Ballet Company Celebrates 25 Years Of Dance

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New Brunswick students, Dance Power Scholars and dancers from the American Reperatory Ballet Company will perform for free on April 26

NEW BRUNSWICK—American Repertory Ballet’s (ARB) Dance Power Program celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a culminating performance at the New Brunswick High School on Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

This free performance, aptly titled “Waiting in the Wings: Celebration! A Quarter Century of Dance,” will feature third grade students from the New Brunswick Public School district participating in the Dance Power program, Dance Power Scholars, and dancers from the American Repertory Ballet Company.

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Dance Power is a partnership between American Repertory Ballet and the New Brunswick Board of Education which provides dance education to all third grade students in the New Brunswick Public School District.  The program also provides an opportunity for students to continue their dance training on scholarship at Princeton Ballet School.  There are currently 68 Dance Power Scholars attending year-round dance training at Princeton Ballet School.  Started in 1984, Dance Power remains the longest running Arts/Community partnership in New Jersey.

“The Dance Power program introduces dance to those who might never have had the opportunity to be exposed to it,” says ARB Education Director Lees Hummel.   “The students get to experience the process of learning the basics of dance and understanding its history.  They also learn how to move creatively and experience what it takes to rehearse and perform a dance work.   Many students find they have a gift and passion for dance, and Dance Power enables and encourages this discovery.  To witness the excitement and joy at the end of the process is amazing.”

The Dance Power students in the performance have participated in dance instruction as part of their Physical Education classes for the last 20 weeks. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Dance Power, this year’s performance is centered around popular music from the last quarter century.  More than 500 students from all eight New Brunswick Public Schools will be performing the dances that they have learned in their classes.   They will join together onstage for the evening’s grand finale, entitled, “Celebration!”

In addition to the performances by the New Brunswick Public School students, the evening will feature a performance by Dance Power Scholars (children who have completed the third grade Dance Power program and have been selected to continue their training at Princeton Ballet School).  This year, Dance Power scholarship students will be performing two works, Emerging Artists, a ballet piece for first and second year scholarship students choreographed by Hummel, and Barnyard Disturbance, a fun romp choreographed by ARB Artistic Director, Graham Lustig, to music of the same name by Edgar Meyers.  Emerging Artists features New Brunswick residents Kalitza Bruno, Najah Davila, Sara Garcia, Sha’Nya’ Lige, Alejandra Lopez, Carla Ortiz, Janice Reyes and Deavihan Scott.  Barnyard Disturbance features New Brunswick residents Kayla Arroyo, Denee Corbin, Zakiyyah Meadows, and Salvatore Tesoriero; East Brunswick’s, Spencer Grossman, and a special appearance by Princeton Ballet School student Kylan Hillman of Pennington.

ARB Company members Peggy Petteway and Kevin Byrne will perform Lustig’s Torch to the music of James Blunt.

The New Brunswick Board of Education will host a post-show reception for supporters and special guests.  This is the first year the show will be performed at the new New Brunswick High School.

The free performance of “Waiting in the Wings: Celebration! A Quarter Century of Dance” at the New Brunswick High School, 1000 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, will begin at 7 p.m.


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