20|20: Visionary — March 18-20, 2016
Featuring Boiling Point by Darrell Grand Moultrie, the world premiere of Playground by Douglas Lee & Home in 7 by choreographer Amy Seiwert, spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and composer/musician Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
Created just for Atlanta Ballet, 20|20 is a visionary mash-up of cultures and styles reflective of the vibrant diversity of our city. Take a look at the undeniable talent of Atlanta’s own dynamic and innovative Company as it carves out a place on the leading edge of dance!
Boiling Point is a fast-paced work that heats up the stage as dancers push their bodies to their limits and showcase the searing, demanding athleticism of dance. Since creating this thrilling tableau of sinewy power, Darrell Grand Moultrie has choreographed for megastar Beyoncé and Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus.
Witness the world premiere of Playground from acclaimed British choreographer Douglas Lee whose inspiring and kinetic works have been performed by prestigious companies around the world, including New York City Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and now Atlanta Ballet.
Home in 7 is an emotionally charged exploration of Atlanta featuring seven scenes touching on darker stories of the past to southern belles to baseball. Spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph and composer/musician Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) accompany the dancers live onstage at all performances.
*Home in 7 will be sign interpreted for the deaf/hard of hearing during the 20|20: Visionary performance on Saturday, March 19 at 2pm. Designated seats can be reserved online by clicking here or by calling 770.916.2852. Reserved seats are located in the Right Orchestra and the front right of the Center Orchestra.
Run time is approximately 2 hours and 8 minutes, including two 20-minute intermissions.
and Adele Davis Memorial Fund for New Works.
Program subject to change.
"Atlanta Ballet presents '20|20: Visionary' (2016);" video by Brian Wallenberg.
Home in 7 images feature Marc Bamuthi Joseph with Atlanta Ballet dancers Christian Clark, Pedro Gamino, Deonté Hansel, Tara Lee, and Christine Winkler. Boiling Point images feature Atlanta Ballet dancers Peng-Yu Chen, Tara Lee, Nadia Mara, and John Welker. All photos by Charlie McCullers. Playground rehearsal image features choreographer Douglas Lee with Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee.
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the first major performing arts facility built in metro Atlanta in four decades.
Location and Parking
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is located in northwest Atlanta near the junction of I-75 and I-285, at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road. Self parking is available on site for a $6 fee, and valet parking is available for select performances for a $10 fee. You can also pay for paking in advance online - click here for more information. Please do not park in the Toys"R"Us lot on Akers Mill Rd. This is not approved parking for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, so your car may be booted or towed if left there.
Emergency Phone Number
(770) 916-2911 is the 24-hour public safety number for the Cobb Energy Centre. Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that the house manager may find you in case of an emergency.
The venue is ADA compliant. Designated seats in various locations are available for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance. The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, elevators, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains. For more information, please call (770) 916-2800.
Community and Corporate Group Tickets
It only takes 10 people to benefit from Atlanta Ballet's Group Sales program. With our fast, friendly and convenient service, you can secure the best seats in the house in no time at all. Groups save up to 30% off regular prices!
Click here for details and to submit a request to Myredith Gonzales, Group Sales Manager.
"Clearly John McFall is not afraid to use his last season as the Atlanta Ballet’s artistic director to explore choreographies that stretch the ballet envelope far beyond tutus and tights. This was evident again with the recent staging of “20|20 Visionary,” a ballet in three parts..."
"...'Playground' showcased the dancers’ versatility and illuminated how much the company has grown and matured under McFall’s direction. Tara Lee, now in her 20th season, looked better than ever and Jackie Nash brought a raw power to the role I have never seen from her. Douglas Lee’s choice to create a ballet for five men and two women added another level of sophistication, as the traditional ballet gender roles muddied a bit. The men, especially Brandon Nguyen and Christian Clark in standout solos, seemed to revel in the sinewy, sensual movement. Masculinity and femininity — so often important in ballet — wasn’t so much redefined as it was refreshingly erased."
Lee still carries himself as a dancer, and his chemistry with the performers in his piece reflects his awareness that he was once where they are — he didn’t come to Atlanta to dictate, he came here to collaborate. He sat down with ArtsATL before a recent rehearsal to discuss “Playground,” and to talk about his journey as a dancer and a choreographer.
