arb midsummer sleeping

arb midsummer sleepingPhoto: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Credit: Leighton Chen

PRINCETON, NJ – American Repertory Ballet (ARB) Artistic Director Douglas Martin will premiere his new full-length ballet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on February 26 and 27, 2015 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. The ballet will feature the beloved score by Mendelssohn, performed live by Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. ARB will also bring this new ballet to the Zoellner Arts Center in Bethlehem, PA on March 6. In anticipation of these performances, on January 16, ARB will host “Behind the Music: A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a free lecture featuring guest and music scholar Simon Morrison.

“Behind the Music: A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is part of American Repertory Ballet’s On Pointe series, offering free lectures and demonstrations on a monthly basis at American Repertory Ballet’s Princeton studios (301 N. Harrison Street, in the Princeton Shopping Center, above McCaffrey’s Supermarket). This informative, one hour lecture will take place at 5:15pm on Friday, January 16. Guest lecturer Simon Morrison is a prominent music scholar and a Professor of Music at Princeton University. He has joined Martin in the past for stimulating discussions of Prokofiev’s music for Romeo and Juliet and Tchaikovsky’s for Nutcracker.


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“The traditional ballet A Midsummer Night’s Dream, most famously, Sir Frederick Ashton’s production, is performed in one act to Mendelssohn’s score “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’” Martin explains. “My new version of the ballet will be in two acts. Act II is set to Mendelssohn’s score for the ballet, and the Act I is set to music from his First Symphony. This is just one of the many topics Simon Morrison and I will discuss on the 16th.”

ARB will open its Spring 2015 Season with the world premiere of Douglas Martin’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at State Theatre on February 26 and 27, 2015 at 8:00pm. For these world premiere performances, Mendelssohn’s music will be performed live by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Kynan Johns and the women of the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir under the direction of Patrick Gardner. ARB will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream once again on March 6, 2015 at the Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

In his review of a Fall 2014 preview performance of the ballet, Broadway World’s Patrick Kennedy remarks, “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.”

“I wanted to make a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that offered something new, but still choreographed in a very classical ballet vocabulary,” Martin explains. “In the studio, we’ve been working on creating very strong characters – both among the Athenians and the fairies. I love the worlds we have created, and look forward to sharing them with the public.”

Not to be missed

Princeton Ballet School Adult Open Enrollment Classes

A new session of adult classes begins on January 17.

Class offerings include: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Ballet; Modern Dance; Hip-Hop; Conditioning for the Mind and Body (CoMBo); and Cardioballet. Classes are offered at Princeton Ballet School’s locations in Princeton, Cranbury, and New Brunswick.

On Monday, January 12 at 5:30pm, Princeton Ballet School is offering a free Cardioballet class at its New Brunswick location (7 Livingston Ave., 4th floor). This Monday evening Cardioballet class will continue through the new session that begins on January 17.


“Behind the Music: A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – an On Pointe event

January 16, 2015 at 5:15pm

Princeton Ballet School studios

301 N. Harrison St., Princeton, NJ

A discussion led by Artistic Director Douglas Martin on the music of his upcoming world premiere, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This On Pointe is recommended for ages 5 and up.

“Spring Repertory Preview” – an On Pointe event

February 6, 2015 at 5:15pm

Princeton Ballet School studios

301 N. Harrison St., Princeton, NJ

At this lecture-demonstration, get a taste of ARB’s spring 2015 performances. Excerpts will be performed by the dancers of ARB, along with a discussion led by Artistic Director Douglas Martin. This On Pointe is recommended for ages 5 and up.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream *World Premiere* *Featuring Live Orchestra and Choir*

Featuring the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Kynan Johns and the women of the Rutgers University Kirkpatrick Choir under the direction of Patrick Gardner.

February 26 and 27, 2015 at 8:00pm

State Theatre

New Brunswick, NJ

(732) 246-7469

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

March 6, 2015 at 7:30pm

Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

(610) 758-2787

Firebird:Diaghilev Revisited

March 14, 2015 at 8:00pm

The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College

Branchburg, NJ

(908) 725-3420

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 comprises: American Repertory Ballet, the preeminent professional classical and contemporary ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation; and ARB’s Access & Enrichment initiatives, including the long-running and acclaimed DANCE POWER program. The performing company is a classical and contemporary ballet company committed to presenting ballets from the 19th and 20th centuries 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. Its 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, Melissa Barak, Patrick Corbin, Trinette Singleton, and ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton; 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 the Jersey Arts People’s Choice for “Favorite 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. Under the direction of Mary Pat Robertson, Princeton Ballet School currently serves approximately 1,200 students, starting at age three, and includes a large open enrollment division for adults. Princeton Ballet School has studios in Cranbury, New Brunswick, and Princeton and offers classes in ballet, modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, CardioBallet, and CoMBo – Conditioning for the Mind and Body.  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 New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet West and on Broadway.

The Access & Enrichment wing of American Repertory Ballet reaches out to the community not only through its DANCE POWER program and signature On Pointe series, but also with free programming, master classes, residencies, lecture demonstrations and School Time Matinees throughout the state.  In 1984, American Repertory Ballet partnered with the New Brunswick Board of Education to create DANCE POWER.  Today, it’s the longest-running uninterrupted arts/community partnership in New Jersey. The legendary Gregory Hines was DANCE POWER’s Honorary Chair for 18 years before his untimely passing in 2003. In 2001, Mr. Hines endowed a scholarship at Rutgers University that earmarks annual funds for a DANCE POWER student to attend the university.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...