American Repertory Ballet Announces 2015-16 Season
American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey's preeminent classical and contemporary ballet company, will perform throughout New Jersey - in Princeton, New Brunswick, Lawrenceville, Branchburg, Rahway, Manasquan, South Orange, and Trenton - and at the Joyce Theater in New York City from September 2015 through April 2016. The performance season will open on September 24 at Rider University Bart Luedeke Center with an open rehearsal and State of the Art Address, celebrating 5 years of Artistic Director Douglas Martin's artistic leadership.
"It has been a fantastic first five years, and we are looking forward to many more," says Martin. "This season we are bringing back some of my favorite works from my first season as Artistic Director. We are also adding to our roster of repertory one of modern dance pioneer Jose Limon's signature works and what's sure to be a stunning new work by our Resident Choreographer Mary Barton, set to Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. It's going to be an exciting year."
The company traditionally begins its performance season with a residency at Rider University. This year, this residency will serve as a special celebration of Douglas Martin's 5 years at the helm. In addition to the annual master classes for Rider University dance students and ARB's Friday and Saturday evening performances at the Bart Luedeke Center, the week's festivities will include a "Meet the Dancers" On Pointe event, Open House Dress Rehearsal, and a State of the Art Address - ARB's first public meeting. The "Meet the Dancers" On Pointe will be held on September 23 at 5:15pm and will provide attendees a unique opportunity to meet the company's international, professional dancers and see excerpts of the upcoming performance season. The Open House Dress Rehearsal will be on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 4:30pm, and the State of the Art Address will immediately follow at 6:00pm. All events will take place in the theater.
The company will perform Season Premiere at Rider University's Bart Luedeke Center on Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 24 at 7:30pm. Season Premiere will feature three highlights from Martin's first two years of leadership: Martin's lyrical and poignant Ephemeral Possessions, set to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings; internationally acclaimed choreographer Kirk Peterson's highly technical Glazunov Variations, set to sections of Glazunov's music for the classical ballet Raymonda; and ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton's imaginative and thrilling Straight Up With a Twist, set to music by contemporary folk music composer Kaila Flexer. On October 9 at 7:30pm, American Repertory Ballet will present these three works in A Night of Dance at Union County Performing Arts Center's Hamilton Stage in Rahway, NJ.
American Repertory Ballet is honored to be a part of the José Limón International Dance Festival at the Joyce Theater New York City on October 20-22 at 7:30pm. This dance festival is presented by the José Limón Dance Foundation to commemorate the Limón Dance Company's 70th anniversary season. Limón Dance Company dancers, guest artists from acclaimed international professional companies, including ARB, and dancers from among the world's finest education programs like The Juilliard School will join forces to bring Limón's signature pieces to life. ARB will be performing Limón's deeply evocative There is a Time.
American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker, New Jersey's longest-running Nutcracker production and one of the longest-running in the nation, will take the stage just a month later, running November 21 through December 20, 2015 at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange, Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan, and State Theatre in New Brunswick. The performances at State Theatre will be performed to live music, played by an orchestra and choir under the direction of Maestro Michael Pratt.
This year, as a step toward realizing its organizational vision of entertaining, educating, and inspiring an increasingly broad audience, ARB has added to its Nutcracker season: a brand new Sensory Friendly production at Union County Performing Arts Center, a new venue - South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), and added School-Time Matinee performances at McCarter Theatre and SOPAC. ARB's Sensory Friendly Nutcracker will be an abridged version of the full ballet that makes the performance accessible to individuals with autism.
On March 18 at 12:00pm and March 19 at 3:00pm, ARB will bring Douglas Martin's A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, NJ. Broadway World called the 2015 premiere of this production a "delightfully kinetic take on the Bard's own A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "even address[es] and improve[s] upon a few of the weak points in Shakespeare's material." This full-length ballet brings Shakespeare's magical comedy to life in a performance that is perfect for the entire family. ARB will host fun family activities in the theater lobby on March 19 starting at 2:00pm - directly before the 3:00pm performance.
ARB will return to Hamilton Stage in Rahway with Spring Into Dance on April 1 at 7:30pm, presenting a unique collection of favorite signature works. In a glowing review of ARB's spring 2015 mixed repertory performance at Hamilton Stage, Patrick Kennedy of Broadway World noted that in seeing a this type of variety in a performance, both frequent ARB spectators and newcomers alike will, "realize that this is a company of immense, wonderfully individualized energy, an asset shared by the performers and the in-house choreographers."
