The anniversary of the death of my friend, Amy McIntosh, is tomorrow. The year she died, she danced her way into eternity on Good Friday. I heard it was a desire of hers in her last days to make her eternal crossover on that Friday. I'm not surprised she had the idea, made a plan and accomplished it. She was a determined and very creative artist who stayed busy with numerous ideas and projects always rolling. And it seems that God saw fit to grant her her wish to exit on Good Friday.
A group of us danced Amy's work, Let Justice Roll Down, many times and in many venues. She set it on her company, Living Water Dance Company, and on her students at Oral Roberts University. It was challenging to dance but rich to consider all the thoughts and reflections she poured into the work. She was a deep thinker.
I recently ran across a print out of the program entry for this piece for the 2012 Exchange Choreography Festival, the festival I've produce (with much help from many, many people in Tulsa) for the past 11 years. It was one of many performances of this work. I was always inspired at the way Amy worked. She never apologized for presenting a section of piece she knew would grow beyond that section, nor did she apologize for continuing to develop a work even after it had been on stage already.
Amy McIntosh, Let Justice Roll Down, 2012; Dancers pictured: Amy McIntosh (left), Christina Schneider, Kayla Zahrt, and Jessica Vokoun; PC, unknown
It warmed my heart to find this print out on today of all days, Good Friday, and in the times we are living. I wanted to reprint her program notes below. John M. Perkins book is salient and a must-read. May we continue to reflect on matters of justice and continue to stay the course, not grow lazy or weary, to do good to all people and to endeavor to convince others of our love for them with our actions.
2012 Exchange Choreography Festival Reverb Program Notes ~
Let Justice Roll Down grew out of McIntosh's struggle with oppression, injustice, and misplaced power within our communities, along with a pivotal book written by John M. Perkins. After having lived in Jackson, MS for five years, McIntosh moved back to Tulsa in 2006, and soon after, was given a copy of Perkins' book, "Let Justice Roll Down". Perkins, a native of Mississippi, now 81 (he's more wise and worn now), writes of his journey out of racial injustice into renewal, as he discovers his role in pioneering a new way of living in community. Perkins has devoted his life to developing communities where reconciliation and transformation thrive, and where the walls of power are broken down. McIntosh's work explores power as it seeks to devastate, devour, and deteriorate the very fabric of humanity.
"The road is lonesome and to succeed one must be like a wolf: eat or be eaten, for one can only succeed at the cost or the failure of others."
- Jacob Holdt
"I am ashamed because fear for my own well-being overrides my desire for change, and ashamed as well for the fact that it is attitudes like mine that keep the oppressed, oppressed."
- Letters from John
photo by Jeanne S. Mam-Luft
I'm a Christ-follower passionate about moving in love and intellectual rigor through all things faith + art. Fancying myself an amateur Christian Apologist and a professional Dance Artist, I’m committed to moving in the liminal space between catastrophic reverence of God and a quaking humility that intentionally keeps the tremors of Grace close at hand.