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Leadership

Douglas Martin
Artistic Director
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DOUGLAS MARTIN 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, Mr. 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 SpringFirebird, and a full-length Romeo and Juliet, and has commissioned 21 new works for the company, including 14 world premieres.

Mary Pat Robertson
School Director
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A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mary Pat Robertson 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 Arts.

Ms. Robertson was a founding director of Teamwork Dance, and has received a Choreographic Fellowship from NJSCA. Robertson choreographed numerous operas for Opera Festival of New Jersey includingThe Merry WidowThe Magic FluteLa TraviataThe Marriage of FigaroPostcard 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 PLUS programs, Professional Training and Trainee 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.”

In a Princeton Packet article about Princeton Ballet School's training and annual spring production, Ms. Robertson was praised for her methods: "Mary Pat conveyed the joy and beauty and benefits of dance with an incredibily kind, calm, wise and supportive manner, demanding excellence without intimidation or creating an unhealthy fear of failing...[E]veryone under Mary Pat's domain was cut out to find the joy in dance."

 

Lisa Beth Vettoso
Acting Executive Director | Director of Educational Programming
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Lisa Beth Vettoso has been an arts professional for more than 10 years and has been actively involved in the performing arts throughout her life. She began studying dance at age 7 and performed and competed through middle and high school. While studying for her B.A. at Villanova University, she was a member of the Villanova Dance Ensemble and multiple theatre and musical theatre groups - performing in, choreographing, and directing numerous productions. Ms. Vettoso was certified through the Dance Educators of America Teaching Training Program and subsequently taught ballet, tap, and jazz classes in several NJ studios.

After receiving her M.A. in Educational Theatre from New York University in 2004, Ms. Vettoso worked in the education departments of several arts institutions, including Arts Horizons, State Theatre of New Jersey, and Carnegie Hall. For Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, she managed the Family Concert series and major special projects, including The Rite of Spring Project, featuring more than 100 student dancers performing original choreography to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, performed live by the Berlin Philharmonic. She was also responsible for curriculum development, concert production, and school partnerships for Carnegie Hall’s elementary school programs.

Recently, Ms. Vettoso was the first Managing Director of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, an organization devoted to arts education throughout New York City and surrounding areas. While at the Roundtable, she oversaw both a major overhaul of the organization’s website and database management system, as well as producing the Face to Face conference, the largest arts education conference in the NYC area, including more than 500 attendees. Ms. Vettoso is also President and Artistic Director of Aspire Performing Arts Company, an organization she founded in 2011 to offer production and workshop opportunities in musical theatre for children and teenagers.

 

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