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’MYSTERY’ BALLET

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Brooklyn Ballet makes its main-stage debut at Long Island University’s newly opened Kumble Theater of the Performing Arts this weekend. The company’s ethnically diverse nine-dancer cast will perform "Mystery Sonatas," a contemporary ballet choreographed by artistic director Lynn Parkerson.

"’Mystery Sonatas’ has two major components: contemporary movement developed through American sign language and Baroque dance variations translated into contemporary ballet," Parkerson told GO Brooklyn. The ballet is named for the music it is set to, Baroque composer Heinrich Biber’s "Mystery Sonatas," which are performed live onstage by violinist Gil Morgenstern and pianist Cristina Stanescu. The Baroque choreography is by Thomas Baird.

"Mystery Sonatas" alludes to scenes from Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.

"The dance has spiritual overtones," said Parkerson. "It wrestles with religious meaning from a contemporary point of view. We’re not depicting scenes from the Passion, but scenes like birth, death, suffering and the condition of humanity are part of the expression of the piece."

The performance’s costuming, which Parkerson describes as "eclectic, fanciful and contemporary," ranges from contemporary jeans to Baroque-style costumes to iconic images like modern day angels.

The not-for-profit Brooklyn Ballet was founded by Parkerson in 2002, and she opened the Brooklyn Ballet School in DUMBO the next year. This month’s performances mark the beginning of the company’s first official season, although, over the last three years, Brooklyn Ballet has performed six times in public schools and has developed "Take Ballet to the Streets," a program that presents outdoor performances for the public.

Performances are Oct. 22 at 8 pm, and Oct. 23 at 3 pm. Tickets are $40, $25 for students, $15 for seniors, and $10 for children. Kumble Theater is located on Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus at 75 DeKalb Ave. at Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. To purchase tickets, call (718) 246-0146.

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