American Repertory Ballet Announces its On Pointe Enrichment Series Event “Telling Stories Through Dance”

American Repertory Ballet Announces its On Pointe Enrichment Series Event “Telling Stories Through Dance”

Sleeping Beauty Photograph by Ron Lessard

Sleeping Beauty Photograph by Ron Lessard

On February 7, 2014 at 5:15pm, American Repertory Ballet will present its first On Pointe Enrichment Series event specifically aimed at children as young as 2 years, and their families, entitled “Telling Stories Through Dance.”  It will take place at Princeton Ballet School at 301 N. Harrison Street in the Princeton Shopping Center, above McCaffrey’s Supermarket.

At “Telling Stories through Dance,” American Repertory Ballet Trainees and members of American Repertory Ballet Workshop (ARBW), a performing group comprised of Princeton Ballet School’s advanced students, will perform Matthew Keefe’s Grumpy Bird and excerpts from Princeton Ballet School’s Spring 2014 Production of The Sleeping Beauty.  Grumpy Bird is a lively and humorous dance program in one act based off the children’s book by Jeremy Tankard.  The Sleeping Beauty is a full-length classical ballet which tells the story of Princess Aurora, the sleeping spell cast over her kingdom by the evil fairy Carabosse, and the Prince who breaks the spell with a kiss.  ARB Workshop dancers will present select variations from the ballet.

Discussion of storytelling in dance will be led by ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton, ARBW Administrator Cheryl Whitney-Marcuard, and ARB Director of Educational Programming Lisa Beth Vettoso.  Barton and Whitney-Marcuard both also are long-time faculty members at Princeton Ballet School and serve as ballet masters for the ARBW program. They also both direct the students’ rehearsals – Barton the oldest and most advanced groups, and Whitney-Marcuard the younger students.  Barton also trains and coaches the Trainee division, which performs and rehearses with American Repertory Ballet in addition to ARBW.  As Director of Educational Programming, Vettoso works extensively with ARB’s DANCE POWER programs, including rehearsing the DANCE POWER Scholars and Dance Mix students in New Brunswick.  She also directs ARB’s other Access & Enrichment initiatives.  This includes planning ARB’s school time matinees and assembly programs.  Grumpy Bird has been performed as part of an assembly program at numerous preschools and elementary schools around the state.

All of American Repertory Ballet’s On Pointe events are free and open to the public.


About American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School

American Repertory Ballet’s mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences and to dance students through artistic and educational programs. The organization is comprised of: American Repertory Ballet, the preeminent contemporary ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation; and the Access and Enrichment initiatives, ranging from the long-running and acclaimed DANCE POWER program to the popular On Pointe series. The professional company is a classical and contemporary ballet company committed to presenting ballets from the 19th and 20th century alongside new and existing works by choreographers from today. Founded in 1963, the company is currently under the artistic leadership of Douglas Martin, former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. The company’s rich history of repertory includes established masterpieces by distinguished American choreographers such as George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp; cutting edge works by choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Kirk Peterson, Dominique Dumais, Harrison McEldowney, Amy Seiwert, Susan Shields and Melissa Barak; and former Artistic Directors Dermot Burke, Marjorie Mussman, Septime Webre and Graham Lustig. ARB has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts consistently for the past two decades, and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. ARB was voted People’s Choice for Best Dance Company in 2008, 2011, and 2012.

Princeton Ballet School has gained a national reputation for its excellent dance training since its founding in 1954 by Audrée Estey. Princeton Ballet School currently enrolls approximately 1500 students annually from age three through adult and is directed by Mary Pat Robertson. Princeton Ballet School has studios in Cranbury, New Brunswick, and Princeton which are equipped with shock-absorbent floors, non- slip dance surfaces and pianos for live accompaniment. Many of Princeton Ballet School’s faculty members have performed professionally; others have attained graduate degrees in dance education and have won awards for their teaching. Students from the school have gone on to dance in professional ballet and contemporary dance companies in the US and abroad. Graduates have danced with such diverse organizations as the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, STREB, Momix, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, New York Theatre Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Met Columbus, and American Repertory Ballet.

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