This 2016-’17 performance season American Repertory Ballet will bring three full-length story ballets — A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nutcracker, and the world premiere of Pride and Prejudice — to theaters in and around Princeton.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take the stage at the Bart Luedeke Center at Rider University in Lawrenceville on Friday, September 23, and Saturday, September 24, at 7:30 p.m. Choreographed by American Repertory Ballet Artistic Director Douglas Martin and set to an enchanting score by Felix Mendelssohn, the ballet brings to life the wit and splendor of one of William Shakespeare’s most popular comedies.
Broadway World wrote of the production, “Feuding lovers, doltish tradesmen, and endearing woodland fairies are the roles that have been taken on by ARB dancers. And it is heartening to see that Martin and his principals have made every role, every sequence count; in fact, they have even addressed and improved upon a few of the weak points in Shakespeare’s material.”
American Repertory Ballet will bring its annual holiday tradition, Nutcracker, to McCarter Theater in Princeton and Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton once again this year.
“It’s wonderful to see new generations of children experience this magical performance for the first time,” says Martin, “and just as thrilling to see audiences return yearly for this most American of holiday treats.”
Performances at McCarter Theater will be Thanksgiving weekend: Wednesday, November 23, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 25, at 2 and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 26, at 2 and 5:30 p.m. It will be at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton on Saturday, December 3, at 1 and 4:30 p.m. There will also be a School Time Matinee performance in Trenton on Friday, December 2, at 10 a.m.
Pride and Prejudice has never before been presented as a ballet, but Martin is up to the choreographic challenge. This ballet will premiere Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 8 p.m. at McCarter Theater in Princeton. There will be a School-Time Matinee performance on April 21 at 10:30 a.m.
The ballet brings the 1813 romantic classic penned by Jane Austen to life, celebrating its beloved tale of love, manners and marriage in the English gentry, a broad social class that includes those who owned land (the country or landed gentry) as well as the professional classes (lawyers, doctors and clergy) who did not.
Specifically, it follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. It is supported by the wonderfully 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.
American Repertory Ballet also offers free On Pointe lecture-demonstrations at its studios in the Princeton Shopping Center. For more information about all of American Repertory Ballet’s programming — performances, School Time Matinees, community events and classes at Princeton Ballet School — visit www.arballet.org.