Anna Pavlova as The Dying Swan

Anna Pavlova as The Dying Swan

I was reminded this weekend by a bishop of a quote. Anna Pavlova following a wonderful performance was asked the meaning of the dance. She replied, “If I could say it, do you think I should have danced it?” How often we attempt to do this to sacraments, symbols, and liturgy. Even leaders of worship tell people what a symbol means. If it needs an explanation, is it really a symbol? And by giving the explanation are you not destroying the multivalent nature of the symbol? Reducing its multi-dimensional nature to one or few dimensions?

Some other quotes from Pavlova that I connect with worship, and leading worship:

“No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent; work transforms talent into genius.”

“Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.”
(How I wish leaders of liturgy would understand that lesson!)

And just for fun, a video I’ve embedded previously:

And a kiwi version is here

Similar Posts: