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For 77 years, Atlanta has had a ballet company of its own- a Company that has truly embodied the spirit, resilience and joy of this city. We're the Company we are today thanks to the vision, grace and stamina of pioneer Dorothy Alexander, who was the very first in the nation to believe that smaller communities could have their own dance companies. In 1929, she launched the Dorothy Alexander Concert Group (rehearsals were held in her garage), which later became the Atlanta Civic Ballet and finally, in 1967, Atlanta Ballet. Miss Dorothy guided her dance company for more than three decades before hand picking her successor, the brilliant Robert Barnett. And I followed Robert, being named the Company's third Artistic Director in 1994. Much has changed since 1929. Today, Atlanta Ballet is one of the nation's premier professional ballet companies, recognized for the artistry of our dancers and our innovative programming. We are as diverse and provocative as the city we call home.
1400 West Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
Atlanta Ballet was founded seven
decades ago by dance visionary Dorothy Alexander (1904-1986). Miss Dorothy had a dream of bringing quality ballet to the Atlanta community. The result
was the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group- the first step in the regional ballet movement that swept the nation. Upon gaining professional status
in 1967, the company was renamed Atlanta Ballet. Today, under the artistic leadership of John McFall, Atlanta Ballet is the oldest professional dance
company in America, the largest self-supported arts organization in Georgia and official Ballet of Georgia.
Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans the history of ballet; highlighted by the most beloved classics and the most inventive originals. Although a renowned leader in the promotion and education of dance, Atlanta Ballet's roots have been firmly grounded in the community and playing a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization.
The Company has also served as an ambassador for Atlanta nationally and internationally, performing around the globe-from the stages of Taipei in Taiwan to the Presidential Palace and the Sejong Cultural Arts Center in Seoul, Korea. In 1996, the Company performed during the Olympic Arts Festival/Cultural Olympiad and in 1999 Atlanta Ballet debuted in London performing John McFall's enchanting Peter Pan as the centerpiece of Royal Festival Hall's millennium celebration.
In 1958, Miss Dorothy invited Robert Barnett, a soloist with the acclaimed New York City Ballet and a protege of George Balanchine, to join the Company as a principal dancer. Upon her retirement in 1963, Barnett was named artistic director and introduced many Balanchine masterworks into the repertoire including The Nutcracker. For more than 30 years Barnett expanded Miss Dorothy's dream of excellence.
John McFall became the Ballet's third artistic director in 1994. McFall's imagination and innovative vision have brought contemporary and modern dance premieres, numerous new full-length ballets and several world premiere productions to Atlanta. His pioneering spirit has inspired collaborations between the Indigo Girls, The Red Clay Ramblers, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Choir and the Michael O'Neal singers..
McFall has created an ensemble company of extraordinary professional dancers from every corner of the world including, Turkey, China, Mongolia, South Africa, Canada, and the United States. McFall is eager to provide the country's most innovative choreographers inclusing Christopher Hampson, Laurie Stallings and Violette Verdy with an artistic home, while exposing Georgia audiences to exciting new works.
In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education, dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity though different courses. The Centre offers classes for children as young as four, an acclaimed pre-professional division and a spectrum of colorful dance classes ranging from modern and jazz to swing and hip-hop. Students enrolled in the Centre program enjoy opportunities to perform with the professional Company. Students receive first priority in casting for roles in the Nutcracker as well as other productions.
The Centre for Dance Education also prides itself on its renowned community outreach programs. School programs have increased the spirit and grades of thousands of metro Atlanta school children. The Centre has been a tireless leader of dance education. In 2002, the Centre in collaboration with Several Dancers Core, Moving in the Spirit and Dance Educators of Georgia created The Teacher Training Institute (TTI). The mission is to certify teachers who will commit to dance and kinetic learning techniques as tools to develop skills in children who are challenged by traditional cognitive learning models. TTI will set the standard of excellence by developing the most qualified instructors in the region to teach in community enrichment programs.
Through endeavors such as these, Atlanta Ballet continues Miss Dorothy's vision. Atlanta Ballet commitment to dance education and performance has inspired by expressing its commitment to share and educate Atlanta the empowering joy of dance with audiences everywhere.
Approved on March 14, 1973, designated the Atlanta Ballet as the state ballet company.
Designating the Atlanta Ballet as the State Ballet Company; and for other purposes.
WHEREAS, the Atlanta Ballet, founded in 1929, is the oldest continually performing dance company in the United States; and
WHEREAS, in 1956, under the guidance of Dorothy Alexander, who is the founder of the Atlanta Ballet, the first Regional Festival was held in Atlanta; and
WHEREAS, the Atlanta Ballet has been named a Major Company by the National Association for Regional Ballet, in recognition of artistic achievement, contribution to dance, and to the performing arts of the State and nation; and
WHEREAS, the Atlanta Ballet is the only regularly "touring" dance company in the State, and has performed in practically every city and town in Georgia; and
WHEREAS, the Atlanta Ballet has toured the nation from Maine to Texas, and from Florida to Alaska; and
WHEREAS, without any financial assistance from a government agency, the Atlanta Ballet has continuously presented educational programs on dance in schools and for a wide range of civic groups throughout the State; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 1973, the Atlanta Ballet will receive a national tribute at a benefit performance, and the greatest names in the dance world will come to Atlanta to honor the dance company; and
WHEREAS, Georgians in all walks of life can take pride in the accomplishments and contributions made by the Atlanta Ballet.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the members of this Body do hereby commend the members of the Atlanta Ballet on their outstanding achievements and do hereby designate the Atlanta Ballet as the State Ballet Company.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the House of Representatives is hereby authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this Resolution to Mr. Robert Barnett, Director of the Atlanta Ballet.
Approval Date: Approved March 14, 1973.