To make it official, there will be an open house and ribbon-cutting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at its studio at 49 West Park Square at Mill Street. Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin is scheduled to serve as the event’s guest of honor.
“The name change has been in the making for several years,” board president Leslie Moss said.
“As we began approaching this milestone season, it just seemed like the right time. By changing to Georgia Metropolitan, our new name would help us to reach out to a larger community and geographical area. This would allow us to build upon what Ruth Mitchell started 55 years ago.”
Artistic director Lisa Toup said the name change should also improve the company’s chances of winning performing arts grants.
“When it comes to grants and those types of things, it’s a little bit more difficult to accomplish your goals when there’s a name involved versus having something to do with a city or state,” she said.
“But basically it’s to broaden the company’s scope.”
Founded in 1956 by Atlanta dance pioneer Ruth Mitchell, the dance company is one of Georgia’s oldest non-profit arts organizations. Mitchell is “thrilled” about the name change, Toup said.
“In fact, she had suggested this a long time ago, feeling that we needed to look in a broader way to what we were doing,” Toup said.
GMDT will remain on the Square, housed in the studios of the Georgia Dance Conservatory, as it has been for nearly 25 years. It will also continue to perform in the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center in Marietta, according to the company.
The company comprises 170 professional and pre-professional dancers. Former students have gone on to perform with the Boston Ballet, Martha Graham and on Broadway. Each year, the dancers perform three major productions, including a fall concert, “The Nutcracker,” and a spring ballet.
GMDT’s 55th season will begin Sept. 24-25 with a repertoire show titled, “55.” The annual “The Nutcracker” performance will follow during Thanksgiving weekend, and a production of “Peter Pan” is scheduled in March.
Regular tickets are $24 for adults and $22 for seniors, students and children. To order tickets, call (770) 426-0007 or visit www.ruthmitchelldance.org.