The teachers work with the whole dancer, not just the technical side. Small classes provide plenty of attention and personal help.
Mary Pat Robertson, Princeton Ballet School Director
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, she received her early training with June Runyon and danced with Tulsa Ballet Theatre. After graduation from Stanford University, Ms. Robertson performed and taught in New York, where she studied with Merce Cunningham, Douglas Wassell, and David Howard. She has taught ballet at Princeton University, New York University, and Mason Gross School of the Art.
Ms. Robertson was a founding director of Teamwork Dance, and has received a Choreographic Fellowship from the NJSCA. Robertson choreographed numerous operas for Opera Festival of New Jersey includingThe Merry Widow, The Magic Flute, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Postcard from Morocco, and Orfeo ed Euridice. For Opera New Jersey, she choreographed Roméo et Juliette, La Traviata, The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus.
She has also been a consultant for the New York State Council on the Arts and NJPAC’s Outreach Program. Ms. Robertson has been teaching at Princeton Ballet School since 1980, and became Director of the School in 1986. During these years she developed the syllabus with faculty input, inaugurated the Professional Training Program and PLUS programs, and oversaw the moves into the new Princeton and Cranbury studios. In March, 2007, the United States Congress cited Ms. Robertson for her twenty plus years of leadership of Princeton Ballet School, and for its evolution into “one of the most acclaimed (dance schools) in the country.”
Douglas Martin, ARB Artistic Director
Douglas Martin is Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet. He started his ballet training with Dimitri Romanoff at the San Jose Ballet School and was one of six dancers selected by Mikhail Baryshnikov to study in the newly formed American Ballet Theatre School. 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. 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 principal roles including the Minister in Agnes deMille’s Fall River Legend. In 1993, Martin was invited to join the American Repertory Ballet. As leading dancer and Ballet Master for ARB, 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. Martin continued to be a principal dancer in the company as well as Ballet Master for ARB and ARBW and Principal Faculty for the Summer Intensive until his retirement from performing in 2002.
After retiring from ARB as a performer, 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 ARBW Ballet Master. He has staged full-length and repertory ballets for several companies, including Romeo and Juliet and Philip Jerry’s Our Town. Additionally, Martin has choreographed for several Princeton Ballet School productions, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Don Quixote and Coppélia. In 2010, Martin became Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet. Since then, he has premiered a new production of Nutcracker, choreographed several new works including Ephemeral Possessions, Pathways, Rite of Spring, Firebird, and a full-length Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. To date, Martin has commissioned 21 new works for the company, including 14 world premieres.
MARY BARTON, ARB Resident Choreographer and Ballet Master, received her dance training at The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day and participated in summer courses at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School. Her professional experience began when she performed with The Washington Ballet as a soloist in Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony and in the principal role in Tom Paczik’s Tzigane. Early professional credits include the Oldenburg Staat Ballet in Germany and several seasons with Dayton Ballet. In 1986, Ms. Barton joined the Joffrey Ballet/NY where she performed a variety of roles in the great ballets of the 20th century. Robert Joffrey created the role of Clara for her in the world premiere of his new Nutcracker. Ms Barton was featured in an interview on The Charlie Rose Show with Gerald Arpino. Ms. Barton TV credits include performances in Dance in America on PBS and was an original cast member of the historic recreation of Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. From 1993-2004, Ms. Barton was a principal dancer with American Repertory Ballet where notable roles include Sugar Plum Fairy, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Emily in Our Town and leads in Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Rubies, Concerto Barocco and Serenade. Ms. Barton has been on the faculty of the Princeton Ballet School since 1994 and is one of the primary teachers and choreographers for the Summer Intensive. She is a former ballet faculty member at Princeton University and current faculty at Rider University’s Music Theater Department. As Resident Choreographer and Ballet Master of ARB, Ms. Barton’s works include Straight Up with a Twist, Five Men and a Concerto, Faerie Tyme, Fantasy Baroque, her newest work Shades of Time, and over two dozen works for Princeton Ballet School’s spring full length ballets and Summer Intensive.
