Two obvious things about Atlanta Ballet’s “Best of Modern Choreographic Voices” are the difficulty of the three pieces and the proficiency of their performance. It’s unbelievable that the dancers aren’t lying gasping on the stage after the first one, begging for water and carbs. And yet, they keep coming back and giving the audience more, with the same focused energy, the same attention to detail, and the same enthusiasm. The dancers are having a great time, and that means the audience is, too.
John McFall, Artistic Director of the Atlanta Ballet, has developed a reputation for bringing both new and experienced contemporary choreographers’ works to the stage throughout each season, and this year’s “Modern Choreograpic Voices” continues the tradition. However, this year’s program includes only works Atlanta has seen before. This is not a negative. The three works on this year’s program are impeccably crafted. There is so much going on at once that it’s impossible to watch everything at once. Dance fans should embrace the opportunity to revisit them. I love mixed-repertoire performances and the opportunity they bring to see the work of several choreographers in the same evening, as well as to watch how the dancers from a single company handle the various styles and choreographic demands. What I like least is the absence of an orchestra, even though sometimes recorded music is required for its special effects. While I mourned the missing Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, this time there was an unexpected gift of live music.