“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 three separate times by the Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards. 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 The Nutcracker, an ARB fixture since 1964.
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.
Step to the beat at New Jersey School of Ballet and feel the rhythm of Livingston.
At New Jersey School of Ballet, dancers of all levels can experiment with movement and hone their skills through one of many heart-pumping classes.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Former students of Vicky Simegiatos Dance Company have gone on to perform with some of the city's finest dance companies—a trait they have in common with the company's founder and namesake. Discovered by the directors of American Ballet Theatre during a trip to Greece, Simegiatos traveled to the United States to join the company, eventually leaving the professional ballet world behind to raise a family in Brooklyn. But the dancing bug never really left her. In the early '70s she founded what is today named the Vicky Simegiatos Performance Arts Center to teach young twirlers throughout the neighborhood Balachine-technique ballet, Greek dancing, and how to crack walnuts with their toe muscles.
Dubbed “the punk ballerina” for her audacity, ambition, and pure raw talent, Karole Armitage exploded onto the dance scene in 1981 with her groundbreaking work Drastic-Classicism. Since then, the artist has held numerous directorial positions at companies around the world and created genre-bending works inspired by such topics as theoretical physics, 16th-century Florence, and dance. Specializing in an aesthetic as precise as it seems improvised, Armitage and her daring company strive to challenge the preconceived notions of both audiences and the dance establishment.
As a dancer, Gelsey Kirkland was legendary. Not only did she jeté her way into the roles of principal dancer for the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, she inspired major choreographers such as George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to create new works especially for her. As a teacher, Gelsey Kirkland is equally great. From coaching at the American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet School, and English National Ballet, she opened her own academy, where she works with a dedicated staff to revive the art of dramatic storytelling in ballet.