ARB will premiere Masters of Dance and Music at McCarter Theatre in Princeton on April 8 at 8:00pm. In this one-of-a-kind performance, the company will present works created by masters of ballet and modern dance in a performance featuring music by Ludwig van Beethoven and Alexander Glazunov, played live by Princeton University Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Michael Pratt. A world premiere work by American Repertory Ballet Resident Choreographer Mary Barton will travel through Beethoven's creative process against the majestic musical landscape of his infamous Seventh Symphony. Peterson's Glazunov Variations will also be on the program. Alongside this classical ballet, American Repertory Ballet will bring Limón's There is a Time from their performances at The Joyce Theater to McCarter audiences.
On April 15, 2016, the company will bring Echoes of Russian Ballet to the State Theatre in downtown New Brunswick. This performance features ballets inspired by infamous, revolutionary works that the legendary Ballets Russes brought to America in the early 20th century. The ambitious program features: Artistic Director Douglas Martin's Firebird, set to a compelling score by Stravinsky, Martin's Rite of Spring, also set to music by Stravinsky, and Kirk Peterson's Afternoon of a Faun (L'après-midi d'un faune), set to Debussy's provocative score. Broadway World has described the program as "a revisitation of the balletic past that was taut, nimble, and modern." CriticalDance Magazine calls the program "impressive," "fabulous," and "visual dynamite" with "intelligently fresh choreography."
In addition to its public performances, American Repertory Ballet presents School-Time Matinees and special programs for schools and groups. Please contact Lisa Beth Vettoso, Director of Educational and Community Programming, for more information: email@example.com, 732-249-1254 x19.
View all performances and links to ticketing at www.arballet.org/15-16season.
September 25 & 26 at 7:30pm
Rider University's Bart Luedeke Center
A Night of Dance
October 9 at 7:30pm
Union County performing Arts Center's Hamilton Stage
José Limón international Dance Festival
October 20-22 at 7:30pm
New York, NY
Union County Performing Arts Center
November 21 at 2:00pm
November 22 at 1:00pm++
November 25 10:30am* & 7:30pm
November 27 at 2:00pm & 5:30pm
November 28 at 2:00pm & 5:30pm
Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
December 4 at 10:30am*
December 5 at 11:00am
South Orange Performing Arts Center
December 6 at 1:00pm & 5:00pm
December 7 at 10:00am*
Algonquin Arts Theatre
December 12 at 1:00pm & 4:30pm
December 13 at 3:00pm
December 18 at 10:30am*
December 18 at 7:30pm
December 19 at 1:00pm & 4:30pm
December 20 at 1:00pm & 4:30pm
**Featuring a live orchestra under the direction of Maestro Michael Pratt
++Sensory Friendly - an abridged version of the performance accessible to individuals with autism
* School-Time Matinee
A Midsummer Night's Dream
March 18 at 12:00pm & March 19 at 3:00pm
the Theater at Raritan Valley Community College
Spring into Dance
April 1 at 7:30pm
Union County Performing Arts center's hamilton stage
Masters of Dance & Music
April 8 at 8:00pm
**Featuring the Princeton University Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Michael Pratt
Echoes of Russian Ballet
April 15 at 8:00pm
New Brunswick, NJ
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: the preeminent professional 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" in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2015.
Princeton Ballet School has gained a national reputation for its excellent dance training since its founding in 1954 by Audrée Estey. Under the direction of Mary Pat Robertson, Princeton Ballet School currently serves approximately 1,200 students, starting at age three, and includes a large open enrollment division for adults. Princeton Ballet School has studios in Cranbury, New Brunswick, and Princeton and offers classes in ballet, modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, CardioBallet, and CoMBo - Conditioning for the Mind and Body. 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 New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet West and on Broadway.
The Access & Enrichment wing of American Repertory Ballet reaches out to the community not only through its DANCE POWER program and signature On Pointe series, but also with free programming, master classes, residencies, lecture demonstrations and School-Time Matinees throughout the state. In 1985, American Repertory Ballet partnered with the New Brunswick Board of Education to create DANCE POWER. Today, it's the longest-running uninterrupted arts/community partnership in New Jersey. The legendary Gregory Hines was DANCE POWER's Honorary Chair for 18 years before his untimely passing in 2003. In 2001, Mr. Hines endowed a scholarship at Rutgers University that earmarks annual funds for a DANCE POWER student to attend the university.
Photo Credit: Richard Termine