIAC Participants
The Name of God was presented during the Psalm at the Commissioning Liturgy for the National College “Preaching in Action” Conference in 2017. While Jessica Abejar taught these students choreography for the response, each of the student groups choreographed the verse. The movement came from a section of the workshop where they explored and shared their dreams for the future using creative movement. Music is by David Haas and sung by the conference choir.
Choreographed by Jessica Abejar
Alleluia (Mass of Joyful Heart) was presented at the Commissioning Liturgy for the National College “Preaching in Action” Conference in 2017. The movement for the Gospel Acclamation was inspired by the sign language gesture for the word “Alleluia.” Before the start of Mass, the Congregation was taught the gesture and was invited to not only sing but also dance. Music is by Steve Angrisano and sung by the conference choir.
Choreography for Special Projects
Founder and Director Jessica Abejar often coordinates groups and choreographs dances for special projects.
Here are examples of special projects that The Moving Prayer has led.
Coordinated and Choreographed by Jessica Abejar of The Moving Prayer
Papuri sa Diyos was presented during the Gloria at the Mass for the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 25, 2014, before presiders Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. Jessica Abejar of The Moving Prayer coordinated and choreographed the dance, which included several groups ranging in age, background, and faith.
Coordinated by Jessica Abejar of The Moving Prayer
The Archdiocesan Dance Troupe is a collective of youth and young adult dance groups from across the Archdiocese of New York. They have danced at New York Catholic Youth Day in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Jessica Abejar coordinates the Troupe by inviting groups who would like to perform. Each group choreographs a short section of the dance, with a large group ending and/or beginning section choreographed by Jessica Abejar.
Presented here is the 2015 Archdiocesan Dance Troupe dancing during the Opening Prayer of New York Catholic Youth Day. In order of appearance:
“Many Parts Yet One Body”
Performed and Co-choreographed by Joelle Abejar of The Moving Prayer
Narrated and Co-choreographed by Jessica Abejar of The Moving Prayer
“I Surrender” by Hillsong
Performed and Choreographed by Nueva Uncion Dance Ministry of St. Dominic’s Parish, Bronx, NY
“Take Me to the King” by Tamil Mann
Performed and Choreographed by the Ghana Catholic Youth Ministry of the Bronx, NY
“Agnus Dei” by Jotta A
Performed and Choreographed by Muevete en Mi, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, New York, NY
Large Group – Choreographed by Jessica Abejar and Performed by the 2015 Archdiocesan Dance Troupe