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Atlanta Ballet is one of the oldest and longest-running ballet companies in the US. It was the first regional ballet company in America and continues to focus on its cultural connection with the city. A large number of successful ballet dancers were trained by the company.
The ballet company professional dancers from different countries like Russia, China, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, etc., and has performed international shows in cities like London, Seoul, Taiwan, and many more.
Quality ballet with a regional focus is the USP of Atlanta Ballet Company. Check out the details on our site to know more about their shows for the year.
History of Atlanta Ballet
Dorothy Alexander, an American ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher, founded the Dorothy Alexander Concert Group in 1929. Its name changed to the Atlantic Civic Ballet in 1941. The new name represented the cultural contribution and the ballet company’s connection to the city.
The company donated its season's annual proceeds to the Atlanta Youth Symphony (it was the first establishment to do so) in 1946. Dorothy Alexander was the director of the ballet company until 1962. She was named Atlanta Woman of the Year in Arts in 1947.
Atlanta Ballet continued to grow and go on tours. It did two international tours to other countries like Japan, Iceland, Korea, etc. In 1956, the ballet company hosted its first Regional Dance Festival, which takes place even today.
The Balanchine Connection
Robert Barnett, a soloist from New York City Ballet, joined Atlanta Ballet in 1958 as a principal dancer and associate director. The next year, he got permission from George Balanchine to use his choreography in The Nutcracker and Serenade and perform them through Atlanta Ballet.
Note that this was the only regional company to perform The Nutcracker during that time. The show was a signature piece of the New York City Ballet.
In 1962, Barnett became the Artistic Director, a year after Dorothy retired from the position. However, she was an active member of Atlanta Ballet and continued to work for its future. The company was the first to perform The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake in 1965.
Finally, in 1967, Atlanta Civic Ballet became Atlanta Ballet Inc. Dorothy Alexander received Capezio Award (highest achievement in dance) in 1981, while Barnett was awarded the Governor’s Award for the Arts the next year.
Atlanta Ballet has two Centres for Dance Education and performs every year. Go through our site for more details.