American Repertory Ballet Announces 2013-14 Season - ROMEO AND JULIET, NUTRACKER & More!

American Repertory Ballet Announces 2013-14 Season - ROMEO AND JULIET, NUTRACKER & More!

American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey's preeminent ballet company, voted NJ's Favorite Dance Company in the Jersey Arts People's Choice awards, is delighted to announce its 2013-2014 Season of performances around the state. Season highlights include three major productions: the premiere of Artistic Director Douglas Martin's Romeo and Juliet at State Theatre in New Brunswick, with live music played by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Kynan Johns; ARB's 50th Annual Nutcracker Season, which will span five weekends at theaters across NJ and include a "Celebrate the Legacy" reception; and Night of Fire, a program featuring the premiere of Martin's Firebird and the company premiere of Kirk Peterson's Afternoon of a Faun, at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. The 2013-2014 season will also include brand new works by American choreographers Mary Barton, Trinette Singleton, and Kirk Peterson and revivals of works by Ann Marie DeAngelo, Patrick Corbin, and the late Gerald Arpino, Joffrey Ballet co-founder and choreographer.

On October 11, 2013 at 8:00pm, Douglas Martin's Romeo and Juliet will premiere at State Theatre in New Brunswick, with Prokofiev's score played live by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Kynan Johns. ARB will reprise Martin's Romeo and Juliet at the Berrie Center at Ramapo College on February 22, 2014 at 8:00pm and at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College on March 8, 2014 at 8:00pm.

Based on Shakespeare's tragic story, and set to Prokofiev's passionate score, the ballet features a company of 30 dancers, beautiful sets, and stunning costumes. In his review of a spring 2012 preview performance, NY-based dance critic Jerry Hochman of CriticalDance and Ballet-Dance Magazine characterizes Martin's masterwork as "an ambitious production...emotionally and artistically fulfilling...exuberant and exciting to watch...[and] invit[ing] comparisons to other well-known productions,...including...that of Sir Kenneth MacMillan." Marina Kennedy of Broadway World calls the production "an outstanding example of dance being perfectly adapted to dramatic interpretation, with the ARB dancers in full command of their art."

ARB's Nutcracker is a holiday classic featuring Tchaikovsky's score and a cast of over 100 performers. The Company has been performing Nutcracker for 50 consecutive years, making it the longest-running Nutcracker production in New Jersey and one of the longest-running in the United States next to a very few, including New York City Ballet, Ballet West, Ballet Austin, San Francisco Ballet, and Washington Ballet. ARB's 50th Annual Nutcracker Season will run from November 23 through December 22, visiting: the main stage at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, and State Theatre in New Brunswick. ARB is also holding a "Celebrate the Legacy" reception at The Nassau Club in Princeton for alumni who have performed in past Nutcrackers and ARB supporters.

On March 12, 2013 at 8:00pm, ARB will return to McCarter Theatre with its Night of Fire program. The company will dance an evening of 21st century interpretations of revolutionary works premiered by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in the early 20th century. As a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Martin has an extensive background with Diaghilev-era works. He had the honor of performing several other Ballets Russes classics, including Petrouchka, Le Noce, and Parade. He also was an original cast member of the reconstruction of Nijinski's Le Sacre du Printemps. The program will feature the premiere of Martin's Firebird, which will share a program with his Rite of Spring and Kirk Peterson's Afternoon of a Faun.

As Tony Angarano, Dance Critic for The Courant who reviewed Hartford Ballet's premiere of the work, Peterson's Faun "retains its setting of a Grecian idyll, but the characters, a faun that is half-human/half-beast and a flirtatious nymph, interact with more tender innocence than Nijinsky's originals, which caused a scandal at the 1912 premiere in Paris with their eroticism." He goes on to say, "Peterson's movements seem like the natural expression of Debussy's heated music....a re-interpretation [with] stunning impact."

