After 25 years of performing “The Nutcracker” at the Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Ballet will move its 2020 production of the Christmas classic to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
“While we love the Fox and we are a bit sad to leave it, and it’s beautiful for its historic qualities, at the end of day it will be a more satisfying audience experience for the people who attend the Nutcracker from 2020 and beyond,” said Arturo Jacobus, president and CEO of Atlanta Ballet.
The Atlanta Ballet has staged more than 500 performances of “The Nutcracker” at the Fox, the midtown performing arts palace that is perhaps Atlanta’s most historic venue.
Seeing the fantastical tale at the Fox has been a holiday tradition for many families.
The final run of the “The Nutcracker” at the Fox will take place Dec. 7-24, 2019.
The ballet company has presented three different versions of the magical tale at the Fox, a larger venue that seats 4,665. The first was created by George Balanchine and staged by Atlanta Ballet artistic director emeritus Robert Barnett.
It moved to the Fox in 1994; previous to that it was performed at the Civic Center.
In 1995 former artistic director John McFall provided his own version, which was performed by the ballet company for the next two decades.
Last year the ballet company, under the guidance of new artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin, debuted their latest version of “The Nutcracker,” with choreography by Yuri Possokhov.
Most of the Atlanta Ballet’s performances take place at the smaller Cobb venue, where it is a resident company. The Cobb Energy Centre has a seating capacity of 2,750.
Some of the technical aspects of the show will be easier to perform in Cobb, said Jacobus. The Cobb Center has a bigger loading dock and more storage capacity in the wings. “They have all the accoutrement of a high-tech theater.”
In addition, seats in the orchestra at the Cobb facility are raked and staggered, producing better sight lines, he said.
The Atlanta Ballet was given access to more performance dates by the Cobb center, making room for 30 possible performances as opposed to 19, said Jacobus. Significantly, more of those could be weekend performances, which sell more briskly than week-day shows.
“We’ve been in negotiation with Cobb for over a year,” said Jacobus.
Tricia Ekholm, chief marketing officer for the dance company, said they expect significant demand for the 2019 performances at the Fox. “We’ll see a little bit of a run on seats, with families that want that last experience at the Fox.”
Ekholm said tickets for the 2019 performances went on sale in June, and plenty of seats are still available.
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