First presented in 2011, “Home in 7” is one of the most synergistic collaborations built under artistic director John McFall’s watch, and a prime example of McFall’s efforts to carve out a unique identity for the company by commissioning works that reflect Atlanta’s culture and history.
Joseph explained that the work owes its synergy, in part, to Atlanta Ballet dancers’ versatility, plus a certain “elasticity” that is a part of the hip-hop culture that surrounded Joseph and Roumain as they grew up.
Through seven vignettes, the piece [Home in 7] ruminated on everything Atlanta, from the Braves and Southern belles to red clay and the missing and murdered children case from the late seventies. Of all the pieces, this one was the best example of what the ballet should strive do more of in its coming seasons: works with local themes that help to give the proverbial voice to our city without aestheticizing the truth out of it. It’s something that San Francisco and New York certainly can never do.
Seiwert’s style was a welcome contrast to the previous work’s hypnotic flow. “Home in 7” sported clean, extended classical lines, a clear-cut sense of body shape in three-dimensional space, rich imagery and, not least, imaginative configurations of partners. Seiwert’s bold, sharp, kinetic style was attuned to rhythms of music and verse. Her movement met Joseph’s imagery but avoided interpreting the words too literally.
Home in 7 was powerful and thoroughly entertaining. Amy Seiwert seemed to be able to find the essence of the words spoken without mimicking them and took us on a journey with the poet. She had such a bold idea, but it was a gamble that paid off. The dancers once again showed us why they are Georgia’s best and Atlanta Ballet as a company impressed us with their courage to try something new. The piece has immense potential and should be toured across Georgia and shown again and again, as a tribute to this great state. Dancers and local US ‘Georgians’ alike couldn’t help but enjoy it. The work was so engaging that I wasn’t ready for it to finish when it did.
[T]his May premiere [Home in 7] was one of Atlanta Ballet’s most synergistic collaborations in recent years. Joseph’s poetry, inspired by his years as a college student in Atlanta, overlay images, memories and dreams. These merged with the tensions of Seiwert’s sculpted, architectural style, to Roumain’s soulful strains on electronic violin. The work brought forward aspects of the city’s history and culture — from the Atlanta Braves to Southern belles, through tragedy into triumph — and captured its ephemeral but indomitable spirit.
Outstanding! Every piece showcased the outstanding talent of Atlanta Valley's dancers. I particularly liked "Home in 7" having not seen it in 2011. It is definitely worth repeating. Amazing performance by all involved. The mixed media was intriguing and the spoken poetry was so beautiful that it brought me to tears. Every Atlantan should have an opportunity to see this piece. Thank you for a thoroughly delightful evening!
Being an Atlanta Ballet Season ticket holder for more than 35 years, this may have been the most disappointing performance that I have witnessed in that experience. Boiling Point was the highlight of the evening, showcasing the athleticism and talent of all dancers involved. Playground never quite achieved it's full potential and Home in 7 was offensive, ill-measured and chaotic. If shock value was your intention, it was a success. The message was condescending and poorly delivered, the poetry and music were distracting and took away from the dancers, which is my primary reason for attending and supporting the Atlanta Ballet.
A bit depressing
The dancing was absolutely beautiful and impressive as always. I felt that the show as a whole was a bit heavy and depressing. Boiling Point was great, powerful, athletic and intense at times. Playground didn't seem playful to me at all. And Home in 7 was not as good as I had remembered it from a previous season. I brought a friend and told her before the show how wonderful it was, but halfway through I felt like burying my head in my hands. It was depressing and somewhat embarrassing. I've been a subscriber and supporter for many years and this is the first time I've been truly disappointed.
Mix of extremes
Boiling Point was outstanding in every way. The other extreme was the last ballet which was quite disappointing: I am proud of living in Atlanta and in the South and of all we have accomplished here. Being lectured in a captive audience with stereotypical views of us was disappointing and distracting from the dancing.
Excellent Performances, Choreography and Music
My wife and I enjoyed 20/20 Visionary at the Saturday matinee. The dancers were, as always, incredible, and each set was beautifully done.
The final piece was an ambitious multi-media act with three types of performances going on simultaneously. It was amazing, but with so many excellent performers on stage at once, I didn't know where to pay attention at any given time. My suggestions: keep exploring this idea but give space to each performance type so that each supports the other more. Easier said than done, right?
