American Repertory Ballet to Bring Two Mixed-Bill Programs to New York City
American Repertory Ballet has announced two upcoming New York City presentations of mixed-bill programs highlighting the company's strength and versatility.
The first presentation, a one-night-only engagement of works by former American Ballet Theatre principal Kirk Peterson and former Joffrey Ballet member Mary Barton, will take place on Thursday, October 5 at 8pm at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 West 59th Street).
American Repertory Ballet (ARB) will return to New York City in the spring for two performances at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (695 Park Avenue) on Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7 with a program of works by ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin, along with two classics by José Limón and Gerald Arpino.
Tickets for each engagement can be arranged as follows:
- Thursday, October 5 at 8pm: Program of works by Kirk Peterson and Mary Barton, featuring Peterson's The Eyes that Gently Touch and Carmen (a company premiere), and Barton's Straight Up with a Twist at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at Hunter College. Tickets are $35-$55, $15 students with promo code STUDENT (must present valid I.D.), and can be arranged online at www.arballet.org/event/carmennyc, by calling (212) 237-8005, or by visiting the Gerald W. Lynch Theater box office at 524 West 59th Street.
- Friday and Saturday, April 6 & 7 at 8pm: Program of works by Douglas Martin, Gerald Arpino and José Limón, featuring Martin's Rite of Spring, Arpino's Sea Shadow, and Limón's There is a Time at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. Tickets are $35-$55, $15 students, and can be arranged online at www.hunter.cuny.edu/kayeplayhouse/calendar, by calling (212) 772-4448, or by visiting the Kaye Playhouse box office located on West 59th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.
The Thursday, October 5 performance of American Repertory Ballet (ARB) at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College opens with Kirk Peterson's 1999 creation, The Eyes that Gently Touch. Set to the driving rhythms of Philip Glass' Mad Rush, the work culminates in a dance replete with romance and thrilling movement. The mixed-bill program also includes Mary Barton's Straight Up with a Twist, set to the eclectic sounds of Kaila Flexer and Third Ear, which showcases the versatility of ARB's dancers and Barton's unique choreographic voice while blending rich senses of narrative and neo-classicism. Following its 2011 premiere, this is the first piece Barton created for ARB and has become a hallmark in the company's repertory. The performance concludes with the company premiere of Peterson's Carmen, originally created for Cincinnati Ballet in 1998. Based on Georges Bizet's opera, Peterson tells the tale of Carmen, a passionate, free-spirited woman, the fickle Don José and her love triangle between Don José and popular bullfighter Escamillo.
American Repertory Ballet's return to NYC this spring, April 6 and 7 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, will open with the much-loved There is a Time, a deeply evocative work by José Limón, a true pioneer in modern dance and choreography. Limón's classic work is based on Ecclesiastes 3 and evokes rich feelings from the audience, as it dances its way through the time-worn words familiar to all of us. Sea Shadow, choreographed by Gerald Arpino, is, as was described by The New York Times' Anna Kisselgoff, "his neo-romantic tale of love between a mortal and a supernatural with contemporary naturalness." The evening concludes with Rite of Spring, a ballet by Douglas Martin, inspired by revolutionary works that the legendary Ballets Russes brought to America in the early 20th century, showing how the relationships of men and women transcend time.