Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater presents “Dancing in the Dark”


originally published: 10/09/2021

(HOLMDEL, New Jersey) – Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) presents “Dancing in the Dark”, an immersive dance-theater performance celebrating the “world beyond”. AXCBT invites theatergoers and Halloween lovers to a spellbinding dance party, inspired by popular horror classics. Each performance will include dance theater pieces inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and a new interpretation of the ballet “Giselle”. Performances will take place at the Theater at Bell Works on October 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and October 31, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

“I wanted to celebrate Halloween from a different perspective,” said AXCBT art director Gabriel Chajnik. “What is related to this world is the darkness and the fear that accompanies the absence of light. At night is when our monsters come out to play and all of our fears come to light. “

Directed by Chajnik, “Dancing in the Dark” will be narrated by special guest actor William King. Chajnik and Jason Cohen, theater teachers at the Axelrod Academy of the Performing Arts (APAA), wrote the script for the show.

Chajnik enjoys telling timeless folk stories, especially from a unique perspective. Her Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” will follow Shelley’s inspiration and creation of the iconic monster, instead of focusing on the monster itself. His “Dracula” will highlight the novel’s illumination on the relationship between religion and reason, East and West, the modern era against the old world and how love can transcend space and the weather. With video mapping, he will bring Hitchcock’s “Birds” to life, plunging audiences and performers into the urgency of no longer taking nature for granted. His “Giselle” will emphasize that despite death and the darkness of the human soul, love above all else can liberate from death.

Following the professional production, APAA students will perform, with live music by the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra (NJSYO), conducted by Leo Soeda.

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“Witness the wonder of the performing arts [of AXCBT last winter] during the pandemic was both haunting and humiliating, ”said NJSYO President Lakshmi Nadiminti. “Although we performed in our separate productions, the prospect of a collaboration had already set in. Over time, the powers to come came together and we began this collaborative journey of music and dance together at Bell Works. We are delighted that our students have this opportunity. “

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater presents

For the performance, the pre-professional students will perform the “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged by Soeda. APAA elementary school students will also perform an Addams family-inspired number at the event.

Spectators are invited to come in costume! AXCBT will be offering prizes to the best costumes, including free tickets to “The Nutcracker Rocks”. Chajnik’s original and magical tale of the classic family vacation. “The Nutcracker Rocks” will be AXCBT’s first performance on stage at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center since 2019.

Bell Works Theater is located at 101 Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel, New Jersey. All tickets cost $ 35 per person and available for purchase in line. Users can gand $ 20 off your “Dancing in the Dark” tickets if you buy 2 tickets for “The Nutcracker Rocks! Must call ticket office for promotion: 732-531-9106. Tickets for “The Nutcracker Rocks” available for purchase in line.

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater is a program of the Axelrod Performing Arts Center with performances at Bell Works in Holmdel and at the Axelrod PAC located in Deal Park, NJ. The Axelrod PAC produces a series of professional theatrical productions per year, including beloved musicals, concerts and student productions. A 501c3 organization, the Axelrod PAC receives major funding for its programs from the NJ State Arts Council. Learn more about the Axelrod Performing Arts Center and their upcoming performances and events at

PHOTO: (TOP) Contemporary ballet theater company artist Axelrod Lindsay Jorgensen and guest artist Aldeir Monteiro at the Bell Works Theater. Photo credit: Alana Roolaart

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