KATHLEEN MOORE, ARB Comany Teacher, PBS Faculty Member, trained with Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and attended summer intensives at the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) School. She graduated from ASFA as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and moved to NY to join ABT II in 1980. Invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to become a member of the corps of ABT in 1982, Ms. Moore was appointed soloist in 1988 and Principal dancer in 1991. Her work included roles across the classical, dramatic, modern and contemporary repertory. Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris and other respected choreographers created roles for her and she was a member of the premiere tour of the White Oak Dance Project under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris in 1990. Ms. Moore has appeared in several dance documentaries, the Herbert Ross movie Dancers, and was interviewed on The Charlie Rose Show. Ms. Moore began teaching for Princeton Ballet School in 1993 as a guest teacher and has worked with ARB since 2006. She is also a member of the ballet faculty at the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University. Ms. Moore is certified to teach all levels of ballet through the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
MARIA YOUSKEVITCH, ARBW Ballet Master, is the daughter of legendary ballet star Igor Youskevitch, was a soloist with American Ballet Theatre and Maryland Ballet, and ballerina with Youskevitch’s concert group, Ballet Romantique. She was company teacher, rehearsal assistant and senior faculty member at Hartford Ballet under the Artistic Direction of Kirk Peterson. She has been ballet mistress for BalletMet, Nevada Dance Theatre, and coach for the New York International Ballet Competition. In addition, Ms. Youskevitch has taught at such prestigious schools as the David Howard Dance Center, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Virginia School of the Arts under the direction Petrus Bosman, The Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, and The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.
A celebrated teacher and coach for over 30 years, she was featured in the June 2002 issue of “Dance Teacher” magazine. Well versed in the classical ballet repertoire, she has mounted versions of Giselle, Coppélia, La Fille Mal Gardee, and her father’s one-act Romeo and Juliet. She has also staged Michel Fokine’s Spectre de la Rose and Les Sylphides, and the children’s roles in Kirk Peterson’s Nutcracker. Ms. Youskevitch was also on faculty for ABT’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop in Manhattan for 8 years, and is an ABTTM Certified Teacher, having completed the ABT™ National Training Curriculum.
JANELL BYRNE, a native of California, studied with Stanley Holden and Margaret Hills in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Alfredo Corvino, Ms. Byrne has taught at Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and the Lawrenceville School. She has performed with DanceWorks and Teamwork Dance and is Director of Mercer Dance Ensemble, and has been teaching here for over 20 years.
Photo: Summer Intensive students in Byrne's piece for "An Evening of Dance" 2013; Photo Credit: Theresa Wood
CAROL BELLIS, Summer Programs Coordinator; Principal, Cranbury Studio, received her training on scholarship at the School of American Ballet, official school of the New York City Ballet. She danced with the Garden State Ballet and has taught for Garden State Ballet School, Gloria Govrin’s New Hope Ballet Academy, and the School of Performing Arts at Somerset Vo-Tech. She has been teaching here for over 20 years, and is the principal of the Cranbury studio and the Coordinator of Princeton Ballet School’s summer programs. Ms. Bellis is also an Adjunct Professor of Ballet at Rider University.
MURIEL HALLE (Guest 2009-2010): After studies at the Paris Opera Ballet School and the Conversatoire National de Danse et Musique, Muriel Hallé won the Prix de Lausanne, and subsequently entered the corps de ballet of the Opéra de Paris, then under the direction of Rudolph Nureyev. Rising through the ranks of quadrille, coryphée and sujet, she had the opportunity to perform many of the classic soloist roles in Don Quixote, Raymonda, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Swan Lake and Giselle. She also appeared in many works by the great 20th century choreographers, such as Balanchine, Ashton, Robbins, de Mille, Kylian, Tudor, Cunningham, Childs, and Prejlocaj. During the 1997-98 season, she took a leave of absence from the Opéra to dance leading roles with the English National Ballet. While continuing her dance career, Hallé also earned her baccalauréat, her C.A. (the Certificate d’Aptitude for classical dance pedagogy), and recently, the Diplôme de cycle de perfectionnement as a choreologist in Benesh notation. She retired from the stage in 2006, and has been teaching at the Paris Opéra Ballet School, coaching, and staging ballets from Benesh notation for the Ecole Nationale de Danse in Marseilles (Benjamin Millepied) and the Paris Opéra Ballet (Frederick Ashton).
SARAH HAY (Guest Artist) started her dance training at Princeton Ballet School, and from here, went on to study at School of American Ballet and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of American Ballet Theatre. She danced with North Carolina Dance Theater, then Pennsylvania Ballet, before moving to Germany to join the Dresden Semperoper Ballet and work with William Forsythe. She is the lead in the new TV series Flesh and Bone, premiering this fall.