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Douglas Martin (Artistic Director / Choreographer) started his ballet training with Dimitri Romanoff at the San Jose Ballet School and was one of six dancers selected by Mikhail Baryshnikov to study in the newly-formed American Ballet Theatre School. He was invited to join the Joffrey Ballet in 1984 where, as a principal dancer, he performed roles in ballets by Ashton, Arpino, Cranko, Balanchine, Joffrey, Taylor, Pendleton, Kudelka and many other great 20th century choreographers. Martin was featured in performances of Dance in America on PBS and was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky's Le Sacre du printemps. He was among the last dancers of the Joffrey Ballet to spend the majority of his career in the company working under founder Robert Joffrey. Martin joined the Cleveland Ballet in 1991 and danced an array of principal roles including the Minister in Agnes DeMille's Fall River Legend. In 1993, Martin was invited to join the American Repertory Ballet. As leading dancer and Ballet Master for ARB, Martin collaborated with directors in creating ballets, including productions as the original cast lead in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Dream and The NutcrackeR. Martin continued to be a principal dancer in the company as well as Ballet Master for ARB and ARBW and Principal Faculty for the Summer Intensive until his retirement from performing in 2002. After retiring from ARB as a performer, Martin expanded his teaching, production and choreographic work. Martin has been an integral part of the teaching staff at the Princeton Ballet School, Rutgers University and Westminster Choir College, and has also served as the School's Music Director and ARBW Ballet Master. He has staged full-length and repertory ballets for several companies, including Romeo and Juliet and Philip Jerry's Our Town. Additionally, Martin has choreographed for several Princeton Ballet School productions, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Coppélia. In 2010, MR. Martin became Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet. Since then, he has premiered a new production of Nutcracker, choreographed several new works including Ephemeral Possessions, Pathways, Rite of Spring, Firebird and a full-length Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Pride and Prejudice, and has commissioned 29 company premieres, including 19 world premieres.
Kirk Peterson (Resident Choreographer) had a distinguished career for 17 years with American Ballet Theatre as principal dancer, choreographer, Artistic Director of ABTII, Ballet Master, Principal Character Artist and as Master Teaching Associate. Peterson was also Artistic Director of the Hartford Ballet for five years. As a choreographer, Peterson has created over 50 ballets including new versions of The Firebird and Le Sacre du Printemps. His choreography has been seen with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, BalletMet, San Francisco Opera and The Royal Ballet School. He is a specialist in re-staging the full-length classical repertoire such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle utilizing original choreography and technique. He was nominated for the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow for Othello, created for Alberta Ballet. Peterson was resident choreographer for Cincinnati Ballet for six years and he is also a repetiteur for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. American Repertory Ballet restaged Peterson's Glazunov Variations for the 2010-2011 Season and The Eyes That Gently Touch for the 2011-2012 Season. In 2013, Peterson choreographed Tears of the Moon for American Repertory Ballet, fulfilling his long-held desire to create a work to music by Beethoven.
Mary Barton (Resident Choreographer) received her dance training at The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day and participated in summer courses at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School. Her professional experience began when she performed with The Washington Ballet as a soloist in Balanchine's Scotch Symphony and in the principal role in Tom Paczik's Tzigane. Early professional credits include the Oldenburg Staat Ballet in Germany and several seasons with Dayton Ballet. In 1986, Ms. Barton joined the Joffrey Ballet/NY where she performed a variety of roles in the great ballets of the 20th century. Robert Joffrey created the role of Clara for her in the world premiere of his new Nutcracker. Ms. Barton was featured along with Gerald Arpino in an interview with Charlie Rose for the world premiere of Robert Joffrey's Nutcracker. Ms. Barton TV credits include performances in Dance in America on PBS and she was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky's Le Sacre du printemps. From 1993-2004, Ms. Barton was a principal dancer with American Repertory Ballet. Ms. Barton has been on the faculty of the Princeton Ballet School since 1994 and is one of the primary teachers and choreographers for the Summer Intensive. She is a former ballet faculty member at Princeton University and current faculty at Rider University's Music Theater Department.
