American Repertory Ballet Sets Sept 2014 Events in Cranbury, Hamilton and New Brunswick

This September, American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School will be participating in community events throughout central Jersey: Cranbury Day in Cranbury, Septemberfest in Hamilton, and the Hub City Sounds Festival in New Brunswick.

Cranbury Day is an annual event held on Main Street in the heart of historic downtown Cranbury. This year, Cranbury Day will take place on September 6. Every year, American Repertory Ballet Workshop (ARBW) students perform in Princeton Ballet School's Cranbury studio at 29 N. Main Street. Additionally, American Repertory Ballet takes part in the Cranbury Day festivities out on the street with a setup in front of the Princeton Ballet School building. This station will feature giveaway items, chances to win free tickets to an upcoming performance, and fun photo opportunities.

American Repertory Ballet Workshop (ARBW) is a performance group made up of pre-professional Princeton Ballet School students, including members of the American Repertory Ballet Trainee program. ARBW Juniors dancers are advanced Princeton Ballet School students. This year, ARBW dancers will perform excerpts from the ballet La Fille mal Gardée, choreographed by Igor Youskevitch, and ARB's Nutcracker, choreographed by ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin and ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton. Igor Youskevitch was one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. His daughter, Maria Youskevitch, is ARBW Ballet Master, and will stage the excerpts of his La Fille mal Gardée on the students. Martin and Barton will stage their Nutcracker choreography. Dancers from the ARBW Juniors program will perform Call and Response, a large group work choreographed by ARBW Juniors Ballet Master Cheryl Whitney. Performances will be at 1:30pm and 2:30pm in Studio A. Performances are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

"Our ARBW groups are treated as professional dancers," says Martin. "They learn choreography first-hand from the choreographers, and are coached in the works as professional dancers would be - outside their regular training regimen. It is wonderful to see these young students flourish artistically through rigorous rehearsal and to bring a quality performance like this to our local community."

As part of New Brunswick's city-wide Hub City Sounds summer arts series, American Repertory Ballet Trainee dancers will perform Grumpy Bird at Kids' Day in Boyd Park on September 27 at 3:00pm. Grumpy Bird, a children's ballet choreographed by Matthew Keefe, is based on the children's book by Jeremy Tankard and set to music by Mozart. This performance is appropriate for ages 2 and up. The performance will include opportunities for participation and Q&A with the dancers. Following a brief intermission, George Street Playhouse's Educational Tour Program will perform Peacemaker. This performance is free and open to the public.

On September 14, American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet will be at Septemberfest - an annual fall festival at Veterans Park in Hamilton, NJ. Septemberfest runs from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Attractions will include crafters, vendors and organizations, fair games, and more. Visitors to ARB and Princeton Ballet School's table will receive giveaway items and an opportunity to enter to win free tickets to an upcoming ARB performance.

"Community events like Cranbury Day, Septemberfest, and Hub City Sounds are so important to our organization, as they give us an opportunity to connect with our supporters as well as the communities at large," said Lisa Beth Vettoso, ARB's Director of Educational Programming.

If you are interested in taking classes at Princeton Ballet School, call 609-921-7758. Princeton Ballet School's fall 2014 classes begin September 5.

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 comprises: American Repertory Ballet, 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 and 2012.

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 1984, 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.

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