SEAN MAHONEY (Frequent Guest Artist) has been a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company since 2004. He is currently on tour in China, and has been enjoying many roles with the company, including the male lead in a recent dance of Taylor's, Spring Rounds. He was also acclaimed by Dance Magazine as one of the "25 to Watch" for the year 2007. Mr. Mahoney began his early training at Knecht's Dance Academy in Pennsylvania, then came to ARB's Princeton Ballet School at age 11. While here, he studied with Dermot Burke, Septime Webre, Philip Jerry and others as a member of our Professional Training Program (then known as Career Track). While still in high school, he was an apprentice to American Repertory Ballet.
After graduating high school, he was chosen to be one of the first members of the Taylor 2 (the second company of the Paul Taylor Dance Company) and toured Africa with that group. Subsequently, he performed with the David Parsons company for a few seasons, and also appeared with Radio City Music Hall in the Christmas Spectacular, and danced with Geoffrey Doig-Marx. He returned to ARB, dancing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, among other roles. While a member of ARB, he met and married fellow company dancer Peggy Petteway. In 2002, he re-joined Taylor 2, and then moved into the main company in 2004. Mr. Mahoney has been a guest teacher of Taylor technique for the Summer Intensive for the past several years.
GEOFFREY DOIG-MARX (Frequent Jazz/Theater Dance Guest Artist) Geoffrey Doig-Marx is the Artistic Director and Founder of “The Mantis Project” Dance Company, and Creator/Artistic Director of “The Elan Awards” an annual showcase that honors choreographers. Past honorees of The Elan Awards include Graciella Daniele, Jerry Mitchell, Ann Reinking, Rob Marshall, Lar Lubovitch and Susan Stroman. He received a Certificate of Excellence in Cultural Achievement from C. Virginia Fields, Manhattan Borough President, office of the Mayor of New York City, for his work with The Elan Awards. He is currently a part of the dance faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, Dance Emotion, The Lawrenceville School and The Pulse. National and Regional credits include: Pippin, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, La Cage aux Folles and many others. Dance Spirit Magazine named him “one of ‘nine dancemakers making history” … 2001 cover story. Geoffrey is the former Director of Arias Dance NYC.
MICHAEL MINDLIN (Theater Dance Guest Artist) is an alum of Princeton Ballet School. He has appeared on Broadway in Bring it On, 9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mamma Mia. Other credits include the 50th Anniversary National Tour of West Side Story, and Camelot on "Live from Lincoln Center." Michael teaches at Broadway Dance Center.
KIRK PETERSON (Guest Artist), for 17 years had a distinguished career with American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer, Choreographer, Artistic Director of ABTII, Ballet Master, Principal Character, and as Master Teaching Associate for the main company, ABTII, the JKO School at ABT and the ABT Summer Intensive. Peterson has also worked with numerous other ballet companies around the country and diverse theatrical mediums from opera to Hollywood to Broadway, and more. American Repertory Ballet recently added Peterson's Glazunov Variations to its repertory, and in the 11-12 Season, ARB revived his work The Eyes That Gently Touch.
TRINETTE SINGLETON (Yearly Guest Artist, Ballet) joined the Joffrey Ballet in 1965, and was one of the main inspirations to Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino. In 1968, her face graced the cover of Time Magazine, the first time a dancer was so recognized. After her retirement from performing, she served as balletmistress and administrative assistant to Mr. Joffrey. Ms. Singleton is Artistic Director of The Joffrey Texas Workshop in San Antonio. She teaches at DeSales University, and also serves on the Board of the Joffrey Foundation. Pictured: Trinette and Maximiliano Zamosa on the famous 1968 TIME Magazine cover, photography and design by Herbert Migdoll
JEANNE SOLAN (Frequent Ballet/Contemporary Repertory Guest Teacher), a native of Trenton, danced with Princeton Ballet during her adolescence. Accepted at both Julliard and the Harkness Ballet Aspirant programs, she joined Harkness' two year training program. From that springboard, she became a member of the Harkness company in 1968. After a stint as a guest soloist at the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin, she divided the rest of the first phase of her long professional career between the Nederlans Dans Theatr in Amsterdam and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in New York (1971-88). From 1993-99, she was a dancer with the Nederlans Dans Theatr III, their performance company for major artists. In 1994, she was awarded with NDVS "Golden Theatre Dance Prize" for Career Achievement. Since 1988, she has been teaching and staging ballets by Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, and other major European choreographers throughout the world. She has staged works for the Stuttgart Ballet, the Batsheva Dance Company, Scapino Ballet, the Compania Nacional de Dansa, and Opernhaus Zurich, among many others. Ms. Solan recently staged a Kylian ballet for the Limon company next winter.
