Atlanta Ballet’s final performance of 11-12 Season

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This May, Atlanta Ballet (AB) Artistic Director John McFall will present another cast of emerging choreographers in the Company’s now annual production New Choreographic Voices(NCV) – a mixed repertory program featuring two world premieres and an Atlanta Ballet premiere on the Alliance Stage at The Woodruff Arts Center May 18 thru May 20.

The three standout chorographers, including AB dancer Tara Lee, combine classical dance with daring new movement, music, and diversity that McFall describes as “emotional, inspiring, and intellectually stirring.”

This year’s production marks the second season Atlanta Ballet will present the edgy program of premieres. Last season’s show, which was then titled Ignition: New Choreographic Voices, featured three world premieres, including the powerful, Atlanta-inspired “Home in 7” by choreographer Amy Seiwert.

Tara Lee’s “Pavo” – World Premiere | Original Score by Atlantan Nickitas Demos (Performed Live)

Best known as a company dancer in her 16th season with Atlanta Ballet, Tara Lee has proven that she’s as dynamic offstage as she is on.


Artistic Director John McFall has commissioned Lee three times to create new works for the Atlanta Ballet.  Her last creation for the ensemble was in 2004, and now Lee returns with the world premiere of “Pavo” – a unique alliance of classical and contemporary movement styles inspired by the beauty and symbolism of the peacock.


“I came across an article about the spiritual significance of the peacock, and it ended up inspiring the central themes of the ballet,” said Lee. “The peacock has the ability to digest poisonous snakes, so it represents transforming one’s poisonous tendencies into something beautiful.”

Lee’s work is also marked by collaboration. Assisting her with the choreography and artistic direction is fellow company dancer Jesse Tyler.

“One of the best parts about this project has been working so closely with the dancers. They’ve been a huge part of the creative process and tremendous collaborators. I knew they were amazing before, but being able to step back and work with them in this capacity has made me appreciate their artistry even more.”

To accompany her choreography, Lee commissioned Georgia State University professor Nickitas Demos to create an original score for the work, which will be performed live by Atlanta DJ Jen Mitchell and percussionist, saxophonist and cellist from the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra.

Helen Pickett’s “Prayer of Touch” – World Premiere | Music by Felix Mendelssohn

After an overwhelming response from last season’s Atlanta Ballet debut ofPetal,” choreographer Helen Pickett is back with a world premiere titled “Prayer of Touch,” set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn.


“When I set ‘Petallast year for Atlanta Ballet, it was my privilege to work with these passionately connected individuals,” said Pickett. “I felt their bounteous energy fill the rehearsal studio and watched it pour over the edges of the stage. ‘Prayer of Touch,’ my second commission for Atlanta Ballet, explores not only the desire, but also the necessity we have for connection. We present this ballet to you, an offering that reveals who we are.”


Christopher Wheeldon’s “Rush” – Atlanta Ballet Premiere | Music by Bohuslav Martinu

Atlanta Ballet closes its 11-12 season of choreographic giants with the premiere of “Rush” by famed dancemaker Christopher Wheeldon. Wheeldon, who has been regarded as one of today’s most innovative contemporary ballet choreographers, creates a wistful, neo-classical homage to the traditional pas de deux that has been described as “ardent, enigmatic, energetic, and highly technical” since its debut by San Francisco Ballet in 2003.

“Mr. Wheeldon’s ‘Rush’ emerges as one of the most vividly satisfying constructions by him or any other ballet choreographer in this decade,” said New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay in a 2008 review.

Tickets start as low as $20 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit

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