American Repertory Ballet's Acclaimed Full-length Ballet PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Comes To The Annenberg Center
American RepertoryBallet (ARB) brings its acclaimed production of Douglas Martin's full-length ballet, Pride and Prejudice, to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for two performances on Friday, March 2, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 3, at 8:00 p.m.
Jane Austen's beloved tale of love, manners, and marriage comes to life in this brand-new story ballet is supported by the melodic music of Ignaz Pleyel, the Austrian-born French composer, with costumes tailored to showcase the fashions of the English Regency period from 1790-1820.
"We are thrilled to present this unique production at Annenberg," says Executive Director Julie Diana Hench, University of Pennsylvania alumna and former principal with Pennsylvania Ballet. "This original full-length story ballet will hopefully engage and delight Philadelphia audiences, and inspire them to take a closer look at all that ARB has to offer."
Following its critical acclaimed 2017 world premiere production, Critical Dance writer Jerry Hocham says, "A new, original full-length story ballet is rare enough, but one based on the classic Jane Austen novel is a particularly ambitious undertaking. That Douglas Martin and his company carried it off at all is a monumental achievement, as well as a cause for celebration...it's a must see for anyone interested in viewing a ballet that's new and different and extraordinarily ambitious, and that ultimately will prove to be a source of pride for the company."
Broadway World critic Marina Kennedy calls it "Stunning," and states "the artistic gem certainly has a great future in the world of dance."
ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin was attracted to Pride and Prejudice for its dramatic quality of conflict and attraction inherent in the story. "It's hard to write a great love story, and Pride and Prejudice has many different kinds of relationships at its heart, because of the Bennet sisters. That gives me many lead couples and all kinds of ideas about how people can interact with each other," says Martin.
"The fact that none of Jane Austen's stories have been used for a full-length ballet, to my knowledge, made it an attractive challenge, " he adds. Martin hopes this beautiful story will take its place among the great "love story" ballets such as Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
Martin's original choreography incorporates period dancing, such as jigs, reels, and the minuet. "When characters are meeting or having a romantic moment, classical ballet is used in the midst of period dance steps, for example, during one of the ballroom scenes," says Martin. The ballet features sets and costumes designs by Christina Giannini, whose lush designs are tailored to showcase the fashions of the English Regency Period from 1790-1820.
Jane Austen's novel remains one of the most beloved works of fiction ever written. For over 200 years, the story of the proud, rich Mr. Darcy and the independent, free-spirited Elizabeth Bennet continues to entertain and enchant readers. In addition, the numerous film and television adaptations - the 1940 film starring Laurence Olivier; Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC version; the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley - have earned Jane Austen legions of devoted fans across the globe.
Pride and Prejudice appeals to first-timers who have never attended a ballet, to Austen fans who love the book, and to experienced ballet-goers who expect the highest-caliber choreography and production values.
Tickets, ranging from $45-$65, can be purchased by calling the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts ticket office at (215) 898-3900, online at www.annenbergcenter.org or at the Annenberg Center's box office, located at 3680 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
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: 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.