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American Repertory Ballet | Princeton Ballet School Celebrated 70th Anniversary at Platinum Jubilee Gala

originally published: 04/28/2024

American Repertory Ballet | Princeton Ballet School Celebrated 70th Anniversary at Platinum Jubilee Gala

American Repertory Dancers, photo by Egan Jimenez

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School celebrated the organization's 70th anniversary with a sold-out Platinum Jubilee Gala on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Held at Jasna Polana in Princeton, this milestone event honored the Chairs of the Board of Trustees from 1954 through to the present. Nine of these Honorees were in attendance, including: Nancy Becker, Patrick Bradley, Susan Croll (current Chair), Dr. DonnaJean Fredeen, Rachel Gray, Dr. Penelope Lattimer, Nancy MacMillan, Marie Mascherin, and Charles Metcalf.

“We were thrilled to celebrate these leaders who each made a significant and positive impact, and to give special recognition to Dr. Penelope Lattimer, founder of our renowned DANCE POWER program and current Chair of our Advisory Committee; and Nancy MacMillan, who has served on our Board for nearly 45 years and continues to provide the organization with exceptional guidance and support,” says Julie Diana Hench, Executive Director.

The Gala Committee was chaired by Ngoc Nguyen (Trustee), and included Brannan Berman, Jessica Coppola, Nancy MacMillan (Trustee), Rebecca Piccone, and JoanMarie Zetterberg.

To mark the landmark anniversary, the organization unveiled a new logo created by Lai Wei, graduate student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, with guidance from Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (CGH), the designers of iconic logos such for Mobil, National Geographic, and many others. “The logo draws inspiration from the iconic ballet technique known as ‘en pointe,’ a fundamental aspect of classical ballet that embodies qualities of grace, elegance, and strength,” explains Wei. “Mastering this technique demands unwavering skill, dedication, and practice.” The logo artfully captures the essence of being ‘en pointe’ in an abstract way through the use of inverted triangles:  The large triangle symbolizes American Repertory Ballet’s professional ballet dancers. The smaller triangles represent children in the organization’s community outreach programs and Princeton Ballet School students who are still in training, but on the cusp of achieving their dreams.

The evening also included a seated dinner, live music, and a silent auction with a special diamond giveaway from Hamilton Jewelers. Dancers from the Princeton Ballet School Trainee Program performed a short excerpt, choreographed by Luis Napoles, from their upcoming program titled “May Fiesta.” Highland dancers, accompanied by a bagpiper, then gave an exciting glimpse into the Scottish inspiration behind a new artistic work planned by Ethan Stiefel, the Nora C. Orphanides Artistic Director. Festivities extended outdoors into the night with a 9-piece band and dancing under a tent.

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The full list of Chairs of the Board of Trustees from 1954 through to the present includes: Douglas MacNeil, Arthur Bigelow, Walker Stevenson, Ruth Schechter Kleinberg, Jane Spencer Bonthron, Margaret “Winkie” Burt, George Ford, Jessie Elizabeth “Betsy” Petty, Sydney Neuwirth, Nicholas Lamont, William Lucas, Harry “Rick” Edel, Donald Edwards, Rachel Gray, Nancy MacMillan, Arnold Gasche, Brann Wry, Ph.D, Michael Batt, Jane Factor, Penelope Lattimer, Ph.D, Nancy Becker, Joel Sobo, Charles Metcalf, Patrick Bradley, Marie Mascherin, DonnaJean Fredeen, Ph.D, and Susan Croll.

Platinum and Diamond Sponsors of American Repertory Ballet’s Platinum Jubilee Gala included: Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, Geller & Company, Cindy & Tom Secunda, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Patrick & Andrea Bradley, Tucker & Catherine Brown, Zita Ezpelita, Peter Gerry, JP Morgan, Nancy & Duncan MacMillan, Merrill Lynch, James & Nora C. Orphanides, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, John & Margaret Ruttenberg, Ngoc Nguyen & Jan Schadrack, Reed Smith, and the Zegar Family Fund.


American Repertory Ballet’s season continues with A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12, 2024 at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. Conceived and choreographed by Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, this celebrated one-act ballet will once again have audiences of all ages cheering, laughing out loud, and mesmerized by the ballet’s whimsy and crisp storytelling.

The professional company’s season concludes on Saturday, June 15 at 7:00pm when American Repertory Ballet continues its valued partnership with Princeton Symphony Orchestra with Interwoven at The Princeton Festival held at Morven Museum & Garden. During this evening, a string ensemble conducted by Rossen Milanov will accompany dance works Intrare Forma by Meredith Rainey and Holberg Suite by Arthur Mitchell.

Princeton Ballet School will present “May Fiesta” at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 1:00pm & 5:00pm. This end-of-year production celebrates our students’ hard work, progress, and love of dance. “May Fiesta” features Mexican Music from American Repertory Ballet’s repertoire by David Fernandez, Tsubomi by Ryoko Tanaka with Ian Howells at the piano, Liminal by Luis Napoles with Pavel Zarukin at the piano, and Paquita staged by Rebeca Maso, Ana Novoa, and Cheryl Whitney, and directed by Princeton Ballet School Director Aydmara Cabrera.

Led by Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, and with a distinctive reputation for innovation and individuality, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) is recognized as one of the state’s premier performing arts organizations. Presenting classical repertory alongside new and existing contemporary work, ARB is a founding resident company of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center while also performing in major venues across New Jersey and beyond for an annual audience of more than 30,000. ARB has been consistently designated a “Major Arts Institution'' by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for the past two decades and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. The company has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and other major foundations and leaders in the field as a prominent force in the field of dance.

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Founded in 1954 by Audrée Estey, Princeton Ballet School (PBS), the official school of American Repertory Ballet, is one of the nation’s finest non-profit dance schools. Many things set PBS apart from the usual dance school, the most important being: our philosophy, our faculty, our affiliation with a professional ballet company, our dedication to live music in the classroom, and our facilities. PBS attracts talent from around the world while providing opportunities for local students of all ages, such as through its award winning DANCE POWER program.



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