American Repertory Ballet will return to the Princeton Public Library this year to present special insight into its upcoming programming. Tonight, March 7, 2013 at 7:30pm, ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin will discuss his new Romeo and Juliet and Rite of Spring ballets, both of which ARB will unveil this spring. Also at this event, the virtuosic dancers of ARB will perform excerpts of both these ballets, giving audiences exclusive previews of these world premieres.
Martin will discuss his unique vision for Romeo and Juliet and Rite of Spring, and how he has tackled the great, iconic scores by Stravinsky and Prokofiev. He is in a unique position to reimagine these ballets, as he performed in major productions of each with both The Joffrey Ballet and American Repertory Ballet.
"Of all the ballets I performed throughout my career, including Nutcracker, I think I performed Romeo and Juliet the most," Martin says. "With the Joffrey Ballet, I performed the roles of Paris and Romeo in John Cranko's version. I danced Romeo in Francis Patrelli's Romeo and Juliet with his company, Dances Patrelle. Most recently, with ARB, I performed the roles of Tybalt and Romeo in Septime Webre's version. I've even performed Romeo with [my wife] Mary [Barton, ARB Ballet Master] as Juliet. I know the ballet inside and out, and felt prepared to make my own."
Martin also has special memories of dancing Rite of Spring with the Joffrey Ballet. The ballet was first presented in 1913 in Paris by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Because of its thematic focus on pagan sacrifice and its avant-garde music by Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, the ballet's premiere was shrouded in controversy and, as a result, only performed eight times that year. It was never performed again until 1987, when The Joffrey Ballet restaged it. Martin performed as an original cast member in this monumental resurrection of the production.
Following the lecture-demonstration by Martin and ARB's dancers, there will be a question and answer section. This event is free and open to the public.
Douglas Martin's Rite of Spring will premiere on ARB's In Full Bloom program: March 23, 2013 at 8:00pm at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College. The full choreography of Martin's Romeo and Juliet will be unveiled April 12-13, 2013 at Union County PAC's Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts. Performances will be on April 12 and 13 at 7:00pm, and on April 13 at 2:00pm.