The Atlanta Ballet has been inspiring generations of audiences for over 70 years, making it an integral part of Georgia's tourism, and a positive contributor to both the community and to the professional arts.
About the Atlanta Ballet
Atlanta Ballet was founded over 70 years ago by Dorothy Alexander, who dreamed of bringing high caliber, professional ballet to Georgia. The original group was named the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group, and it quickly became a regional ballet troupe that gained popularity and notoriety across the entire nation. The company went professional in 1967, and was then named Atlanta Ballet, as it continues to be known today.
Since 1994, the ballet has been directed by John McFall, and the organization prides itself in being the oldest professional dance company in the United States as well as the biggest self-sustaining arts program in the State of Georgia.
Going back to its roots, Ms. Alexander was director until 1963, when Robert Barnett, a dancer with the New York City Ballet and student of the famous George Balanchine, was invited to come on board as artistic director. He served for over 30 years, continually refreshing the style of Atlanta Ballet with both new and innovative pieces, as well as traditional classics such as Balanchine's The Nutcracker, which is still enjoyed by audiences in Atlanta every Christmas season.
McFall took over in 1994 and has brought more contemporary styles to the ballet, including well-received modern dance premieres, all new full-length ballet productions, and also world premieres brought exclusively to Atlanta's stage. He works with an impressive array of artists in the entertainment industry, working well with musical artists from all walks of life, including the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Choir and the hip hop group OutKast.
Today, dancers from all over the world come to audition for a coveted spot in Atlanta Ballet. They have accepted dancers from many countries, including, but not limited to, Taiwan, South Africa and Canada.
Beginning in 1996, Atlanta Ballet started the Centre of Dance Education, which provides technique classes for youngsters, while also providing a repertoire of courses for adults. Aspiring dancers can sign up for classes starting at the tender age of two, and can study on through to a pre-professional division. Those not completely sold on classical ballet, or those who would just like to dance for self expression and exercise, can sign up for one of their diverse classes from modern dance to flamenco to hip hop.
The Centre for Dance Education also regularly participates in community outreach, as they are responsible for providing exercise and increased self-esteem to Atlanta school-aged children, which has led to increased grades and happier outlooks.
You can always view Atlanta Ballet's lineup of performances by visiting their online show listings. During the Christmas season, you can always count on a limited engagement of The Nutcracker. They also feature classics such as Cinderella and Mozart's Magic Flute, as well as contemporary performances like "Sheer Exhilaration", which infuses different styles of dance and music for a show that will get you tapping your feet and maybe even out of your seat to dance along.
Single tickets begin at $20, and goes on up through season tickets that allow you to see a year's worth of ballet plus receive discounts on The Nutcracker. Schools and other groups are eligible for special pricing, and all tickets can be purchased online, via phone or in person at the ballet's box office in Atlanta.