So many talented people, but some standouts were John Welker, Tara Lee, Alessa Rogers, Heath Gill, Yoomi Kim and Brandon Nguyen. We were VERY impressed by newcomers Jordan Leeper, Devon Joslin and Ashley Wegmann. This company has a very bright future!
Show All 12 Reviews
Atlanta Ballet presents "20/20: Visionary" (2016)
Darrell Moultrie's Boiling Point 2016
Douglas Lee's "Playground" presented by Atlanta Ballet
Douglas Lee's Playground in Studio
Amy Seiwert's "Home in 7" (Atlanta Ballet 2016)
Home in 7 Teaser (Atlanta Ballet)
Choreographer, Playground (world premiere)
Douglas Lee was born in England and started his ballet training at the Arts Educational School London and then received a scholarship for the Royal Ballet School where he graduated in 1996, winning the Alicia Markova Award. In the Fall of 1996, Douglas Lee, joined the Stuttgart ballet and became principal in 2002. Douglas Lee made his choreographic debut in February 1999 for the Stuttgart-based Noverre Society’s “Young Choreographers,” upon which he was commissioned to create a new work for the Stuttgart Ballet. Lee’s second and third work for the Stuttgart Ballet followed in 2001/2002 in the Playhouse. Through his consistent collaboration with the Stuttgart dancers, Lee has developed a distinct choreographic voice, which is characterized by stunning sculptural images created by the use of exquisite and complex partnering and a masterful use of the classical vocabulary. Following his successes in Stuttgart, Douglas Lee became a freelance choreographer and began choreographing internationally. His creation Fanfare LX for the Stuttgart Ballet was taken into the repertoire of the Staatsballett Berlin. He created Fractured Wake and returned to create 5 for Silver for the Norwegian National Ballet, Rubicon Play for the Royal ballet of Flanders, and Lifecasting for the New York City Ballet, which was shortlisted in Time Out NY as one of the outstanding dance works of 2009 and taken into the Stuttgart Ballet repertoire. Douglas Lee has been nominated for 3 Golden Mask Awards for his choreography. (Photo courtesy of kcdancefestival.com.)
Darrell Grand Moultrie
Choreographer, Boiling Point
Darrell Grand Moultrie has quickly 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. Most recently Grammy Award winning artist Beyoncé selected Darrell as one of her choreographers for her Mrs. Carter World Tour and Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus tapped Darrell to choreograph the original musical Witness Uganda at American Repertory Theater that she directed. A proud recipient of the 2007 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award, Darrell’s work has been performed by Ailey 2, The Juilliard School, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, BalletMet Columbus, Milwaukee Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Rasta Thomas and his Bad Boys of Dance, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet X, Ballet Arkansas, and Smuin Ballet. This year he will set world premieres for Dance Theatre of Harlem, Richmond Ballet, The Boston Conservatory, and The Oregon Ballet Theater. Darrell was approached by Central Park SummerStage’s dance curator to choreograph under his own moniker, inspiring him to form the pick-up company — Dance Grand Moultrie, which premiered in Central Park in July 2011. Dance Magazine’s Wendy Perron raved of the premiere, "The Melting Pot gave further opportunity to see his unique blend of movements: big moves juxtaposed with small, sensual gestures… Going to see dance at SummerStage is always a pleasant way to spend a summer night—and it’s free. When the program is this good, you can’t believe your luck." Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet comments, "What makes Darrell unique as a choreographer is that he knows how to get to the soul of a performer. His work is well-crafted and theatrical and even in abstract pieces, he makes you feel as though you are following a story. With an innate sense of timing he takes his audience on a journey that ends in pure satisfaction." Darrell has taught and choreographed at many prestigious institutions across the United States, including The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, Dance Theatre of Harlem, CalArts, Point Park Conservatory of Performing Arts, University of Nevada, COCA St. Louis, and Perry Mansfield. He also served as the director of musical theatre at the Harbor Conservatory of the Performing Arts. As a performer, Darrell was part of the original cast of the hit musical Billy Elliot on Broadway. He has also been seen in West Side Story in Milan, Italy, at the world famous La Scala Opera House, and was a part of the original workshops of the Public Theatre’s Radiant Baby directed by George C. Wolfe, Sweet Charity, and The Color Purple. He was seen on Broadway in the smash hits Hairspray The Musical with Harvey Fierstein and AIDA, where he understudied the role of Mereb and performed opposite Toni Braxton. Darrell is a proud New Yorker born and raised in Harlem. A graduate of the esteemed Juilliard School, today he is one of the few choreographers working in the theater, ballet, modern, and commercial dance genres. Visit darrellgrandmoultrie.com for more information. (Photo courtesy of darrellgrandmoultrie.com.)
