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New Jersey Ballet to Celebrate 65th Anniversary Season with World Premiere of Lauren Lovette's "Jewel Box" at NJPAC

originally published: 03/18/2024

New Jersey Ballet to Celebrate 65th Anniversary Season with World Premiere of Lauren Lovette

(NEWARK, NJ) -- With its 65-year legacy of excellence, the New Jersey Ballet under the extraordinary vision of the Company's Artistic Director Maria Kowroski, returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) for a weekend performance series, Friday-Saturday, May 3-4, 2024. The program centers around the world premeire of Lauren Lovette's Jewel Box.

Inspired by the delicate and intricate workings of an old jewelry box's mechanism, Jewel Box is an innovative ballet by former New York City Ballet principal dancer and current Resident Choreographer for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Lauren Lovette. The Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award- winning composer Kevin Puts granted Lovette the extraordinary opportunity to choreograph this new ballet to the dynamic and evocative score of his 25-minute powerhouse, Concerto for Orchestra.

"I am so excited to be working with New Jersey Ballet. The dancers are next level extraordinary and I am inspired every time I step in the studio. The dream is to have music that is new that goes along with the movement and I feel blessed that Kevin Puts brought this music to me," said Lovette.

Lovette’s work is celebrated for its emotional depth, inventive choreography and the unique ability to tell compelling stories through dance. Jewel Box explores the enchanting world hidden within the confines of an antique jewelry box, focusing on the elegance and grace of the ballerina figure that resides at its heart. This unique ballet brings to life the ballerina's solo dance, with the third movement featuring her in a breathtaking display of slow-motion turns on pointe. Supported by three male dancers, who ensure her stability in a representation of the mechanical supports within the jewelry box, she becomes the radiant centerpiece of the production, donned in the only long tutu among the cast. In stark contrast, the other dancers eschew traditional ballet attire to embody the braille-like texture of the music box's mechanism, each movement symbolizing individual notes played by the metal comb. This approach not only showcases the athleticism and versatility of the New Jersey Ballet's dancers but also serves as a visual interpretation of Puts' dynamic score, creating a multisensory experience that bridges music, dance and storytelling.

Other program highlights include: Purcell Suite, with choreography for 12 women by one of the most exciting talents of this generation, Harrison Ball, and costumes by renowned fashion designer Zac Posen; and Murder Ballades, an exuberant piece inspired by dark American folk songs with buoyant choreography by Tony Award-winning choreographer, director, filmmaker and dancer based in New York City – Justin Peck. Peck is Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor of New York City Ballet.

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Performances take place Friday, May 3 at 7:30pm and Saturday, May 4 at 2:00pm. Tickets range from $49-$69 and are available for purchase online. at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is located at One Center Street in Newark, New Jersey.

This event is part of NJPAC’s M&T Bank Dance Series.

Based in Florham Park, New Jersey, the New Jersey Ballet has been a staple of the state's cultural community for over six decades. Renowned for its artistic excellence, innovative programming and commitment to bringing high-quality ballet performances to a wide audience, Maria Kowroski's expansive artistic vision for the Company is advancing the Ballet to a new level of excellence.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States.  It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  As New Jersey’s anchor cultural institution, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted more than 11 million visitors (including more than two million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. © 2019 M&T Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

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