|Headquarters||Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.|
Carolyn Clark's mother established New Jersey School of Ballet in Orange, New Jersey in 1953 with her mother's friends who were dancers. Clark has involved in her mother's dance school operation since its beginning. She has later become a professional dancer herself. After touring around the world with American Ballet Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, she had conceived an idea to create a ballet company in New Jersey with national significance. The company was finally founded in 1958 with the first performance on December 27, 1958 at the Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey with George Tomal as the founding director.
After thirteen years from the first season that consisted of two performances for a few hundred people, New Jersey Ballet started a production of The Nutcracker in 1971 at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey with world-renowned dancer, Edward Villella, in the role of the Cavalier. The company has run Nutcracker production at Paper Mill Playhouse with Paper Mill Orchestra for many consecutive years since its debut. It also travels to bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey, Stafford Township Arts Center in Manahawkin, New Jersey and Middle Township PAC in Cape May Court House.
The company started gaining wider recognition when it started the tours to Taiwan, the Soviet Union, Bermuda and Italy during the 1990s. In 2004, the company staged full-length production of Esmeralda at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. It was the first company in the United States to perform full-length version of Esmeralda and it had gained national recognition. The company also visited India's newly opened National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai in 2006 with its Nutcracker production. It was the first full-length classical ballet in India. In 2008, it traveled to Russia on a seven-city tour of mixed repertory that included Saturday Night, For Ella, Let's Go South and Belong.
Today, the annual season consists of many performances in many venues throughout New Jersey. It also includes New Jersey Ballet Matinee for Kids and Families, which is a collections of children's ballets of classic tales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Tom Sawyer, Hansel & Gretel and more.
New Jersey School of Ballet
At the present time, the school offers many courses and instructions ranging from age 4 to professional. The classes include Ballet, Academic Ballet, Pointe, Jazz and Tap. The school offers intensive program for Ballet, Variations, Partnering, Character, Jazz, and Special Workshops by audition only. The classes are held in three locations; Livingston, New Jersey; Somerville, New Jersey; and Morristown, New Jersey. Each year, more than one hundred students who pass auditions have a chance to perform in New Jersey Ballet's Nutcracker professional production. Advanced students are included in New Jersey Ballet Matinee for Kids and Families productions.
New Jersey Ballet's Junior Company is the school's pre-professional program for students with carrier track in dance. Students have opportunities to work with professional dancers, for example, being cast members when the Bolshoi performed at the Metropolitan Opera. Many alumni have performed with or are current dancers of American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Joffrey, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and other major companies.
The artistic leadership of New Jersey Ballet, as of April 2010:
Founder and Director
- Carolyn Clark
Assistant Artistic Director
- Paul McRae
The artistic advisors are three of the most famous dancers of the 20th century:
- Eleanor D'Antuono, former principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre
- Leonid Kozlov, former principal dancer of the Bolshoi and New York City Ballet
- Edward Villella, former principal dancer of New York City Ballet
- Marina Bogdanova
- Luba Gulyaeva
- Carolyn Tener Brown
- Natasha Girshov
- Rosemary Sabovick-Bleich
New Jersey Ballet has gained international recognition and has attracted performers from other countries around the world including Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tatarstan, and Zaire.
The dancers of the New Jersey Ballet according to the company website, as of January 2019.
The apprentices of the New Jersey Ballet, as of August 2011.
- New Jersey Countryside magazine, November/December 2008
- Pompilio, Natalie (29 January 2019). "N.J. Ballet is still on its toes after six decades". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2008-11-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- DANCE REVIEW; A Teeming Action Ballet With a Classical Sheen, New York Times, April 24, 2004 - accessed January 12, 2011
- New Jersey Ballet presents Tchaikovsky program. New Jersey Herald. - accessed on March 28, 2009
- Nash, Margo. Jersey Footlights: Learning Lessons From Leaps and Bounds. The New York Times, August 7, 2005
- "Artistic Leadership". New Jersey Ballet. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Company Dancers". NJBallet.
- "Dancers". New Jersey Ballet. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010.