You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy
More from the article about the Dancing Saints....
The Dancing Saint whose life, in Dukes's (the artist)opinion, most poignantly embodies the message of the work is Malcolm X.
"The justification for having him here is very powerful," Dukes says. "Here is someone who was a gangster. A racist. So he went from that, and he grew. And I think that's holy, to be on that spiritual quest. No one starts out perfect, and very many people don't end up perfect either. It's the quest. He had a revelation of seeing all men as being brothers. No more, ‘if you're black you're my brother, and if you're white you're a devil.'"
Which is kind of what Roy talked about in his email...that the orchestra is not only mankind as a whole...but mankind individually...and perfecting the harmony is something that happens in everyone...just like the change that occurred in Malcolm X. Just like the change that is occurring right now in you and me.
"Let them praise His name with the dance"
And one more closing thought...something Keith reminded me of this morning. He remembered something in one of Preston Eby's writings about an orchestra. He found it for me online, so I am copying and pasting it below.
A brother related the following experience. “When I first went to Nashville, Tennessee, some friends, thinking they were doing me a favor, called me and said, ‘We have tickets for the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra that’s coming to town, and we want to take you as our guest.’ Well, I love music, but I know nothing about it, and I can’t sing it — I always help congregational singing by keeping quiet. Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything more boring than a whole evening of symphony! But I had to go because they were so kind and I wanted to be polite, so I accepted graciously and went along.
“I had never been to a thing like that before, and I was impressed by what I saw. We went in, took our seats, and in a few minutes there began to drift out from the sides the musicians. They were in shirt sleeves for the most part, and each man went up to his instrument and started tuning it. The fellows with the fiddles too big to put under their chins sawed back and forth — oh, it sounded terrible. The fellows with the little ones they put under their chins squeaked up and down with those. The ones with the horns — oh my, nothing was in harmony. It was a medley of discordant, confused noise. Then after they got through with that kind of a disturbance, they all disappeared again, went out through the wings.
“Another five minutes went by when all of a sudden the lights in the auditorium went off, the lights on the platform came on, and the musicians walked out. This time they had on their coats. My, they looked so nice. Each one came out and stood or sat at his instrument. Then there was a hush in the auditorium, a spotlight was focused on the wings, and the conductor stepped out. When he did there was thunderous applause for him. He bowed. Then he came to the podium and picked up a thin little stick. He turned around again to the audience and bowed, then turned his back to the audience, lifted that little stick — total silence came over the auditorium, you could have heard a pin drop — then he brought that little stick down. And, my friend, there were goose pimples all over me. I never heard such music in all my life. Oh, what harmony, what wonderful harmony there was!” — end quote.
The above excerpt is part of an article entitled: