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American Repertory Ballet

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ARB eliminated the position of Artistic Director, and created the new position of Company Director. The new position has less autonomy than the old. Graham Lustig turned down the opportunity to continue with the company in the new position.

Mr. Lustig created many new works during his tenure as Artistic Director, but I infer from the Board's actions that he did not develop a sufficiently large audience in north-central New Jersey for the situation to be sustainable. (ARB is based in New Brunswick and Princeton, New Jersey.)

ARB has hired Douglas Martin to be the new Company Director. Mr. Martin is a former dancer with ARB who has been a teacher with ARB's Princeton Ballet School for many years. I have copied below the press release that announced his hiring.

June 7, 2010

American Repertory Ballet Announces new Company Director

Douglas Martin, former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, has been named Company Director of American Repertory Ballets professional dance company. Martin succeeds former Artistic Director Graham Lustig, who chose not to renegotiate his contract with the organization after its recent restructuring. Martin has a rich history with ARB as a former Company Dancer, Ballet Master and beloved faculty member at the organizations esteemed Princeton Ballet School. Martin will program the Companys 2010-2011 Season, which will include the organizations 47th annual presentation of The Nutcracker this holiday season at venues around the area including McCarter Theater in Princeton, Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, and The State Theatre in New Brunswick.

Im very excited to have the opportunity to shape the artistic vision for ARB, says Mr. Martin. My desire is to present a large array of dance, ranging from 19th and 20th century classics to contemporary works. Martin believes that, by presenting this variety of dance and theater works, he will be able to reach out to a broader audience and bring them into the theater.

Martin also intends to enhance the ties between the professional company and the school. Because of his history with both the Company and the School, Martin is in the unique position to achieve this goal. It is also my dream to further the training of Princeton Ballet School students by creating a true training ground for budding professionals. This training program will allow our graduates to continue to strengthen their technique, develop artistry and gain the professional experience they need to have a successful career in the field.

Mr. Martin began his ballet training with Dimitri Romanoff at the San Jose Ballet School and was one of six dancers selected to study in the newly formed American Ballet Theatre School formed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. He was invited to join the Joffrey Ballet in 1984 where, as a principal dancer, he performed roles in ballets by Ashton, Arpino, Cranko, Balanchine, Joffrey, Taylor, Pendleton, Kudelka and many other great 20th century choreographers. Mr. Martin was featured in performances of Dance in America on PBS and was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps. He was among the last dancers of the Joffrey Ballet to spend the majority of his career in the company working under founder Robert Joffrey. Martin joined the Cleveland Ballet in 1991, and danced an array of principle roles including the Minister in Agnes deMille's Fall River Legend.

In 1993, Mr. Martin was invited to join the American Repertory Ballet. As leading dancer and Ballet Master for ARB, Mr. Martin collaborated with directors in creating ballets, including productions as the original cast lead in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Dream and The Nutcracker. Mr. Martin continued to be a principal dancer in the company as well as Ballet Master for ARB, the Schools pre-professional division, and Principal Faculty for the PBS Summer Intensive until his retirement from performing in 2002.

After retiring from ARB as a performer, Mr. Martin expanded his teaching, production and choreographic work. Martin has been an integral part of the teaching staff at the Princeton Ballet School, Rutgers University and Westminster Choir College, and has also served as the School's Music Director and Ballet Master for the pre-professional division. He has staged full length and repertory ballets for several companies, including Romeo and Juliet and Philip Jerry's Our Town. Additionally, Mr. Martin has choreographed for several Princeton Ballet School productions, including the School's Summer Intensive program.

About American Repertory Ballet

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) was founded in 1954 as the Princeton Ballet Society and is now under the artistic leadership of Douglas Martin. Designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for two decades and repeatedly awarded a Citation of Excellence, American Repertory Ballet plays a leadership role in the dance community with significant outreach and educational programming. American Repertory Ballet has developed Education and Outreach programs that reflect include Curriculum-based residencies; Educational Assemblies; DANCE POWER, a 25-year partnership with the New Brunswick Board of Education, and DANCE POWER II, an after-school program modeled after DANCE POWER. Princeton Ballet School, founded in 1954, has studios in Princeton, Cranbury, and New Brunswick, New Jersey. The school provides a complete curriculum in ballet for children and adults, including special class sections for young boys. In addition, Princeton Ballet School offers a Professional Training Program, an internationally respected Summer Intensive program for emerging talent, and a large Open Enrollment Division, featuring classes in a wide variety of dance styles.

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