American Repertory Ballet to Host Choreography Preview at Princeton Public Library, 3/7

American Repertory Ballet will return to the Princeton Public Library this year to present special insight into its upcoming programming. On March 7, 2013 at 7:30pm, ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin will discuss his new Romeo and Juliet and Rite of Spring ballets, both of which ARB will unveil this spring. Also at this event, the virtuosic dancers of ARB will perform excerpts of both these ballets, giving audiences exclusive previews of these world premieres.

Martin will discuss his unique vision for Romeo and Juliet and Rite of Spring, and how he has tackled the great, iconic scores by Stravinsky and Prokofiev. He is in a unique position to reimagine these ballets, as he performed in major productions of each with both The Joffrey Ballet and American Repertory Ballet.

"Of all the ballets I performed throughout my career, including Nutcracker, I think I performed Romeo and Juliet the most," Martin says. "With the Joffrey Ballet, I performed the roles of Paris and Romeo in John Cranko's version. I danced Romeo in Francis Patrelli's Romeo and Juliet with his company, Dances Patrelle. Most recently, with ARB, I performed the roles of Tybalt and Romeo in Septime Webre's version. I've even performed Romeo with [my wife] Mary [Barton, ARB Ballet Master] as Juliet. I know the ballet inside and out, and felt prepared to make my own."

Martin also has special memories of dancing Rite of Spring with the Joffrey Ballet. The ballet was first presented in 1913 in Paris by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Because of its thematic focus on pagan sacrifice and its avant-garde music by Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, the ballet's premiere was shrouded in controversy and, as a result, only performed eight times that year. It was never performed again until 1987, when The Joffrey Ballet restaged it. Martin performed as an original cast member in this monumental resurrection of the production.

Following the lecture-demonstration by Martin and ARB's dancers, there will be a question and answer section. This event is free and open to the public.

Douglas Martin's Rite of Spring will premiere on ARB's In Full Bloom program: March 23, 2013 at 8:00pm at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College. The full choreography of Martin's Romeo and Juliet will be unveiled April 12-13, 2013 at Union County PAC's Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts. Performances will be on April 12 and 13 at 7:00pm, and on April 13 at 2:00pm.<


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.

Photo: ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin and Resident Choreographer Mary Barton speaking at the Princeton Public Library in Fall 2011. Credit: Leighton Chen.