You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

AJC exclusive: Atlanta Ballet 2, a new training ensemble, will debut this fall


The spirit of Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi troupe — the former off-season company known for outdoor performances — has found a home in Atlanta Ballet 2, a new training ensemble aiming to bridge the gap between school and company. The troupe of 14 talented young dancers from across the globe will debut next season with the world premiere of Bruce Wells’ “Beauty and the Beast” and a new series of performances around town, including outdoor offerings in concert with Mother Nature.

Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin will announce the new ensemble Saturday evening, May 20, at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education’s 20th anniversary gala celebration at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Like the school’s current Fellowship training program, Atlanta Ballet 2 aims to prepare talented, top-level students, ages 17-21, for professional careers with Atlanta Ballet and elsewhere. It will also fill out the ranks of large-cast company productions.

RELATED: 13 dancers leaving Atlanta Ballet after first year with new director

RELATED: Former Atlanta Ballet dancers form new dance company

Many professional dance companies have second companies. Atlanta Ballet 2 resembles these troupes, while emphasizing training and education. It’s designed to give young dancers a chance to experience the demands of life as a professional dancer, to strengthen their technique through intensive training, and to develop their artistry through performing.

Former Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, who danced with Joffrey II early in her career, explained how the experience prepared her for a professional career.

“You learn how to pace yourself throughout the day,” she said. “You learn to run all types of repertory, how to use class as a support, and how to facilitate a choreographer’s creative process.” Professional dancers tend to receive fewer corrections from teachers, she said. “You learn how to be your own teacher.”

Atlanta Ballet’s Fellowship program was established in 1997 to achieve similar goals, and to meet the company’s needs for dancers in large-scale productions. At that time, the school’s top students weren’t quite ready for the professional stage, said Sharon Story, dean of Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education. She helped develop a program offering special classes and company classes tuition-free, with a stipend and dance shoes provided. At first, Fellowship dancers also performed early morning school shows, which phased out as the company needed more dancers for larger story ballets.

In recent years, Atlanta Ballet’s repertory turned to smaller-cast ensemble works, which reduced the need for Fellowship students. Work for them became more sporadic, Story said. Three or four weeks often went by without a full day of rehearsals.

The inconsistent schedule made it difficult for Fellowship students to stay in top physical condition. As Nedvigin planned the company’s 2017-18 season, featuring “The Nutcracker,” “Don Quixote,” Act III from “Swan Lake” and three more world premieres — plus rehearsals for Yuri Possokhov’s new “Nutcracker” — it became clear that the students needed more consistent training, Story said.

RELATED: Atlanta Ballet unveils 2017-18 season under new artistic director

In addition, dancers needed to be ready to compete for spots in the company. “We had to make sure that they were as invested in us as we were invested in them,” Story said. PNC Financial Services Group, a patron of the school’s outreach and community programs, is providing substantial support.

Atlanta Ballet 2 offers dancers a full-time, 36-week contract and training program that will run parallel to the main company’s 38-week contract. The students’ daily schedule will run consistently with the company’s. Students will have a dedicated teacher, or coach, and will take additional classes in partnering, contemporary dance, character dance and repertory variations.

When they’re not in class, or rehearsing with the main company, AB2 dancers will be preparing a series of hourlong concerts for performances in venues across the metro area and perhaps the region. 

Nedvigin looks forward to bringing in emerging dance-makers — and company members who want to choreograph — to experiment with AB2 dancers, refine their crafts and possibly contend for main company commissions. Venues, such as Kennesaw State University’s Dance Theaterthe High Museum of Art, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, are the kinds of gateways Nedvigin seeks to cultivate audiences and discover new talent. 

 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Privileged child steals for the thrill
Privileged child steals for the thrill

Q: We’ve just been informed that our 7-year-old son has been effectively “expelled” from the private school he attended last year because of repeated instances of stealing small items from classmates and, on one occasion, from the teacher’s desk. We’re rather shocked because our son was the highest-performing student in...
Anxiety and depression do not define who we are
Anxiety and depression do not define who we are

Hi. My name is Patricia and I am a recovering anxious Christian. I hid behind the smile and said everything was great, even though my world was falling apart. I lied to myself that I could handle one more item on my to-do list, even though I knew I was about to hit a wall and crash. And I believed that my anxious days were behind me, only to find out...
Faith calendar
Faith calendar

Back-to-school and health fair: Students of all ages and parents from the West End will have access to gently used uniforms and books, free haircuts, informational breakout sessions, health and wellness resources, children’s activities and more during a back-to-school and health fair. Supplies will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve...
Valerie Hoff sues 11Alive over recent termination for social media N-word usage
Valerie Hoff sues 11Alive over recent termination for social media N-word usage

Valerie Hoff worked at 11Alive for 18 years. CREDIT: publicity photo This was posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Valerie Hoff, a former veteran 11Alive reporter, has sued the NBC affiliate for what she deemed “breach of contract” after she was forced...
Bossip TV show on WE-TV shooting in Atlanta for summer test run
Bossip TV show on WE-TV shooting in Atlanta for summer test run

The Bossip on WE crew. (Left-right) comedy contributor Ronnie Jordan, associate editor Alex Ford, Mara “The Hip Hop Socialite,” comedy contributor Tyler, associate editor Danielle “Dani” Canada, managing editor Janee Bolden, associate editor Jason Lee) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com This was posted...
More Stories