The Book of Kells

3 mins read
The world premiere of "Book of Kells" is at the Folly Theater. Performances are Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. Photo by Kara Alyson.

A cherished, Irish literary masterpiece – that’s survived Viking attacks, sea air and storms, thefts and hundreds of years of wear and tear – is coming to life at the historic Folly Theater May 13-14.

“Book of Kells” is Störling Dance Theater’s newest one-act ballet inspired by the book of the same name.

The Book of Kells is an artful masterpiece containing the four Gospels of the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Practically all of the 680 pages are decorated in some way or another. 

It is believed to have been created on the island of Iona by monks over the course of 200 years. Imagine the monks in their stone huts, battered by sea winds, bent over the pages creating the masterpiece. The book traveled with the monks to Kells, Ireland when they escaped Viking invasion. There it became known as the Book of Kells.  In 1653, the book was sent to Dublin by the governor of Kells for safekeeping, but the book still bears the town’s name.

Drawing from the history of the book, Störling’s production is set in a pagan village entrenched in human sacrifice as a means to appease their gods. Into this darkness, fearless monks arrive bearing the gift of beauty and hope. With this gift comes the creation of the book and its transformative message to a village in need of freedom and peace.

 Mona Störling-Enna. Photo by Isaac Alongi.

“The more I researched and learned about the Book of Kells and its history, the more fascinated I became,” said Artistic Director Mona Störling-Enna. “I began to envision what it was like for the individuals in this village and how they were desperate for what the monks brought. I knew I had to create a new work.”

Störling-Enna brings the drama to the stage in this poignant story that combines beautiful choreography, live narration and Celtic music to craft a brilliantly detailed world where culture, sacrifice and forgiveness collide.

Complete with handmade costumes, dramatic lighting and innovative production design, the world that sails to life on stage will captivate audiences while leaving them with the original inspiration the Book of Kells brought to the world.

Overall, the story is an inspiration of how important it is to keep the Gospel alive and to keep hope alive against all odds.

To purchase tickets to the world premiere of “Book of Kells” or for more information about Störling Dance Theater, visit Performances are Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m.

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