The Roxey Ballet Company is poised to make its comeback in a very big way this spring.
Just five months after flash flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida destroyed the company’s North Main Street studio in Lambertville and threatened to shutter the nonprofit ballet company after 26 years, its founders, Mark and Melissa Roxey, announced the opening of a new studio in Frenchtown.
Since September, the Roxey Ballet Company and the Mill Ballet School, which the company also operates, have resided at the Event Center at the New Hope Eagle Fire Company’s headquarters in New Hope. Initially, the site, which includes a stage, was meant to be a temporary refuge while the Roxeys plotted their next steps. But with the news of the new studio at 6 Seventh Street, in Frenchtown, they also confirmed they are staying put in New Hope.
The company will rehearse and perform at both locations, though the Frenchtown studio will serve as its home base. The New Hope location will become the permanent home of the school.
“The Roxey Ballet Company remains committed to serving all New Jersey communities in all aspects of programming and education/outreach,” reads a statement from the company.
For much of the pandemic, the ballet company pivoted to streaming its performances. Still, Mark Roxey said it was a struggle to merely survive. The company and school were just starting to return to a sense of normalcy when Tropical Storm Ida hit on Sept. 1. In all, three ballet studios and a black box performance space all needed to be demolished.
Melissa and Mark Roxey are former dancers themselves. They performed with the Joffrey Ballet and the American Repertory Ballet. Through the years, they consistently attracted elite dancers to their modest contemporary ballet company, which maintained an ambitious schedule, to put it mildly, that was supported, in part, by local agencies like the Princeton Area Community Foundation Arts and Culture Recovery Fund and the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission. Settled again in a studio – studios, rather – the Roxey Ballet Company is poised to burst back onto the scene this spring.
Its schedule opens April 1 with “Carmen,” a one-act play choreographed by Mark Roxey, and “Frida,” a ballet that tells the story of the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Four performances will be staged over three days at the Event Center at the New Hope Eagle Fire station. Tickets are available here.
On April 23 and 24, the company will present “Mowgli,” a family-friendly ballet based on The Jungle Book, and “Graduation Ball.” Mark Roxey has updated the classic one-act play, which depicts a ball celebrating the graduation of the senior class at a fashionable Viennese school for girls. The performances will be staged at the Villa Victoria Theater, in Ewing, New Jersey. They’ll also be livestreamed. Tickets are available here.
“As artists and arts educators, we communicate empathy, respect, and cultural diversity through our art form and in our everyday activities. We provide a safe space for learning, creating, sharing, and collaborating,” reads a statement on the ballet company’s website. “For 27 years, this has been our purpose, and it will persevere as we move forward.”
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