American Repertory Ballet Presents BEHIND THE CURTAIN: INSIDE SWAN LAKE Today, 11/9

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Princeton Ballet School, the Official School of American Repertory Ballet, produces a full-length classical ballet each spring. This year, the school will restage the iconic ballet Swan Lake. At BEHIND THE CURTAIN: INSIDE SWAN LAKE, an On Pointe Enrichment Series event, ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin, Princeton Ballet School Director Mary Pat Robertson, and the advanced students of Princeton Ballet School will present an intimate sneak peek at the preparations for this year's Annual Spring Production today, November 9, 2012 at 5:15pm at Princeton Ballet School (301 North Harrison Street, above McCaffrey's Supermarket).

At BEHIND THE CURTAIN: INSIDE SWAN LAKE, excerpts from Swan Lake will be performed by Princeton Ballet School’s advanced students. These advanced students have the opportunity to work closely throughout the rehearsal process with esteemed faculty member Maria Youskevitch, daughter of premiere danseur of the 20th Century Igor Youskevitch. Ms. Youskevitch stages and coaches the advanced variations and ensemble dances with careful reverence for the original choreography by Marius Petipa. After her own professional dance career with American Ballet Theatre, Maryland Ballet, and her father’s concert group, Ballet Romantique, Ms. Youskevitch set and coached classical ballet such as Swan Lake for professional companies throughout the United States.

Discussion at this On Pointe will include the history of Swan Lake and how Princeton Ballet School’s renowned faculty, such as Ms. Youskevitch, restage this timeless classic for a wide range of levels - from young students through pre-professional dancers. Any enrolled Princeton Ballet School student is able to participate in the Annual Spring Production, including young students in Children’s Ballet levels and adult students in Open Enrollment classes. All rehearsals take place outside of class time; Princeton Ballet School is committed to providing performance opportunities alongside continued technical training.

"The School has been presenting a professional-quality, full-length classical ballet annually for many years now," says Martin. "It's a great opportunity for the students to work together outside of their technique classes, as professional company members do, and to learn the kind of work that goes into presenting such a large-scale production. I think it's important for the audience to understand the kind of rigorous work that goes into producing a ballet, too, which is our purpose in presenting this On Pointe."

Princeton Ballet School’s Spring 2012 Production of SWAN LAKE will be performed on May 18, 2013 at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ.

ARB launched On Pointe in 2010 to help make ballet more accessible to the community. The Enrichment Series brings guest speakers, lecture demonstrations, intimate company performance previews and panel discussions to seasoned dance enthusiasts and new students alike on a monthly basis. BEHIND THE CURTAIN: INSIDE SWAN LAKE will be presented on November 9, 2012 at 5:15pm at Princeton Ballet School (301 North Harrison Street, above McCaffrey's Supermarket).

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 newly launched 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 and 2011.

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, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, STREB, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and Momix.