American Repertory Ballet kicks off its 2013-2014 season with a residency and two performances at Rider.

American Repertory Ballet will kick off its 2013-14 season at Rider University’s Bart Luedeke Center Theater in Lawrenceville, NJ on September 20 and 21 at 7:30pm. ARB’s Fall Kick-Off production features Artistic Director Douglas Martin’s critically acclaimed Rite of Spring, Patrick Corbin’s lyrical Caress, ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton’s vibrant Five Men and a Concerto, and an excerpt from Martin’s Romeo and Juliet. The program presents repertory appealing to a wide variety of tastes, showcasing the diverse range of American Repertory Ballet’s dancers and choreographers.

Martin’s Rite of Spring is a unique take on Stravinsky’s influential and provocative score. It is at once a celebratory ode to the advent of spring and a statement on the theme of ritualistic behavior and sacrifice, with a twist. Martin’s Rite is set in a 1960’s office. As dance critic for The Star-Ledger Robert Johnson says, “Part sentimental tribute and part screwball comedy, Martin’s ‘Rite’ avoids primitivist clichés and, in gender parity, it manages to find a concept still radical enough to make audiences squirm.”

Patrick Corbin’s Caress, set to Kate Jewel’s 8 Movements, has also been met with critical acclaim. Dance critic Jerry Hochman of CriticalDance and Ballet-Dance Magazine described the work “vibrant, inventive, and multi-faceted.” “Each of the segments had its particular choreographic and emotional virtues,” he adds, “and I found Mr. Corbin’s choreography to be vibrant, inventive, and multi-faceted.”

Resident Choreographer Mary Barton’s Five Men and a Concerto is set to lively music by Vivaldi, showcasing the technique and athleticism of ARB’s male dancers. An excerpt from Douglas Martin's new Romeo and Juliet, set to Prokofiev’s passionate score, will round out the program. The full production of his Romeo and Juliet will premiere on October 11 at the State Theatre, with live music played by the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kynan Johns. In response to a preview performance this past spring, Broadway World’s Marina Kennedy wrote, “ARB's production of Romeo and Juliet was an outstanding example of dance being perfectly adapted to dramatic interpretation, with the ARB dancers in full command of their art.”

Tickets to American Repertory Ballet’s Fall Kick-Off performances are now available through Rider University’s box office and online. The box office hours are Monday through Friday 1:00-4:00pm, and the phone is (609)-896-7775. Tickets can be purchased 24-hours per day online and will be available at the door one hour before performances. Prices are as follows: $20 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $5 for students with valid Rider University identification card.