Christmas presence: BADA presents ‘Unto Us A Son’

 By Madeline Gilliam
Special to the Times-News

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Virginia Dupont, right, holds Noah Dupont (Baby Jesus) in a scene from the Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts' "Unto Us A Son." [Photo submitted

“Let them praise His name with dancing.” — Psalm   149:3

Some of the first things that come to mind when  thinking about Christmas are most likely giving and  receiving gifts, decorating the tree, or sharing traditions  with family and friends. But when I start to think about  the real meaning of Christmas, my thoughts wander to  what it must have been like the night Jesus was born. I  imagine there was a chill in the air and a vision of a  million stars in the sky.
As I slip my foot into my pointe shoe, I see a similar  vision come to life as the stars dance across the floor during rehearsal of the Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts’ (BADA) biennial production of “Unto Us A Son,” the story of the birth of Christ. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, and Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, in McCrary Theatre on the Elon University campus.
The news spread quickly throughout the town, causing the people of the village to have hope in what they had heard of the Messiah’s coming. This moment is revealed as the curtains open and the music begins to play. It’s amazing to think of how the innkeeper was unaware that his small stable would be where the King of the world would rest his head. The heavenly hosts dance over baby Jesus as he sleeps among the animals of the stable. Looking back, cast as one of those animals, I see the excitement and anticipation on the faces of my fellow tiny dancers like I once had.
I take a deep breath and get into position to rehearse this year as a soloist. I have admiration for the wise men and the shepherds’ perseverance as they travel the long journey guided by the star in the East and the angels that spoke to them. A murmur rushes through the audience when the babe in swaddling clothes is presented to the world. In that moment, the presence of Christmas fills the room and the story comes to life.
Every dancer, role, volunteer, choreographer and teacher play vital parts in depicting this powerful story. The ballet would not be complete without each of them. The time and commitment that is put into this production is worth every single step with hope that someone will come to know and love Christ.
Praising Jesus’ name through dance allows my peers and I to express our love for dance and shine his light to our community and others. Dancing in this ballet is a tradition I am able to share with my studio, friends, family and my community. As this tradition for me comes to a close, I am in awe of the impact it has had on my life.

Tickets are $14 for reserved seating; $12 for general admission; and $11 for groups of 15 or more. For more details or to order tickets, call 336-584-6727.

Madeline Gilliam is a junior at Western Alamance High School and a dancer at Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts (BADA).

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