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The Brooklyn Museum of Art is offering opportunities to experience Victorian art, theater and dance in an inspired First Saturday program of events on Jan. 4.

At 6:30 pm and 8 pm, the American Magic-Lantern Theater will present performances of a "Victorian New Year’s Magic-Lantern Show!" using an antique "magic lantern," a multiple-lens forerunner of the movie projector that rapidly projects hand-colored slides on a full-size movie screen. The slides, many of them animated, illustrate Victorian stories, songs and comedy.

The slide show is dramatized by a costumed showman (Terry Borton, pictured), singers and musicians - and by the audience, which provides the sound effects and sings along.

According to Borton, turn-of-the-century showmen would light their lanterns with limelight, "created when oxygen and hydrogen were squirted on a piece of limestone, which turned incandescent once the gases were lit, producing a light as powerful as that in a modern movie projector."

While you’re at the museum, don’t miss a last chance to see "Exposed: The Victorian Nude," an exhibition of paintings, sculpture and photography, which closes on Jan. 5 and travels to the Kobe City Museum in Japan.

From 9 pm to 11 pm, put your tuxedo or ball gown to good use and dance the night away to the sounds of the Vienna Festival Orchestra at the museum’s Winter Ball.

Can’t dance? The museum and Stepping Out Dance Studios are offering ballroom dance lessons at 8 pm. The events, as well as museum admission are free after 6 pm.

The museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway. For more information, call (718) 638-5000 or visit the museum Web site at

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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