Martin's Rite of Spring transports the original libretto of Nijinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps - a story based on pagan ritual and sacrifice - in a competitive 1960's office environment. In response to its spring 2013 premiere, The Star-Ledger's Robert Johnson described the work as, "Part sentimental tribute and part screwball comedy" which "avoids primitivist clichés and, in gender parity...manages to find a concept still radical enough to make audiences squirm."As Hochman says of Martin's Rite, "Mr. Martin's choreography fills the stage...The steps...are to this viewer an indescribable potpourri that work together because they fit both Mr. Martin's concept and the Stravinsky score...a tribute to Mr. Martin's choreographic ability."

Just as Martin infused Rite of Spring with a feminist statement, he layers a gender twist onto the classic Firebird libretto. In his version of this classic Russian folk tale, the namesake character will be portrayed by a male rather than a female dancer. Martin will tell the original story with new choreography and set design.

"It is a great challenge for any arts organizations to present original works," says Martin. "I am committed to keeping great 20th century work alive by both continuing to perform those great works and by creating new versions and new takes on those themes. These Diaghilev-era ballets opened the west to eastern pageantry and lore. They introduced western audiences to the artist that would go on to define art in the 20th century. Exploring that history and expounding upon it is essential to the identity and personality of my work."

ARB will present mixed-bill repertory evenings at Rider University's Bart Luedeke Center, The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College, and Union County PAC's Hamilton Stage this fall and spring. The fall season will open with ARB's Fall Kick-Off Performance at Rider University's Bart Luedeke Center on September 20 and 21, 2013 at 7:30pm. The performance will feature, among other works, Douglas Martin's Rite of Spring and Patrick Corbin's Caress, which was characterized by Hochman as "vibrant, inventive, and multi-faceted."

American Artist Showcase will run October 18, 2013 at 7:00pm and October 19, 2013 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm at Hamilton Stage. The program will feature ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton's Faerie Tyme, a narrative work in one act filled with both whimsy and athleticism. Also on the program is the great Joffrey Ballet co-founder and choreographer Gerald Arpino's Viva Vivaldi, which ARB originally revived in the fall of 2012. This uniquely charming work is set to Antonio Vivaldi's Concert in D for Violin, Strings, and Cembalo.

The following weekend, on October 26, 2013 at 8:00pm, ARB will present Premieres Evening at Raritan Valley Community College. This evening will feature world premieres by Kirk Peterson, former dancer with American Ballet Theatre and now acclaimed choreographer, and Barton.

ARB will return to Hamilton Stage on March 21, 2014 at 7:00pm and March 22, 2014 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm to present Signature Duets, featuring a brand new work by Trinette Singleton, choreographer of ARB repertory favorite Capriccios, and Gerald Arpino's Confetti. Robert Johnson praised ARB's original performance of Confetti, writing, "Trying to resist 'Confetti's' charms ultimately proves futile. The dancers' courage is exhilarating, and Arpino, its under-appreciated choreographer, wins a belated round of applause."

"We're all extremely excited about this season - which will be a busy one," says ARB Executive Director Christine Chen. "It will be a particular treat to present Romeo and Juliet with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra at State Theatre this fall and to see Douglas Martin's highly anticipated take on Firebird at McCarter next spring. As his Rite of Spring demonstrated, no one understands and visualizes Stravinsky's genius like Mr. Martin. In addition to all that's going on in our own season, we're also very honored to be opening our season at the incomparable Jacob's Pillow this summer and on an incredible lineup as part of the Career Transition for Dancers Annual Jubilee at City Center New York."

American Repertory Ballet is offering two subscription packages for the 2013-2014 Season. The World Premieres Package includes 1 ticket to each of the three Premiere Performances: Romeo and Juliet at the State Theatre on October 11, 2013 at 8:00pm; Premieres Evening at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College on October 26, 2013 at 8:00pm; and Night of Fire at McCarter Theatre on March 12, 2014, at 7:30pm. The Repertory Lovers Package includes 1 ticket to four performances not included in the World Premieres Package. Visit www.arballet.org/ARB/subscribe or call 732-249-1254 for details and purchase.

