Love ‘Letters’! Dance work inspired by history’s greatest epistles

The Brooklyn Paper
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They’re words that move hearts — and feet!

Buglisi Dance Theatre will hit the stage of the Kingsborough Performing Arts Center this month with an exclusive (and free!) preview of its original ballet, “Letters of Love on Ripped Paper.” The work is based on historical figures’ mail to their sweethearts.

Creator Jacqulyn Buglisi hired actors to record excerpts of letters that date back to 750 AD.

There’s Napoleon Bonaparte’s heartfelt ode to his wife, Josephine; Abigail Adams’s notes to her husband, John Adams; and Queen Victoria’s passionate letters to Prince Albert. They’re all set to an original score by composer Daniel Brewbaker, with Buglisi choreographing various dances based on the emotive writing.

“I wanted it to come across like a play with a story,” Buglisi said. “The rhythm and pulse of the dances are inspired by the feelings behind the words.”

The company will take the show to the Joyce Theatre in West Brooklyn for a week-long run in February, but the Kingsborough production will feature a special act that won’t be part of that show: performers will dance to love letters written by audience members.

“We’ve already incorporated five audience submissions,” Buglisi said. “And we may improvise dances to additional letters that people bring to the Kingsborough show.”

So get writing!

“Letters of Love on Ripped Paper” at the Kingsborough Performing Arts Center [2001 Oriental Blvd. at Decatur Avenue in Manhattan Beach, (718) 368-5596], Jan. 18 at 8 pm. Free. For info, visit

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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