American Repertory Ballet returns to the stage at NBPAC in October
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) – American repertoire ballet makes its eagerly awaited return to its hometown, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, with performances by Emergence, Saturday 23 October at 7 p.m. and Sunday 24 October at 2 p.m. These performances mark the first program hosted by new ARB Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, one of the world’s most acclaimed ballet dancers, who achieved principal status with the New York City Ballet and the American Ballet. Theater.
âThe ARB is delighted to welcome our guests back to the theater and to have the opportunity to reaffirm the value and power that live performances have in uplifting our spirits and our communities,â said Stiefel.
A moving mix of movement and music – The program includes four distinct pieces, each with its own unique mood, style and flair. The opening of the show is that of Stiefel The Woodcraft, a piece created for the Washington Ballet in 2019. Set to music by the Danish String Quartet, The Woodcraft inspires a sense of joy and healing by seeking unique and individual paths, while feeling connected to each other.
The program continues with Amy Seiwert World, Interrupted, with music by Swedish composer David Wenngren and cellist Julia Kent. This piece explores resilience, hope, exhaustion, disruption – all shared experiences related to the ongoing pandemic. Due to travel advisories and associated safety protocols, Seiwert created the piece entirely through Zoom and it is a testament to how artistic collaboration can flourish through creativity and persistence.
Saudade marks the first commission from ARB’s Ryoko Tanaka, on an original score by former ARB2 dancer Haley Wright. This collaboration also reflects ARB’s commitment to nurturing emerging artists and providing a platform to showcase their diverse talents. Saudade is an intimate piece that draws on the inherent meaning of the Portuguese word ‘nostalgia’ and with a sense of ‘hope’.
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In a recent interview, Wright notes: âWith last year’s pandemic, the word saudade seemed a fitting title for our time. We all hope that our society will eventually return to some version of the normal. “
In Mexican music, choreographer David Fernandez celebrates acclaimed Mexican composers including Juventino Rosas, Ricardo Castro and Jose Pablo Moncayo. The piece opens with the waltz of Rosas “Sobre las Olas” (or “On the waves”) which remains one of the most famous works in the world by all Latin American composers.
The costumes in the play mark a unique collaboration between the Mexican-inspired creations of Pineda Covalin and costume designer Janessa Cornell Urwin. Pineda Covalin’s vibrant prints celebrate Mexico’s cultural richness through colors, patterns and shapes, which allude to Huichol prints, the monarch butterfly, day of the dead and other traditions.
Emergence will be the first time that all of these pieces will be performed live by the American Repertory Ballet – a must-see program for audiences of all ages.
âOur dancers are ready to come back on stage and do what they love: performing in front of a live audience,â says Stiefel. âFor performer and audience alike, there is nothing quite like the connection and energy that live performances inspire. ”
Tickets starting at $ 25; student tickets are $ 10. For tickets, visit arballet.org or call the APNB box office at 732.745.8000.
The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (PACNB) is located at 11 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures – The health and safety of spectators, performers and staff are of the utmost importance. Customers attending a performance at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center must show proof of vaccination via a vaccination card or through the NJ’s Docket app. If not fully immunized, clients must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within 72 hours of the date of performance.
All customers are required to wear masks at all times inside the room. This includes children over 2 years old who have not been vaccinated. For more information on these guidelines, please visit Click here.
The mission of American repertoire ballet is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry, and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and to national audiences and students through arts and education programs. Founded as the Princeton Ballet Society in 1954, the organization now includes: the state’s premier professional ballet company; Princeton Ballet School, one of the nation’s most established non-profit dance schools; and ARB’s access and enrichment initiatives, including the long-standing and acclaimed DANCE POWER program. In July 2021, ARB welcomed its new artistic director, Ethan Stiefel.
ABOUT THE CHOREOGRAPHERS
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David Fernandez was born in Mexico City where he began his training at the Centro de art y Ballet. After receiving a scholarship for Giordano Jazz Dance in Chicago, he immigrated to the United States. While performing with the company, he began to create contemporary works for performances in art galleries and alternative spaces. During his dancing career, he performed with the Boitsov Classical Ballet of Chicago, the Chicago Lyrical Opera, the Chicago Ballet Theater, and he performed alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov in the play The doctor and the patient at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2004. David’s most acclaimed choreography, Five variations on a theme, was created for New York City Ballet principal dancer Joaquin De Luz. The work premiered as part of the acclaimed Kings of the Dance tour and has been performed to standing ovations in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Kiev and Odessa. His other commissions include the Kings of the Dance Tour, the Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble, the Youth America Grand Prix, Opera North, Staten Island Ballet and the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet School – NY and Some Dance Company. David is also an award-winning filmmaker: his latest film dance achievements include the Lost Angeles Olympus Film Festival Award for Best Public Service Announcement.
Amy Seiwert enjoyed a nineteen-year dance career with the Smuin, Los Angeles Chamber and Sacramento ballets. As a dancer at the Smuin Ballet, she became involved in the âProtÃ©gÃ© Programâ, where her choreography was supervised by the late Michael Smuin. She was choreographer in residence there when she retired from dance in 2008 until 2018. Named one of Dance Magazine’s â25 to Watchâ, her first full evening of choreography was named one of the âTop 10â. of the 2007 dance events by the Chronicle of SF. Seiwert’s ballets are in the repertoire of Ballet Austin, BalletMet, Smuin, Washington, Atlanta, Oakland, Sacramento, Colorado, Louisville, Cincinnati, Caroline, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee and American Repertory Ballets as well as Imagery, Robert Moses KIN and AXIS Dance . Seiwert was Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet from 2018-2020.
Ethan Stiefel is an internationally renowned dancer, instructor, trainer, director and choreographer. Stiefel became artistic director of the American Repertory Ballet in July 2021. In 1989, Stiefel began his professional career at the age of 16 with the New York City Ballet where he quickly rose to the rank of principal dancer. Stiefel was also principal dancer with the Ballett ZÃ¼rich, then principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater (ABT) from 1997 to 2012. Stiefel was dean of the School of Dance at the School of the Arts at the University of Carolina du Nord (UNCSA) as well as artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. During his famous performing career, Stiefel has danced lead roles in all of the great classics and performed in a wide range of shorter classical, contemporary and modern works. Guest appearances include dancing with the Royal Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, New York City Ballet, Teatro Colon, Australian Ballet and many more. He has appeared in numerous film, video and television productions, including the feature film Center stage and the documentary Born to be wild. As a choreographer he has created new works for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, The Washington Ballet, ABT Studio Company, Northern Ballet (UK), The Royal Ballet School, UNCSA, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the television series Of flesh and bones on the STARZ network. Stiefel has received many prestigious awards such as the Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation and the Dance Magazine Award.
Ryoko tanaka was born and raised in Japan, where she began her training. In 2013, she was selected to be in the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program, where she performed in Michael Pink’s Romeo and Juliet, and Nutcracker. In 2017, she joined the intern program at the American Repertory Ballet and quickly moved to the second company, ARB2. In 2018, she was promoted to main company. Since joining ARB, Ryoko has performed the title role in Giselle; main roles in Nutcracker; Opening by Ethan Stiefel; Air by Paul Taylor; Blue until June by Trey McIntyre; and other roles. Saudade marks his first order for the Company.
Photos by Eduardo Patino