Chronology

1929 Dorothy Alexander Concert Group, the nation’s first regional ballet company, opens its doors.

1943 Support from local citizens during the first twelve years is strong. The Company changes its name to more accurately reflect the contribution that the ballet is having on not only Atlanta, but the South as a whole. The new name is the Atlanta Civic Ballet; Dorothy Alexander, Director.

1946 Atlanta Civic Ballet makes history by becoming the first dance company in the nation to help fund a symphony. The season’s annual proceeds are donated to the Atlanta Youth Symphony (to become the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra).

1947 Dorothy Alexander is named Atlanta Woman of the Year in Arts.

1953 Over the next two years, the Company makes two USO trips. The trips include stops in Bermuda, Azores, Iceland, Japan, Korea and Okinawa.

1954 The Atlanta Civic Ballet performs at the first Arts Festival in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.

1956 Atlanta hosts the nation’s first Regional Dance Festival. The annual festival continues today under the umbrella of Regional Dance America.

1958 New York City Ballet soloist Robert Barnett joins the Atlanta Civic Ballet as a principal dancer and associate director.

1959 Barnett receives permission from George Balanchine for the Atlanta Civic Ballet to use his choreography for The Nutcracker and Serenade. Atlanta Civic Ballet is the only regional company to perform the New York City Ballet’s signature piece, The Nutcracker, at the time.

1962 A year after Dorothy Alexander retires as Artistic Director, Robert Barnett assumes the role. Alexander continues to be active with the company as an advisor.

1965 Over the next two years, the company will be among the first in the nation to perform Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

1967 The company gains professional status and becomes Atlanta Ballet, Inc.

1972 The company makes its first New York appearance at the Delacorte Theater during the New York Dance Festival.

1973 Governor Jimmy Carter proclaims Atlanta Ballet the State Ballet Company of Georgia. Dorothy Alexander also receives the National Endowment for the Arts Award.

1979 Atlanta Ballet celebrates its 50th Anniversary, having grown to a nationally-recognized professional company with 25 dancers and apprentices.

1980 Gil Boggs, principal dancer with Atlanta Ballet, heads the U.S. delegation to the International Ballet Competition of Varna, Bulgaria. Robert Barnett and ballet master Mannie Rowe serve as official coaches for the U.S. The following year, Barnett will serve as head coach in Moscow.

1981 Dorothy Alexander receives the highest achievement in dance, the Capezio Award.

1982 Robert Barnett receives a Governor’s Award for the Arts.

1983 Atlanta Ballet is selected for residency at New York City’s Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. The contract continues for five years.

1990 Atlanta Ballet visits Taipei at the invitation of the Minister of Culture.

1994 Robert Barnett retires from Atlanta Ballet and John McFall, celebrated for his imagination and innovation, is appointed the company’s third Artistic Director.

1996 Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education is founded under the direction of Sharon Story. The school is one of the largest and most respected in the nation. The following year, a satellite location in Buckhead is opened as the school merges with the Atlanta School of Ballet. During this summer, the Company performs at the Cultural Olympiad as part of the Atlanta Olympic Games.

1999 London audiences are captivated by the Atlanta Ballet’s performance of McFall’s Peter Pan as the centerpiece for the Royal Festival Halls’ Millennium Celebration.

2001 Atlanta Ballet premieres Shed Your Skin: The Indigo Girls Project. The unique performance combines a live rock band with 21 dancers.

2003 The Centre for Dance Education is awarded full accreditation status from the National Association of Schools of Dance. The Centre is the only accredited dance school in the state of Georgia, and one of only nine schools affiliated with a professional dance company in the nation to receive this status.

2004 John McFall celebrates his tenth year with Atlanta Ballet and introduces Jupiter, which uses Mozart's last two symphonies to showcase the unique qualities of Atlanta Ballet's dancers. Also new is McFall's Stella, which is set to Ravel's Bolero. It features only six dancers, but highlights different strengths and qualities creating a sense of mixed-energy, movement and relationship.

2005 A full evening of ballet classic Swan Lake is presented for the first time in more than 10 years. Atlanta Ballet forges relationships with innovative choreographers like Christopher Hampson, Lauri Stallings, and dance icon Violette Verdy.

2006 The Centre for Dance Education opens its second satellite location in Cobb County.

2007 Atlanta Ballet premieres the groundbreaking The Great Gatsby, co-choreographed by John McFall and Lauri Stallings and set to original jazz music of the era. Also premiered is Lauri Stallings’s bekken/the drum also waltzes.

2008 Atlanta Ballet premieres big, the innovative collaboration with Antwan "Big Boi" Patton of OutKast. It was an event unlike anything Atlanta Ballet has ever brought to the stage - the fusion of live hip-hop sounds with the visual of Atlanta Ballet's exquisite dancers.

2009 Celebration begins for a year of anniversaries: 80 years of Atlanta Ballet, 50 years of Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker, and 15 years with Artistic Director John McFall.

2012 Atlanta Ballet performs the world premiere of Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the Goblin, created by the legendary chroreographer of Come Fly Away and Movin' Out.  The full-evening story ballet, created through a partnership with Atlanta Ballet and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, marks the first time Tharp has ever worked with children.  The ballet featured young dancers from Atlanta Ballet's own Centre for Dance Education.