The American Repertory Ballet gets a new home and a change in artistic leadership, the Roxey Ballet stays on track, and McCarter and the State theaters bring in world class companies: there are plenty things moving in the region’s dance scene.
American Repertory Ballet at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, McCarter Theater, and the State Theater in New Brunswick. www.americanrepertoryballet.org.
ARB celebrates its 40th anniversary as a dance company — it started as school — with some changes. One is that it becomes a founding resident company of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. Another is a change of artistic director. Douglas Martin, who has been with the company since 1993 and served as artistic director since 2010, has exhibited.
Executive Director Julie Diana Hench, a former dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet, is currently assuming responsibilities that include preparations for its first presentation at the new center, “New Heights” set for Friday, September 21, through Sunday, September 23.
And, of course, look for the annual “Nutcracker” performances at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Friday, November 29, through Sunday, December 1; State Theater New Jersey in New Brunswick, Friday, December 13, through Sunday, December 15; and Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, Saturday, December 21.
Roxey Ballet, Canal Studio Theater, 243 North Union Street, Lambertville. www.roxeyballet.org.
Following a successful fall formula emphasizing works that mesh well with two major seasonal holidays — Halloween and Christmas — company founder Mark Roxey once again starts the season with his dance and multi-media retelling of “Dracula” at the company’s Canal Studio Theater in Lambertville.
Performances run Fridays through Sundays from October 18 through 27. Then look for his less-traditional adaptation of “The Nutcracker,” to be performed at the College of New Jersey, Saturdays and Sundays, November 30 through December 8.
McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton. 609-258-2787. www.mccarter.org.
Providing area audiences with the best dance available anywhere, McCarter is mixing the classics with the contemporary.
October 16 and 17: Ailey II, founded in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, arrives with a company of young dancers performing the works of both master and emerging choreographers. Included in the program is Alvin Alley’s celebrated work “Revelations.”
February 8: The Dance Theatre of Harlem comes to Princeton to celebrate 50 years of groundbreaking multiethnic ballet and dance.
February 16: Ukraine’s internationally acclaimed National Ballet Theater of Odessa presents a new production of Prokofiev’s celebrated “Romeo and Juliet.”
Thursday, April 9: Dorrance Dance — MacArthur Award-winning tap dancer Michelle Dorrance’s NYC-based Bessie Award-winning tap dance company — makes its Princeton debut.
State Theater, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. 732-246-7469. www.statetheatrenj.org.
Another major dance presenter, the State Theater has created a schedule that is all about styles — ranging from Bollywood to classic ballet to cutting-edge contemporary.
November 16: “Taj Express — The Bollywood Musical Revue” bills itself as a “high energy celebration of new India’s pop music, Bollywood culture, and deep traditions featuring thrilling live music, joyful dance, and colorful costumes.” Also included are Bollywood performers Mikhail Sen and Tanvi Patil.
March 14: The Russian National Ballet’s production of “The Sleeping beauty,” featuring artistic director and former Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Elena Radchenko and, of course, Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score.
March 31: Complexions Contemporary Ballet, the New York City-based company created in 1994 to “reinvent dance through groundbreaking mix of methods, styles, and culture.” Their intent will be demonstrated by their program that includes “Back 25,” an exploration of love and alliances, and “Star Dust,” a ballet tribute to David Bowie.
April 28: Diavolo, the Los Angeles-based company blends an interest in architectural structures with boundary-pushing dance to create “eclectic, intensely physical choreography.”
Other dance events
Princeton University at McCarter Theater, 91 University Place, Princeton, arts.princeton.edu/events/program/visual-arts
“When Birds Refused to Fly” is dance work by Princeton University’s choreographer in residence Olivier Tarpaga and performed by the Baker+Tarpaga Dance Project. Tarpaga is artistic director of Nomad Express International MultiArts Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; founder and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band; and co-founder of Baker + Tarpaga Dance Project.
The work uses a soundtrack created by the choreographer’s father’s band to visually connect the 1960s Sub-Saharan African independence movements to the painful fight for Civil Rights in the United States. October 10, 11, and 12.
Then the 2019 Princeton Dance Festival returns with new and repertory works by choreographers Zvi Gotheiner, Rebecca Lazier, Cameron McKinney, Christopher Ralph, Hofesh Shechter (staged by Alexandra Damiani), and Netta Yerushalmy. Performances at McCarter Theater. $10 to $12. December 5, 7, and 8.