Lustig Dance springs into action with world premieres in April

The New Brunswick-based Lustig Dance Theatre (LDT) in collaboration with three New Jersey choirs presents three world premieres on April 11, 2015 at the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College. LDT’s dance company is joined by live choral music from The Rutgers Children’s Choir, The Cantabile Choir and The Church of the Incarnation’s choir for an evening of song and dance.

Curated by artistic director, Graham Lustig, A Cappella features the participation of 50 singers from the three choirs as well as 10 dancers from Lustig Dance Theatre. The collaboration brings to life three new dance works choreographed by LDT’s artistic associate Bat Abbit, Rutgers University’s Professor Chien-Ying Wang and LDT’s artistic director Graham Lustig.

In the new work choreographed by Bat Abbit, the arc of a day is represented through dance and musical compositions by Brahms and Mozart performed by the Cantabile Chamber Chorale. The Cantabile Chamber Chorale is based in Piscataway under the direction of Rebecca Scott.

Professor Chien-Ying Wang’s choreography is inspired by four South African songs presented by The Rutgers Children’s Choir under the direction of Rhonda Hackworth.

A Cappella concludes with Graham Lustig’s new work, Stone of Hope which is inspired by modern arrangements of traditional spirituals in arrangements by Moses Hogan and William Dawson. The spirituals are directed by Gail Blanche-Gill and performed by Jersey City’s Church of the Incarnation.

LDT shares its passion for incorporating live music in dance by partnering with other organizations and creating artistically diverse and engaging experiences for audiences. LDT’s mission is to be a vibrant, dynamic organization that awakens the love of dance by performing and educating. LDT was established in 2010 by internationally recognized choreographer and director, Graham Lustig. The organization consists of a professional contemporary ballet company, the Lustig Dance and Wellness Studio that offers classes for all ages and abilities, as well as a comprehensive roster of educational programs. Housed in the culturally vibrant city of New Brunswick, NJ, LDT’s A Jazzy Nutcracker features several Highland Park-based students and is a vital fixture in the arts community and provides exceptional service to the local community.

An internationally recognized choreographer and director, Mr. Lustig danced with the Dutch National Ballet and the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet before embarking on a freelance choreographic career that has encompassed more than 70 works over four continents. Sought after by companies as diverse as Singapore Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, Northern Ballet Theatre, Louisville Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet and the Sacramento Ballet, his repertoire ranges from the tongue-in-cheek sophistication of Paramour, to the wildly imaginative, dramatically costumed Pomp, created for North Carolina Dance Theatre. Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for The New York Times shared these words about his work, Evening:  “The choreography is never less than eye-riveting: a fine ballet resonating with life’s solitude.”

In 1999 he was appointed the Artistic Director of the American Repertory Ballet (ARB), a position he held for 11 years, and thus making him the longest serving Artistic Director in the company’s history.  At ARB he expanded the education and outreach programs and brought American Repertory Ballet to prestigious New York City venues such as the Joyce Theatre and Symphony Space. Mr. Lustig choreographed 11 new works for the company, including VISTA, Dialogues, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Beauty and the Beast, and The Nutcracker, which premiered in 2000.

In 2003, Mr. Lustig was invited to become a charter member of the Artists Committee for Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC. and has served as a panelist numerous times for the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2010 Mr. Lustig founded New Jersey-based Lustig Dance Theatre, a diverse troupe of contemporary ballet dancers, a Dance and Wellness studio, and an in-school educational program called Dance-to-Learn.  Mr. Lustig is also the Artistic Director of the Oakland Ballet Company where he presents three programs each season.

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