Gerald Arpino (Choreographer) was born in Staten Island, New York, and died in 2008 in Chicago. He received his early dance training in Seattle by Mary Ann Wells. He co-founded The Joffrey Ballet with Robert Joffrey in 1956 and served as Associate Director for many years. Upon Joffrey's death in 1988, Arpino succeeded him as Artistic Director. In 1995, he moved The Joffrey Ballet to Chicago. A leading dancer with the company in its early years, Arpino choreographed his first work for The Joffrey, Ropes, in 1961. Shortly thereafter, he became The Joffrey's resident choreographer and to date has created more than one-third of the company's repertoire. His amazingly diverse work ranges from social commentary to pure dance gems. His ballets are in the repertoires of companies around the world. Arpino is the first choreographer commissioned to create a ballet honoring the Office of the American Presidency: The Pantages and the Palace Present Two-A-Day. He was the first American commissioned to choreograph a ballet for a city, San Antonio, Jamboree. In 1993, Arpino produced America's first full-evening rock ballet, Billboards, set to the music of Prince. In addition, Arpino is the only choreographer to have had four of his ballets performed at the White House. Arpino served on numerous boards and councils including the national advisory council of the ITI/USA International Ballet Competition and the board of the Dance Notation Bureau. He was a member of the Arts Advisory Committee of The New York International Festival of the Arts. He served as an advisor to the Artists Committee for The Kennedy Center Honors. He was a member of the Board of The Chicago Academy For The Arts. Among many awards and tributes, he held honorary doctorates from The College of Staten Island, City University of New York, and Wagner College. He was a recipient of the 1974 Dance Magazine award and the Vaslav Nijinsky Medal. He was honored twice by the Chicago Tribune as one of the "Chicagoans of the Year" for his important contribution to the arts in Chicago and the world.
Josê Limón (Choreographer) was a crucial figure in the development of modern dance: his powerful dancing shifted perceptions of the male dancer, while his choreography continues to bring a dramatic vision of dance to audiences around the world. Born in Mexico, Limón moved to New York City in 1928 after a year at UCLA as an art major. In 1946, after studying and performing for 10 years with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, he established his own company with Humphrey as Artistic Director. During her tenure, Humphrey choreographed many pieces for the Limón Dance Company, and it was under her experienced directorial eye that Limón created his signature dance, The Moor's Pavane (1949). Limón's choreographic works were quickly recognized as masterpieces and the Company itself became a landmark of American dance. Many of his dances-There is a Time, Missa Brevis, Psalm, The Winged-are considered classics of modern dance. Limón was a consistently productive choreographer until his death in 1972-he choreographed at least one new piece each year-and he was also an influential teacher and advocate for modern dance. He was in residence each summer at the American Dance Festival, a key faculty member in The Juilliard School's Dance Division beginning in 1953, and the director of Lincoln Center's American Dance Theatre from 1964-65. Limón received two Dance Magazine Awards, the Capezio Award and honorary doctorates from four universities in recognition of his achievements. He was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The Dance Heroes of José Limón (Fall 1996), and in 1997 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. His autobiographical writings, An Unfinished Memoir, were edited by Lynn Garafola and published in 1999 by Wesleyan University Press.
American Repertory Ballet's mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences and to dance students through artistic and educational programs. The organization comprises of American Repertory Ballet professional company, the preeminent classical and contemporary ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation; and ARB's Access & Enrichment initiatives, including the long-running and acclaimed DANCE POWER program. The performing company is a classical and contemporary ballet company committed to presenting ballets from the 19th and 20th centuries alongside new and existing works by choreographers from today. Founded in 1963, the company is currently under the artistic leadership of Douglas Martin, former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. Its rich history of repertory includes established masterpieces by distinguished American choreographers such as George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp; cutting edge works by choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Kirk Peterson, Dominique Dumais, Harrison McEldowney, Amy Seiwert, Susan Shields, Melissa Barak, Patrick Corbin, Trinette Singleton, and ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton; and former Artistic Directors Dermot Burke, Marjorie Mussman, Septime Webre and Graham Lustig. ARB has been designated a "Major Arts Institution" by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts consistently for the past two decades, and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. ARB was voted the Jersey Arts People's Choice for "Favorite Dance Company" in2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. American Repertory Ballet's Mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences through public performances displaying ballets from the 19th and 20th Century alongside works by contemporary artists in the field.