The 2015 edition of “Mayhem,” Atlanta Ballet’s final concert of the 2014-15 season, presents theatre-goers at the Cobb Energy Center with a true mixed-repertoire program of classical and modern works that challenge the dancers and delight the audience. While the performers never physically enter the audience, the company manages to interact with it on a number of levels, intellectually and emotionally.
The curtain opens to reveal a stage lit with beautiful pendant strings of golden light for John Heginbotham’s “Angels’ Share,” a ballet I first saw in last summer’s iteration by Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi at the Botanical Garden. At that time, I thought the ballet was thirsting for a proscenium stage and dancers en pointe, and it now has that and more. There were intriguing gestures descriptive of wings, a cyclical ebb and flow of energy, and five dancers hinting at classical ballet but with unexpected contrasts, including the pairing of the exquisitely understated, delicate, and lyrical Yoomi Kim with the more overt, percussive energy of Kiara Felder. Although the skirts of the women’s costumes seemed a bit restrictive, the dancing was strong. The male trio of Miguel Angel Montoya, Benjamin Stone, and Jared Tan was powerful and confident, but their movement was less memorable than that of the women. Lagniappe: von Dohnanyi’s poignant music is played by a string trio. Atlanta Ballet has been exceptionally generous with live music recently, and the constructive interaction between the musicians and dancers always ratchets up the interest level.