Dance company Brooklyn Ballet celebrates 20th anniversary

Local dance company Brooklyn Ballet celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday.
The nonprofit dance company in Downtown Brooklyn has provided free access to arts education for over 20,000 children across the borough.
The company celebrated its milestone anniversary with a series of performances that featured its students at the Mark O’Donnell Theater.
Brooklyn Ballet named the theme of the celebration “Rejoice! The Village Dances.” The show was comprised of several storytelling-based dances that blended ballet and hip-hop styles.
Through a mixture of ballet and hip-hop, Brooklyn Ballet tells its audiences stories through movement.
"I want them to feel lighter, to feel inspired, to feel more human," said Lynn Parkerson, who first founded the nonprofit in 2003. She runs the organization with help from associate director Alison Mixon.
"We are where Brooklyn comes to dance. We are a professional ballet company. We also have a pre-professional ballet conservatory, we have our educational outreach programming, and we also go directly into community with our 'Take Ballet to the Streets' program," Mixon elaborated.
Parkerson said the performances at the theater on Sunday pulled inspiration from both the past and present.
"And so all of those pieces are about human beings in town squares, in spaces, in restaurants, in church, just human beings being amongst each other," she said.
As dozens of people packed the theater all weekend long, dancers got to showcase their hard work with the hope that the audience left more fulfilled then when they first arrived.
Parkerson said she has big plans for the company’s future, which include opening a studio in Flatbush a few years from now.