UNITY PHELAN started her dance training in early childhood at Princeton Ballet School. At the age of 14, she became a student atSchool of American Ballet. She was an Apprentice to New York City Ballet for the 2012-2013 year, and joined the company the following year. That year, Dance Magazine featured her as one of the five up and comers in the NYCB corps. Pointe Magazine is about to run an article naming her one of the ten most promising corps dancers in the United States. From here, Unity is on her way to the Vail International Dance Festival to work with Damian Woetzel.
Additional outstanding teachers who have been guests at Princeton Ballet School's Summer Intensive include:
Kyra Nichols, Pascale von Kipnis, Paul Boos, Sandra Jennings, Alexander Proia, and Jennifer Tinsley-Williams (New York City Ballet)
Jodie Gates, Maiqui Manosa (Pennsylvania Ballet)
Cynthia Harvey, Elaine Kudo, Nancy Raffa (American Ballet Theatre)
Eva Evdokimova, international ballerina
Virginia Johnson (Dance Theatre of Harlem)
And from the worlds of modern dance and Broadway-- Tina Fehlandt (Mark Morris Dance Group),Carrie Ellmore (Martha Graham Dance Company) , Tim Acito (Momix), Suzanne Hawe and Andrew Pirozzi.
LAURIE ABRAMSON (Ballet) received her training at the Joffrey Ballet School and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from New York University. She has also studied with Alfredo Corvino, David Howard and at The New Dance Group. In addition to her work at Princeton Ballet School, Ms. Abramson is a member of the ballet faculty at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, and also at Montclair State University. Additional teaching credits include Stuart Country Day School, Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University), Southern NJ Academy of the Performing Arts, Acrodanse Theatre Company and master classes at The American College Dance Festival. She has served as a dance evaluator for the NJ State Council on the Arts and helped construct and implement the exit exams for the performing arts schools throughout the state for the NJ Dept. of Education, Visual and Performing Arts. Choreographic projects include works for PBII (now known as ARB Workshop), Acrodanse Theatre Company and musical theatre work. She has been the recipient of an arts-in-education grant from the NJ State Council on the Arts. She has been teaching here since 1981.
ERIKA MERO (Ballet) began her dance training at Princeton Ballet School. As a dancer in the Professional Training Program, she studied with Elisabeth Carroll, Septime Webre, Maria Youskevitch, Mary Pat Robertson and Douglas Martin. Ms. Mero was also a member of Princeton Ballet II and ARB Workshop, appearing in works by Sherry Alban, Graham Lustig, and danced the ballerina role of Swanhilda in Coppélia. During these years, she attended The Juilliard School’s summer program. In 2006, Ms. Mero graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase. Performance work includes Stuart Loungway’s Terra Firma Dance Theatre, and featured dancer with opera productions of Roméo et Juliette, Rigoletto, The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus with Opera New Jersey as well as productions with the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. After graduation Ms. Mero returned to teaching at Princeton Ballet School. Ms. Mero received her MA in Ballet Pedagogy from New York University as well as becoming an ABT® certified teacher, and is on the faculty of ABT’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop. As well as instructing at Princeton Ballet School, Ms. Mero is a Dance Power teacher and is currently the Curriculum and Assessment Supervisor for the program. Ms. Mero is also an adjunct faculty member at the Lawrenceville School.
MARC ST-PIERRE started ballet at the Académie de Ballet Classique de Montréal at age eight, after training in the Canadian gymnastics program. At ten, he was admittted to the prestigious École Supérieur de Ballet de Quebec. He has performed with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Ballet Ouest de Montréal, Gleich Contemporary Dances, Albany Berkshire Ballet and Roxey Ballet Company where he performed many leads. He has guested regularly with City Center Ballet and with the International Ballet Theatre. Marc joined American Repertory Ballet in 2010, and has been featured in works by Kirk Peterson, Philip Jerry, Patrick Corbin, Mary Barton and Douglas Martin, and also has appeared as Romeo and as the Cavalier in Nutcracker.