Choreographer, Home in 7
Amy Seiwert enjoyed a nineteen-year performing career dancing with the Smuin, LA Chamber and Sacramento Ballets. As a dancer with Smuin Ballet she became involved with the “Protégé Program” where her choreography was mentored by the late Michael Smuin, and became choreographer in residence there upon her retirement from dancing in 2008. Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, her first full evening of choreography was named one of the “Top 10” dance events of 2007 by the SF Chronicle. She has worked twice with dancers from New York City Ballet, participating in the NY Choreography Institute at the invitation of Peter Martins. Collaborations include works with visual designers Marc Morozumi and Matthew Antaky, composers Daniel Bernard Roumain and Mason Bates, media designer Frieder Weiss and spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph. She is honored to be an artist in residence at ODC Theater and to have works in the repertory of Ballet Austin, BalletMet, Smuin, Washington, Atlanta, Oakland, Sacramento, Colorado, Louisville, Cincinnati, Carolina, Oklahoma City, Dayton, Milwaukee, and American Repertory Ballets as well as Robert Moses KIN. Learn more at asimagery.org. (Photo by Andrea Basile.)
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Spoken Word Artist, Home in 7
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a pillar of American performance, arts education, and artistic curation. After appearing on Broadway as a young actor, Joseph wrote and performed in a series of poetically-based works for the stage that have toured worldwide, including Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, and the break/s: a mixtape for stage, which co-premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and the Walker Arts Center (2008). His full-evening theater work, red, black & GREEN: a blues, premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2011) and completed touring in 2014. red, black & GREEN: a blues was nominated for a Bessie (2013) for “Outstanding Production of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form.” The Walker Arts Center says of his work that “it’s socially engaged without being didactic..utilizes a high-level of self-awareness, self-deprecation and humor that disarms an audience that worries about being preached to.”
Joseph’s commissions include the libretto for Home in 7 for Atlanta Ballet (2011) and theater work for South Coast Repertory Theater’s “Crossroads Commissioning Project.” His essays have been published in “Cultural Transformations: Youth and Pedagogies of Possibility,” Harvard Education Press (2013); and “Total Chaos: Next Elements,” Basic Civitas (2007). Joseph has lectured at more than 200 colleges; has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford and Lehigh, among others; and currently serves as director of performing arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. He co-founded “Life is Living,” a national series of one-day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life. Joseph has won numerous grants, including from the National Endowment for the Arts and Creative Capital Foundation. Named one of “America’s Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences,” he graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine (2007), received the inaugural US Artists Rockefeller Fellowship (2007), and was an inaugural Doris Duke artist (2012).
He is currently collaborating with composer Daniel Bernard Roumain on a new duo show Blackbird, Fly, as well as a new chamber opera with Opera Philadelphia.
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)
Composer/Musician, Home in 7
DBR’s acclaimed work as a composer and performer spans more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations traverse the worlds of Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover, and Lady Gaga.
Known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic and urban music influences, DBR takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium. He has been nominated for an EMMY for Outstanding Musical Composition for his work with ESPN; featured as keynote performer at technology conferences; and written large scale, site-specific music for public parks.
DBR’s made his Carnegie Hall debut (2000) with the American Composers Orchestra performing his Harlem Essay for Orchestra, a Whitaker commission. He went on to compose works for the Boston Pops Orchestra; Carnegie Hall; the Library of Congress; the Stuttgart Symphony, and myriad others.
DBR’s commitment to arts education has garnered long-term relationships with countless universities, orchestras, and performing arts centers. He is currently the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence (University of Houston) and a Center for Art and Performance Resident Artist at UCLA. DBR earned his doctorate in music composition from the University of Michigan, where he currently serves as guest entrepreneur.
DBR is currently working on We Shall Not Be Moved, a chamber opera commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, and Meditations for Raising Boys, an oratorio commissioned by Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
An avid arts industry leader, DBR serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras,Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Creative Capital; is on the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization; and is co-chair of 2015 and 2016 APAP Conferences.
Photos by Bethanie Hines.