Atlanta Ballet shakes things up with Shakespeare tragedies, Williams melodrama and more


Atlanta Ballet shakes things up with Shakespeare tragedies, Williams melodrama and more

Atlanta Ballet’s 2013-14 lineup

(At Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre unless noted.)

  • Dec. 6-29: “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” (with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra) at the Fox Theatre
  • Dec. 19: “The Nutty Nutcracker” at the Fox Theatre
  • Feb. 15-16, 2014: “Pinocchio,” a one-hour family performance presented by the Atlanta Ballet Fellowship Ensemble
  • Feb. 7–15, 2014: “Romeo et Juliette” (with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra)
  • March 21-23, 2014: “Modern Choreographic Voices”
  • April 11-13, 2014: “Hamlet” (with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra)
  • May 16-18, 2014: Helen Pickett’s “Camino Real” and a new work by Tara Lee


More information: 404-873-5811,

Two classic Shakespeare tragedies and a host of new choreography, including a world premiere based on a Tennessee Williams play, highlight the Atlanta Ballet 2013-14 season, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

The lineup, being officially announced at a board luncheon Thursday at Four Seasons Atlanta, includes the full-evening ballets “Romeo et Juliette” and “Hamlet” as well as resident choreographer Helen Pickett’s adaptation of Williams’ “Camino Real.”

Premiered at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Romeo et Juliette” has been performed by only one other American company, Pacific Northwest Ballet. It focuses more on the extreme emotions of the young lovers than the sociopolitical fracture between their two clans.

“Hamlet” is an interpretation by Stephen Mills, artistic director of Ballet Austin in Texas, featuring the music of Philip Glass. (By coincidence, Glass will be an artist in residence at Emory University next season, and his work will be the focus of a celebration throughout the fall at the school.)

New Yorker Pickett was appointed resident choreographer late last year. “Camino Real,” a 1953 melodrama by Williams that deals with issues of mortality and human connection, will be her third work for Atlanta Ballet, after “Petal” and “Prayer of Touch.” A new piece by longtime Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee will complete the program.

The company again will dance a work by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, the inventor of the “gaga” style of movement, whose “Secus” will be featured during the annual “Modern Choreographic Voices” program (formerly “New Choreographic Voices”). In the first of a three-year collaboration, Naharin’s “Minus 16” was featured in Atlanta Ballet’s program just last weekend at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

“Modern Choreographic Voices” also will feature “Seven Sonatas” by American Ballet Theatre’s Alexei Ratmansky and an encore of Jorma Elo’s “1st Flash.”

Of course, no Atlanta Ballet lineup could exist without “Nutcracker,” which will open the season for the second year in a row. Magician Drew Thomas, who as a consultant added illusions to last year’s production, will return and this time will perform the role of the mysterious, magicianlike Drosselmeyer.

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