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Gospel mime dancing like you have never seen

In ancient time mimes who mocked Christianity became converted while performing. Many became celebrated martyrs of the church.

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Girl with funny face in gospel mime


2 guys doing gospel mime


Egyptian queen profile in gospel mime


Gospel mime from Church of God, Detroit, Michigan, Reverend James C. Hayes

Gospel mime dancers point to the prophet Ezekiel as their founder. The prophet was sent by God to act out wordless skits that portrayed the spiritual corruption of God's people.

Reverend James C. Hayes began miming in 1998 and planned the "Gathering of the Mimes," a convention and workshop for miming, this weekend at The Chapel LIFE Church in Detroit. One of his mottos is, "Run the Race, Run to Win, and Run to the Well Done Line."

Gospel mimes don't usually bow because, as one mime said, "When you bow, you're taking the glory from God."

In ancient times, mime often was performed much like Ezekiel's wordless skits as criticism of the political and religious regimes. They commonly had a cynical view of life as just the game of the gods. After Jesus, mimes mocked Christianity as a foolish Eastern religion, but some of the mimes became convinced by what they were mocking. Christians adapted the mime cynicism into a message that our short life on earth is but a reflection heaven's eternal afterlife. The most famous account of a mime being saved is recorded in Acts Sanctorum (Sacred Acts [of the martyrs]).

In the year a.d. 304, Diocletian came to Rome to celebrate his triumph over the nations and over the Christian impiety. In celebration of this victory he went to the theater to watch the famous mime Genesius mock the conquered Christian faith.

The story Genesius told in mime was that of a mock baptism. However, in the process of being baptized in jest, Genesius had a revelation of Jesus Christ and was baptized in a glorious vision.

When he exited the tepid water that was in the tub on stage, he proclaimed to his audience “I saw a hand which came from heaven, and shining angels above me. They read in a book all the sins I had committed since my infancy, and washed them in the water in which I had been baptized, and presented me with the book, which was whiter than snow” and “I am truly a Christian!” (Darras, The History of the Church, vol. 1, and Nicoll, Masks, 122).

The mime arose a Christian, shattering the lie of Diocletian’s victory over the Christians. The mime who Diocletian wanted to mock the Christians was mocking him.

Diocletian had Genesius tortured and beheaded. Diocletian had lost face while mimes say Genesius won eternity.

The director of "Gospel Mime" is Whitney Mallett, who lives in New York. She contributes regularly to The New Inquiry, Vice, and The Editorial Magazine.

The narrative on ancient mime and Christians is taken from the online essay Mime in the early church.

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