American Repertory Ballet will make its debut at South Orange Performing Arts Center on April 5, 2013 at 8:00pm with its Viva Spring program. The evening will feature ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin's brand new Rite of Spring, famed Joffrey Ballet choreographer Gerald Arpino's Viva Vivaldi, and contemporary dance choreographer Patrick Corbin's new work, Caress. These works span classical and contemporary movement and music, presenting a range of styles to appeal to a variety of tastes.
The original Rite of Spring ballet, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, was performed in Paris in 1913 by the Ballets Russes. This premiere was very controversial, as audiences reacted strongly to the ballet's themes of pagan ritual and sacrifice and to the music - Igor Stravinsky's avant garde, driving score. Douglas Martin's Rite of Spring maintains the original ballet's libretto, a celebratory ode to spring and a statement on the theme of ritualistic behavior and sacrifice, and sets it in a modern, 20th century office setting. "Having learned and performed that version dozens of times I feel that the ballet and the music is a part of me," says Martin. He was a cast member of the Joffrey Ballet's historic 1987 reconstruction of Nijinsky's original 1913 version. Martin's new version for ARB will premiere March 23 at The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College. Viva Spring at SOPAC will be ARB's second performance of this exciting new work.
Arpino's Viva Vivaldi is a charming, quick-footed ballet set to Antonio Vivaldi's "Concerto in D for Violin, Strings and Cembalo". Gerald Arpino co-founded the Joffrey Ballet with the company's founding Artistic Director Robert Joffrey, and was the foremost choreographer for the company under Mr. Joffrey's direction and served as the company's Artistic Director from 1988 until 2007. ARB Artistic Director Douglas Martin danced many of Arpino's works throughout his career, and this is the second major Arpino work he has chosen for the company's repertory. As ARB Managing Director Christine Chen remarks, "By presenting major revivals of Gerald Arpino's little-known but fabulous work, ARB demonstrates its unique voice in the world of dance, and in many ways, takes up the torch of Robert Joffrey and Arpino's vision - preserving their legacy here on the east coast after the Joffrey Ballet relocated to Chicago." Robert Johnson, dance critic for The Star-Ledger, applauded ARB's revival of Arpino's Confetti in 2012: "Arpino clearly loved ballet's form, not just its athleticism, although the latter is plentiful. It takes guts to dance this piece...The dancers' courage is exhilarating, and Arpino, its under-appreciated choreographer, wins a belated round of applause."
Patrick Corbin, one of Martin's fellow dancers at the Joffrey Ballet, has choreographed his new work Caress on ARB dancers to composed Kate Jewel's 8 Movements. "My jumping off point is the moment we fall in love," he says. Throughout the rehearsal and creation process, Corbin generated some movement through collaborative improvisation with the dancers. His work has a contemporary dance base with the finesse of balletic line. Caress will premiere alongside Martin's Rite of Spring at Raritan Valley Community College, making its appearance on the Viva Spring program at SOPAC its second performance.
Viva Spring at South Orange Performing Arts Center
April 5, 2013 at 8:00pm
Tickets: www.sopacnow.org, (973) 275-1114