For the love of dance: Atlanta Ballet gears up for magical season
by Stacey L. Evans
Cobb Life Magazine
October 02, 2011 12:00 AM | 2775 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 2011-12 season of the Atlanta Ballet opens Oct. 21 at the Cobb Energy Centre with ‘The Four Seasons.’ A highlight of the season includes a ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ with Twyla Tharp. It will be the first time Tharp has used children in a full-length ballet in her 50-year career. Above: Dancers perform a winter scene in ‘Four Seasons.’<br>Special/Atlanta Ballet
The 2011-12 season of the Atlanta Ballet opens Oct. 21 at the Cobb Energy Centre with ‘The Four Seasons.’ A highlight of the season includes a ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ with Twyla Tharp. It will be the first time Tharp has used children in a full-length ballet in her 50-year career. Above: Dancers perform a winter scene in ‘Four Seasons.’
Special/Atlanta Ballet
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“Startling, imaginative, very unique and special.”

These are words Artistic Director John McFall used to describe the upcoming 2011-12 season of the Atlanta Ballet, whose home is the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

“The earmark for the season that kind of distinguishes it overall is that we’re presenting choreographers from all around the globe that we haven’t had the privilege of ringing into our repertoire,” McFall said. “So you don’t have to travel to Paris or London or Amsterdam or wherever — we’re going to bring the experience right here to Atlanta and the region.”

One of the most talked about and anticipated shows of the season is a world premiere collaboration with the renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp entitled “The Princess and the Goblin.” The ballet, based on the story by George MacDonald, is the first time Tharp has used children in a full-length ballet in her 50-year career. The fairytale is a sort of coming of age story following a young heroine who, along with her friend, fights off the goblins that are trying to kidnap her.

With more than 135 dances, Hollywood movies such as “Hair,” “Amadeus,” and “Ragtime” and Broadway shows such as “Movin’ Out” (for which she won a Tony Award) under her belt, Tharp’s work has spanned genres and generations.

“Twyla frankly is a force in dance,” McFall said. “She’s as fresh, as unique, as imaginative as ever. When you bring Twyla into the studios, she’s a dynamo. She’s really nose-to-nose with the dancers. I haven’t seen the dancers in the Atlanta Ballet look quite like this before, and it’s been an extraordinary adventure for all of us.”

Ballet fans will certainly line up for the Twyla Tharp world premiere, but what can someone who’s never been to a ballet before expect from any of the season’s lineup?

“It’s going to blow you away,” said McFall. “It’s not anything you’ve ever thought it was going to be. It’s going to captivate you, it’s going to inspire you, it will probably startle you with how athletic it is, how filled with motion and vibrancy, how romantic it can be, how filled with feelings, emotions, thoughts.”

The season opens with The Four Seasons, which journeys through the phases of life. The season also features classics “The Nutcracker” (at the Fox Theatre) and “Snow White,” as new pieces such as “Man in Black,” which is set to the music of Johnny Cash.

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