World premieres, revivals of classics, festivals, and site-specific works are all part of the new dance season already unfolding in the region.
American Repertory Ballet at Rider University, McCarter Theater, and State Theater. www.americanrepertoryballet.org
The company that began its life 55 years ago as the Princeton Ballet is marking its anniversary with a company and world premiere and some classics.
The new season opens with an evening of dance featuring works by three American masters: Kirk Peterson’s “Tears of the Moon” set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”; Gerald Arpino’s sensual duet “Sea Shadow,” set to music by Maurice Ravel; and the company premiere of Paul Taylor’s “Airs,” set to music by Handel.
Bart Luedeke Center, Rider University. Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22.
The fall season continues with the full-length comedic ballet “Coppelia” at the State Theater in New Brunswick. Friday, October 19.
In November and December, ARB returns with a 50-year-old holiday presentation of “The Nutcracker.” McCarter Theater, November 23 to 25. State Theater, December 21 through 23.
The ARB season concludes with the world premiere of Peterson’s “Beauty and the Beast,” set to music by Tchaikovsky and performed at the State Theater. Friday, May 10.
Roxey Ballet, Canal Studio Theater, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville. www.roxeyballet.org
Under the direction of company founder Mark Roxey, the season starts with a dance retelling of “Dracula” at the company’s Canal Studio Theater in Lambertville. A Halloween-season annual event, the production features video, minimalist sets, and lavish costumes. Fridays through Sundays, October 19 through 28.
The company’s other seasonal event is its less-traditional adaptation of “The Nutcracker,” to be performed at the College of New Jersey. Saturdays and Sundays, November 25 through December 3.
The company presents “Carmina Burana,” the dance interpretation of Carl Orff’s 1936 cantata based on secular poems by monks contemplating the joys and dangers of the sensual world. The first of two presentations is a more intimate and dance-emphasized event in the company’s Canal Studio Theater. Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10.
The second takes place at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium with Princeton Pro Musica and Princeton Girl Choir. The reprise of last year’s premiere event features pianos, percussion, lights, and new choreography and costumes. Friday, May 17.
The Roxey’s Classic Children’s Series’ full-length production of “Cinderella” will be performed at The College of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater. Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5.
The company closes its season with “WE vs C: Stories of Breast Cancer Survivors.” Touted as a “world premiere of dance, music, art, and theater collaboration celebrating the lives of breast cancer survivors.” Developed in partnership with RWJ University Hospital Hamilton Foundation, D&R Greenway, Grounds for Sculpture, and the Breast Cancer Resource Center, it features original music by Lambertville composer Robert Maggio and New York composer and lyricist Matthew Hardy and original choreography by Mark Roxey. Canal Studio Theater. Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2.
McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. 609-258-2787. www.mccarter.org
The region’s powerhouse dance presenter offers program mixing old and new companies, classical and contemporary works, and world traditions. The schedule is as follows:
The Philadelphia-based company BalletX was cited by a New York Times review as “uninhibited,” “eccentric,” “vividly appealing” and “meticulous.” The company comes to Princeton with new works, including one by company co-founder Matthew Neenan. Wednesday and Thursday, October 17 and 18.
The New Yorker magazine called Jessica Lang, “a prolific choreographer of skillfully constructed dances that respectfully mesh with music and striking visual design.” She returns to McCarter with a work that will attract attention: “Tesseracts of Time.” It was created in collaboration with Stephen Holl, the architect of Princeton University’s new Lewis Arts Complex. Friday, November 16.
National Ballet Theater of Odessa returns to McCarter to present Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” The Ukrainian company is dedicated to maintaining Russian classical dance traditions. Sunday, February 10.
“Farruquito: Return of a Flamenco Legend” features the grandson of legendary flamenco artist El Farruco. Saturday, February 23.
Trinity Irish Dance Company from Chicago returns after a 14-year absence to bring its mixture of tradition, innovation, percussive power, and agility. Friday, April 26.
The Mark Morris Dance Group returns with four works, including the McCarter premiere “Numerator,” a work inspired by composer Lou Harrison called “an enduring masterpiece” by the New York Times. Friday, May 17.
State Theater, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-246-7469. www.statetheatrenj.org
The State Theater is also a major dance presenter with a series that features major American and international companies and choreographers.
Lord of the Dance presents “Dangerous Games.” The new production by the famed Irish step dancing company is touted as fusing “the tradition with the contemporary” and incorporates dance with digital imaging technology, special effects lighting, dancing robots, and acrobats. Tuesday, October 9.
Based in New York City for 48 years, Ballet Hispanico returns with a program of three works created and performed by a company representing various Latino cultures, traditions, and innovation. Thursday, October 11.
Created by choreographer and dancer David Parsons, the New York based internationally touring company Parsons Dance is dedicated to bringing audiences “life-affirming, inspiring performances,” and critically cited for its “sexy athleticism” and “joyous movement.” Thursday, November 15.
Heralded by the New York Times as the “greatest tap dancer who has ever lived” and now celebrating 35 years on the stage, the New Jersey born Savion Glover arrives with “All Funkd’ up, the Concert” featuring a six-piece band and company of dances to celebrate new music and movement. Thursday, February 7.
Founded in 1989 and helmed by dancers who had worked with the Bolshoi, Kirov, and Marinsky ballet companies, Russian National Ballet presents a full production of “Swan Lake” that includes Tchaikovsky’s famous score and original choreography by Maurice Petipa. Saturday, March 16.
Born out of the collaboration between contemporary American choreographers Jones and Zane, this State Theater debut highlights the nine-member company’s vision of “creating a world we want to live in” and includes the highly personal work “Letters to My Nephew,” featuring composer Nick Hallett, performing with baritone Matthew Gamble. Thursday, April 11.
Other Dance Events
Grounds For Sculpture, 126 Sculptors Way, Hamilton. 609-586-0616. www.groundsfor-sculpture.org
The Philadelphia-based Leah Stein Dance Company presents “Ground Works: A Site-Specific Dance Performance,” inspired by GFS’s installation of a 26 foot enlargement of the late Israeli-American sculptor Dina Wind’s “Harp of David #1.” The company is known for actively investigating the interrelationships of body, sound, and site, and collaborating with musicians, singers, visual artists, and local communities.” Saturday, September 22.
Princeton Dance Festival, McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton, arts.princeton.edu
The Princeton Dance Festival features the staging of repertory works by Alvin Ailey choreographer Robert Battle, prominent American choreographer Mark Morris, and Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite along with the premiere of new works by choreographers Marguerite Hemmings, Malcolm Low and Abby Zbikowski, one of the complex’s inaugural choreographers in residence. Friday through Sunday, November 30 through December 2.