American Repertory Ballet's 2013-2014 Performance Season

Fall 2013

ARB's Fall Kickoff Performances

September 20 and 21, 2013 at 7:30pm

Rider University's Bart Luedeke Center

2083 Lawrenceville Road

Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Romeo and Juliet

October 11, 2013 at 8:00pm

State Theatre

15 Livingston Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732)-246-7469; http://www.statetheatrenj.org/romeo_and_juliet

Tickets now available for purchase.

American Artist Showcase

October 18, 2013 at 7:00pm, October 19, 2013 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts

360 Hamilton Street

Rahway, NJ 07065

(732)-499-8226; www.ucpac.org

Premieres

October 26, 2013 at 8:00pm

The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College

118 Lamington Road

Branchburg, NJ 08876

(908)-725-3420; www.rvccarts.org

50th Annual Nutcracker Season

Union County Performing Arts Center

November 23, 2013 at 2:00pm

1601 Irving Street

Rahway, NJ 07065

(732)-499-8226; www.ucpac.org

McCarter Theatre

November 27, 2013 at 7:00pm, November 29, 2013 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm, November 30, 2013 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm

91 University Place

Princeton, NJ 08540

(609)-258-2787; www.mccarter.org

Celebrate the Legacy Reception at The Nassau Club

November 30, 2013 at 7:00pm, following the 4:30pm performance at McCarter Theatre

6 Mercer Street

Princeton, NJ 08540

For more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Naomi Levecchia, Director of Development:

(732)-249-1254 x25, nlevecchia@arballet.org

If you are an ARB or Princeton Ballet School alum interested in attending, contact Lisa de Ravel, Alumni Relations Coordinator:

(609)-921-7758 x11; lderavel@arballet.org

Patriots Theater at the War Memorial

December 7, 2013 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm

1 Memorial Drive

Trenton, NJ 08608

(609)-948-8400; www.nj.gov/state/memorial/index.html

Algonquin Arts Theatre

December 14, 2013 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm, December 15, 2013 at 3:00pm

60 Abe Voorhees Drive

Manasquan, NJ 08736

(732)-528-9211; www.algonquinarts.com

State Theatre

December 21 and 22, 2013 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm

15 Livingston Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

(732)-246-7469; www.statetheatrenj.org

Spring 2014

Romeo and Juliet

February 22, 2014 at 8:00pm

Berrie Center for the Performing Arts at Ramapo College

505 Ramapo Valley Road

Mahwah, NJ 07430

(201) 684 - 7844; http://www.ramapo.edu/berriecenter/

Romeo and Juliet

March 8, 2014 at 8:00pm

The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College

118 Lamington Road

Branchburg, NJ 08876

(908)-725-3420; www.rvccarts.org

Signature Duets

March 21, 2014 at 7:00pm, March 122, 2014 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts

360 Hamilton Street

Rahway, NJ 07065

(732)-499-8226; www.ucpac.org

Night of Fire

McCarter Theatre: March 12, 7:30pm

McCarter Theatre

91 University Place

Princeton, NJ 08540

(609)-258-2787; www.mccarter.org

About American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School

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 is comprised of: American Repertory Ballet, the preeminent contemporary ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation; and the Access and Enrichment initiatives, ranging from the long-running and acclaimed DANCE POWER program to the popular On Pointe series. The professional company is a classical and contemporary ballet company committed to presenting ballets from the 19th and 20th century 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. The company's 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 and Melissa Barak; 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 People's Choice for Best Dance Company in 2008, 2011, and 2012.

Princeton Ballet School has gained a national reputation for its excellent dance training since its founding in 1954 by Audrée Estey. Princeton Ballet School currently enrolls approximately 1500 students annually from age three through adult and is directed by Mary Pat Robertson. Princeton Ballet School has studios in Cranbury, New Brunswick, and Princeton which are equipped with shock-absorbent floors, non- slip dance surfaces and pianos for live accompaniment. Many of Princeton Ballet School's faculty members have performed professionally; others have attained graduate degrees in dance education and have won awards for their teaching. Students from the school have gone on to dance in professional ballet and contemporary dance companies in the US and abroad. Graduates have danced with such diverse organizations as the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, STREB, Momix, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, New York Theatre Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Met Columbus, and American Repertory Ballet.