Princeton Ballet School Presents its 2014 Spring Production, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, Today
Today, May 17, 2014, Princeton Ballet School will present its 2014 annual spring production, The Sleeping Beauty, at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Over 300 students will dance in this production.
Marius Petipa choreographed The Sleeping Beauty for the Russian Imperial Ballet in 1889. The ballet is set to music by Tchaikovsky. Princeton Ballet School's 2014 production of The Sleeping Beauty features Petipa's original choreography with additional choreography and staging by ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin, ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton, ARB Workshop Ballet Master Maria Youskevitch, Mary Pat Robertson, ARB Workshop Juniors Ballet Mistress Cheryl Whitney-Marcuard, and faculty members Laurie Abramson, Anne Gribbins, Erika Mero, and Katie Scibienski.
The plot of The Sleeping Beauty is an adaptation of the famous French storyteller Charles Perrault's "La Belle au bois dormant" ("Sleeping Beauty"). The ballet tells the story of Princess Aurora - from her birth to her celebratory wedding day. At her christening, the evil fairy Carabosse casts a deadly spell on Aurora, but the Lilac fairy saves her from death. Instead, the kingdom is cast into a deep sleep, only to be broken by true love's kiss. When a prince arrives and saves the kingdom, he and Aurora wed. Some of Perrault's other characters, such as Bluebirds, Puss in Boots, and Little Red Riding Hood, attend the wedding.
"The School has been presenting a professional-quality, full-length classical ballet in the spring since 1954," American Repertory Ballet Artistic Director Douglas Martin explains. Martin has also served as a faculty member at Princeton Ballet School, and, before becoming ARB's Artistic Director, was the Ballet Master for the student performance group, ARB Workshop. "It's a great opportunity for students to work together outside of their technique classes, just like a professional company does."
"Princeton Ballet School's annual spring production also gives young students a unique look at the kind of work that goes into presenting a full-length ballet," adds Princeton Ballet School Director Mary Pat Robertson. "We're one of the only ballet schools in the country that puts on a production of this scale. We are thrilled to offer our students this learning experience and standard of quality performance."
Princeton Ballet School students from Children's Ballet 1 to Adult Open Enrollment may participate in the annual spring production. All rehearsals take place outside of regular technique classes; Princeton Ballet School is committed to providing performance opportunities alongside continued technical training.
The matinee and evening casts differ. The role of Princess Aurora will be danced by Ellen Lou of Hillsborough, New Jersey and by Mizuki Sato of Tokyo, Japan. Jacopo Jannelli of Tor La Vaianica, Italy will dance the role of the Prince. Olivia Allen of Fort Worth, Texas and Abigail Parker of Bedminster, New Jersey will be the Lilac Fairy. Chelsea Pe Benito of East Brunswick and Lindsay Jorgensen of Lawrenceville, New Jersey will dance the role of Princess Florine, one of the bluebirds who attends Aurora and the Prince's wedding. Kyryk Pavlovsky of Ewing, New Jersey will dance the role of the male bluebird. Lou, Parker, Pe Benito, Jorgensen, and Pavlovsky are all members of Princeton Ballet School's Professional Training Program, the most advanced level of Princeton Ballet School meant for high school students. Sato, Jannelli, and Allen are in American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School's Trainee program, a full-day training program for high school graduates pursuing a professional career in dance.
Princeton Ballet School presents The Sleeping Beauty
Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ
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 professional company, the preeminent 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 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. The performing company, founded in 1963, 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, 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 Pilates. 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.
Photo Credit: Mary Dunbar