Atlanta Ballet presents “Heart/Beat: Gospel, Brubeck & Rhythms of the City” during Black History Month

The sweeping rhythms and infectious energy of jazz and gospel music intertwine the three works that make up Atlanta Ballet’s February program. For two weekends (Feb. 7-9, 14-16), Atlanta audiences will have the opportunity to witness the Atlanta Ballet debuts of Alexander Ekman’s Tuplet and Lar Lubovitch’s Elemental Brubeck, in addition to a one-of-a-kind collaboration of live music and dance as the company shares the stage with a live gospel choir and various musicians in Dwight Rhoden’s powerful world premiere.

“I wanted to find a way to present ballet in a way that would resonate with and bring together diverse audiences within the metro Atlanta community,” says Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin. “Featuring digital innovations, as well as modern-day arrangements of traditional jazz and gospel, the works in this program, will give patrons the chance to experience a special collaboration of new movement in music and dance.”

Following Atlanta Ballet’s popular performance of Cacti last season, Alexander Ekman returns with Tuplet, an explosive and inventive work. Using their own bodies as percussion instruments, the dancers generate driving tempos that, when intermixed with popular jazz standards and an original electronic track, create an immersive, symphonic experience.

Described as a performance for the soul, Atlanta Ballet welcomes Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Co-Founder Dwight Rhoden for a special world premiere, titled Sunrise Divine. Under the direction of Kevin Johnson, members of the Spelman College Glee Club and the Golden Gate Singers will share the stage with Atlanta Ballet dancers, along with appearances from sopranos Hanan Davis and Julia Dennis, recording artist Kevin Thomas, and Lydia Pace of the well-known gospel group The Anointed Pace Sisters. The performance will feature traditional and beloved gospel songs such as “Steal Away,” “Deep River,” and “Wade in the Water,” as well as a gospel tribute to Walter Hawkins and new music commissioned for this performance. Also included in the work is an arrangement of music originally performed by the Golden Gate Quartet.

Atlanta Ballet’s mixed repertory program, Heart/Beat, runs for six performances from Friday, February 7 to Sunday, February 15 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre – 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339. To purchase tickets, visit www.atlantaballet.com or call 404-892-3303.

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