Beauty and the Beast set to debut

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) is about to give the world premiere to a new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Choreographed by Kirk Peterson, it will open at New Brunswick’s State Theatre New Jersey on 10 May.

Peterson’s ballet is based on Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s original tale La Belle et La Bête, set here to music by Tchaikovsky. The American choreographer also took inspiration from Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film adaptation.

“I first saw the Cocteau film years ago, and the impact of that film immediately made me think that this could be a ballet,” said Peterson. “The film’s approach to the story is fantastical, surreal and imaginative and it is that atmosphere that I set out to recreate.”

The cast includes Nanako Yamamoto as Belle and Journy Wilkes-Davis as the Beast. The Princeton Symphony Orchestra will perform the music, under the baton of Nell Flanders.

“Tchaikovsky’s brilliantly colorful orchestral music brings the fairy tale to life, immersing listeners in a magical world filled with drama, passion, and wonder,” remarked Flanders. “Bringing together the incredible talents of the musicians of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra with those of the ARB company is a thrilling collaboration.”