Princeton Ballet School Welcomes Alum and Fulbright Scholar Casey Lee Thorne for Workshop Today

Princeton Ballet School Welcomes Alum and Fulbright Scholar Casey Lee Thorne for Workshop Today

Today, August 21, 2014, Princeton Ballet School will host a special workshop led by notable alumna and Fulbright Scholar Casey Lee Thorne. Thorne graduated from Princeton Ballet School's Professional Training Program and is Founder and Artistic Director of Inside Out Contemporary Ballet (IOCB), a professional dance company based in Marin, California. She will lead a contemporary dance workshop for advanced dancers at Princeton Ballet School's studios in Princeton, NJ on August 21, 2014 from 11:45 am until 1:15 pm. The workshop is part of Thorne's choreographic project If I Were You - Project Israel, for which she recently received a Fulbright Scholarship.

Throughout her Fulbright grant period, Thorne will be conducting a series of community outreach workshops and engaging in daily dance practice in order to gather written reflections from American and Israeli citizens about what they feel connected to through dancing. If I Were You - Project Israel will culminate in the spring of 2016, when IOCB will perform the new evening-length ballet throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

During Thorne's workshop at Princeton Ballet School, participants will: experience a warm-up inspired by the Gaga movement language; learn some of IOCB's repertoire, choreographed by Thorne; and generate their own movement phrases through choreographic prompts. At the end of the workshop, participants will write their reflections, creating cards that will become part of the set design for Thorne's new work. The workshop will culminate with a short improvised performance by Thorne.

The Gaga movement language was developed by Israeli choreographer and Director of Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin. Thorne was first introduced to the method while she was earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance at Dominican University. During the summer of 2011, she attended the Batsheva intensive program in Israel for two weeks. Her time studying under Naharin has greatly influenced Thorne's work, as she applies Gaga principles in creating ballets.

"Gaga is not performative," says Thorne. "To apply its principles to ballet technique - something so classical and presentational - opens so many doors."

Thorne looks forward to being back in the homeland of the Gaga technique, where she can explore it more fully. She hopes her work in Israel will challenge and affirm her belief that dance can connect people by exposing personal and universal truths.

"It's an idealistic approach, but I truly believe that dance is a universal language which transcends conflicts," Thorne states. "In light of the recent rise of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I think the final product will show the tenacity of dance and will offer something we can learn from here in America."

Thorne is looking forward sharing part of her process for If I Were You - Project Israel through this workshop at Princeton Ballet School, where she says she "learned how to work well with others in a professional setting and to offer something to society that's beautiful and useful."

DETAILS:

Contemporary Dance Workshop with Inside Out Contemporary Ballet Director and Princeton Ballet School alum Casey Lee Thorne

August 21, 2014

11:45am-1:15pm

$18 at the door. Pre-registration rate of $15 is available. Email caseyleethorne@gmail.com to pre-register.

Cash or check only. Please make checks payable to Casey Thorne. All participants, even those who have pre-registered, must pay upon arrival at the studio on August 21.

Princeton Ballet School is located a 301 N. Harrison Street, Princeton, NJ. In the Princeton Shopping Center, above McCaffrey's Supermarket.

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.

On September 6, advanced Princeton Ballet School students in the American Repertory Ballet Workshop performance groups will present their annual Cranbury Day performances at 1:30pm and 2:30pm at the school's location at 29 Main St. in Cranbury, NJ. American Repertory Ballet will also have a table out on Main Street as part of the Cranbury Day festivities.

The 2014-2015 academic year will mark Princeton Ballet School's 60th year of excellence in dance education. American Repertory Ballet's 2014-2015 Season will begin on September 19, 2014 with its Fall Kick-Off Performance at Rider University's Bart Luedeke Center.

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.