For its third production of the 2015-16 season, Atlanta Ballet presents 20|20: Visionary, a mash-up of cultures and styles reflective of the vibrant diversity of the city. Audiences are invited to witness Atlanta’s own dynamic and innovative Company as it carves out a place on the leading edge of dance. The production, which runs for one weekend only March 18-20 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, will feature three distinct works, each created exclusively for Atlanta Ballet, promising a variety of movement, music and diverse themes.
Amy Seiwert’s “Home in 7,”
Atlanta is the inspiration behind choreographer Amy Seiwert’s provocative “Home in 7,”which brings the southern, international city to life through spoken word, music and movement. The work was originally a world premiere on Atlanta Ballet’s 2010 program, Ignition, and was the result of a request from AB artistic director John McFall to create a ballet that would be unique to and reflective of Atlanta.
Despite having never visited the city, Seiwert accepted the challenge, but not without help. She teamed up with friends and fellow artists Daniel Bernard Roumain, acclaimed composer and violinist noted for blending funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music, and prize-winning poet and Morehouse graduate Marc Bamuthi Joseph,who penned seven poems about Atlanta that would become a framework for the creation.
“This collaboration has been unlike anything I’ve ever undertaken,” said Seiwert in 2010. “Bamuthi composed this gift of poetry, weaving a landscape of Atlanta. This poetry leads me on a journey from laughter to tears to hope, and transforming these words into a physical manifestation challenged me in incredible ways. I am a better choreographer, artist and person because of this opportunity.”
Through Joseph’s seven poems, as the title “Home in 7” suggests, the piece visits various aspects of Atlanta, from Southern belles and the Atlanta Braves to more intense themes and historical references.
Darrell Grand Moultrie’s “Boiling Point”
Created in 2008 for Atlanta Ballet by choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, “Boiling Point” is a buoyant, fast-paced work that heats up the stage as dancers push their bodies to their limits, showcasing the searing, demanding athleticism of dance.
“My inspiration came from the music,” said Moultrie. “There is a journey of when you’re making tea and it starts calm, and it climaxes and reaches to a point. I wanted to use that through movement and take this journey to pushing dancers to physical heights that they haven’t reached before.”
Moultrie has emerged as one of America’s most sought-after choreographers and master teachers. Not one to be pigeonholed into any particular genre, Moultrie has carved out an impressive career that seamlessly weaves his choreographic talents through multiple genres and even includes work with Beyoncé and Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus.
“Playground” by Douglas Lee
Acclaimed British choreographer Douglas Lee, whose dances have been performed by prominent companies around the world, including New York City Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and now Atlanta Ballet, will debut his new work “Playground.”
The dancer-turned-dance maker joins Atlanta Ballet after recently being nominated for three Golden Mask Awards, a prestigious National Theatre Award established by the Theatre Union of Russia, for his choreography.
In “Playground,” which was created for and on Atlanta Ballet dancers, Lee explores the idea of play, drawing upon his nostalgic feeling for the past and harkening back to the playfulness of childhood memories.
“I wanted to incorporate this idea of play into the piece that there are some moments that are fun, light, energetic and almost exuberant and then there’s this sort of darker, more sinister side, which are my associations that I have with childhood now,” said Lee of his inspiration behind the work. “Throughout the piece there are shifting episodes of light and dark.”
For more information on 20|20: Visionary, including video, photos and behind the scenes footage, visitwww.atlantaballet.com. Tickets start as low as $25 and are on-sale now. To order online, visit http://www.atlantaballet.com. Groups of 10+ may call Atlanta Ballet Group Sales at (404) 873-5811 ext. 207.