The State Theatre New Jersey was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre New Jersey to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.
Founded in 1990, the Sarasota Ballet is still relatively young—but then, ballet is an art form designed for young prodigies. In under three decades, the company led by acclaimed director Iain Webb has cemented its reputation as both a reliable source of ballet standards and an innovative troupe unafraid to break genre conventions. Besides commissioning brand new pieces to stage, the company is known for integrating child-friendly elements into their performances, from puppets to multiplication tables. They've earned high praise from such sources as the New York Times, who found "glittering virtuoso ballerinas" and plenty of "charm, wit, humanity, affection, [and] love of dance itself" on display.
The School of Russian Ballet may be relatively young, but it trains dancers according to time-honored traditions. Founders Darya Fedetova and Sergiy Mykhaylov espouse the Vaganova Method, the same whole-body process that helped mold the talents of such icons as Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and Zakharova. The school teaches students ages three and up, from novices just learning first position to advanced dancers who have sprouted their own pointe shoes. Many pupils get the chance to perform alongside professionals in the studio's seasonal productions, which include classic fairy tales such as Snow White and the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker.