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American Repertory Ballet: Spring Into Dance
- Ephemeral Possessions: ARB’s artistic director, Douglas Martin, choreographed this lyrical work, focusing on the form of the ballerinas’ legs while slowly, patiently building an effect that’s at once light and mournful. That’s rather fitting, considering the work is set to Samuel Barber’s airy, iconically heartfelt Adagio for Strings.
- Excerpts from Glazunov Variations: Selections from Alexander Glazunov’s classical ballet Raymonda underscore the technically precise choreography of Kirk Peterson, a former dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Throughout, archetypical costumes exaggerate every hop, sway, and leap until audiences are mesmerized.
- Straight Up With a Twist: Mary Barton, the resident choreographer of ARB, used Kalia Flexer’s contemporary folk music as the heart of this inventive piece. While fiddle and guitar stir up a storm, narrative and neo-classical elements play with classical ballet and Irish step-dancing. Barton says, “There isn’t a specific storyline, but I am hoping each section [of the work] creates a particular mood.”
- Excerpts from Shades of Time: Also choreographed by Mary Barton, this piece meditates on the passing of hours. The full work comprises three parts—”Nightfall,” “Dawn,” and “Noontide”—each of which contains a couple dancing to a score by Edward Elgar.
- Excerpts from There is a Time: In contrast to the program’s classical pieces, Jose Limón displays the revolutionary stance a modern choreographer can take with a work set to music from Norman Dello Joio.
American Repertory Ballet
“This talented company is a gem in New Jersey," declared Broadway World's Marina Kennedy. It would seem the residents of the Garden State agree—American Repertory Ballet was crowned Favorite Dance Company six separate times by the Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards (2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017). Its journey to this distinction began in 1963 when Audrée Estey, the founder of Princeton Ballet School, created Princeton Regional Ballet Company as the professional arm of the institution. By the time its name changed to the current incarnation, the Ballet had already been showcasing an array of both classic and contemporary masterpieces by Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, and Dominique Dumais. It's continued to celebrate the art of the dance and test tippytoes to their limit via original productions, tours to Portugal, and traditions such as its annual staging of Nutcracker, an ARB fixture since 1964.