American Repertory Ballet Returns To McCarter Theatre With GENERATIONS: INFLUENCES FROM THE MODERN AGE
American Repertory Ballet returns to McCarter Theatre Center on Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m. with "Generations: Influences from the Modern Age," a triple bill of critically acclaimed works by José Limón, Gerald Arpino and Artistic Director Douglas Martin.
"This program represents the influence that past generations have on their future counterparts," says Artistic Director Douglas Martin. "Current artists absorb the knowledge of past generations and explore and expand upon their ideas. As a dancer, you are influenced by the style, narrative and construction of the works you perform. As a choreographer, you process those experiences and reach out to find your voice."
Martin danced with the Joffrey Ballet for nine years before joining ARB in 1993. He was a dancer and teacher prior to taking on the role of artistic director in 2010.
The triple bill begins with the much loved "There is a Time," a deeply evocative work by, legendary modern dancer and choreographer José Limón. This classic work is based on Ecclesiastes 3, evokes rich feelings through both the dance and the familiar words. In 2015, ARB premiered the work in 2015 as part of the José Limón International Dance Festival in New York. World-renowned reconstructor/director Sarah Stackhouse, who was a principal dancer with Limón, has returned to ARB to work with the dancers for this performance.
"The greatest thing about dance is also the hardest thing about dance," says Martin. "It needs to be passed down person to person, and Sarah is one person removed from Limón."
The program also features the ARB premiere of "Sea Shadow" and "Rite of Spring," two works that Martin performed as a former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet.
"Sea Shadow," choreographed by Gerald Arpino, has been described by The New York Times as a "neo-romantic tale of love between a mortal and a supernatural with contemporary naturalness." This revival of the work is part of the Joffrey/Arpino Celebration marking the 10th anniversary of Gerald Arpino's passing and the 30th anniversary of Robert Joffrey's passing.
Martin choreographed "Rite of Spring," inspired by the revolutionary works that Ballet Russes brought to America in the early 20thcentury. He kept the original libretto but reset the story in 1961 corporate America - think "Mad Men," exploring the office relations and gender roles.
"I am the culmination of all the choreographers I either worked with or got to perform their work," says Martin. "Every piece is a real joy to experience."
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: 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. To learn more, visit arballet.org.