• March 20-22, 2015

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Camino Real — March 20-22, 2015


A Ballet Based on
Camino Real
by Tennesse Williams

Choreography by Helen Pickett
Music and sound by Peter Salem

Costume Design by Sandra Woodall
Lighting Design by David Finn
Set Design by David Finn and Emma Kingsbury

Live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra led by guest conductor Ari Pelto

Kilroy is coming…For her fourth work andfirst full-evening ballet for Atlanta Ballet, Helen Pickett brings the world premiere of Camino Real. Inspired by the 1953 Tennessee Williams play of the same name, the story is told from the perspective of Kilroy, a character based on patriotic iconography from the WWII-era. The work grapples with human mortality, the burning desire to connect, and the will to live. Atlanta Ballet has commissioned a brand new score for this full-evening ballet, which will be performed live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Let yourself be pulled into a mind-twisting yet poignant program with Camino Real.

‘We can all look at these plays and recognize the things we do to ourselves. We cringe, we laugh, and we have that moment of recognition...’
– Helen Pickett in a January 2014 Creative Loafing article



Run time is approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

Program subject to change.



Image: Costume sketches by Sandra Woodall.

Photos: Atlanta Ballet Company dancers Alexandre Barros, Jacob Bush, Peng-Yu Chen, Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Nadia Mara, Miguel Angel Montoya, Brandon Nguyen, Rachel Van Buskirk, John Welker. Photos by Charlie McCullers.

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.

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.

Special Needs
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.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

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.  For more information or to reserve your group's seats today, contact Myredith Gonzales, Group Sales Manager, by one of the easy methods below.

Email groupsales@atlantaballet.com
Phone 404.873.5811 ext 207
Fax 404.874.4873, Attention: Group Sales
Mail Atlanta Ballet
Group Sales
1695 Marietta Boulevard NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

Group Benefits include:

  • Priority seating at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Fabulous Fox Theatre
  • Discounts of up to 30% for select performances and special access to tickets not available to the general public
  • One-time $10 service fee, no matter how large your order
  • Flexible payment options
  • VIP opportunities such as backstage tours and dancer meet-and-greets (nominal fees apply)
  • Personal VIP service from our outstanding staff including presentation and marketing materials on the program of your choice.  Assistance with restaurant and hotel reservations, transportation options, pre/post-show receptions and tours of the Cobb Energy Centre/Fox Theatre are also available at your request.

Critic's Notebook: It's Tennessee Williams time at the ballet

Things will be busy over at the ballet this month because in late March, the company will perform an all-new world premiere adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Camino Real created by the company's new choreographer-in-residence Helen Pickett. The work represents a number of significant firsts: the first ballet ever based on Camino Real, the first time the Atlanta Ballet has approached performing the work of Tennessee Williams, and it's Pickett's first full-length ballet (no pressure or anything).

Ten years later, Helen Pickett on Choreographic Process

In Camino Real, Pickett has employed many of these methods. Since it’s a narrative, she has really focused on the intention of each movement and how to convey the story. She admits that she keeps coming back to the text, pulling out her copy of the script for emphasis and showing all the tabs and dog-eared pages.

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  • Atlanta Ballet's 2014-2015 Season

Helen Pickett

Helen Pickett, born in San Diego, California, studied dance in her hometown and at The San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin, and Helgi Tomasson. 

Since 2012, Helen has been resident choreographer for Atlanta Ballet. In 2014, for her ballet, The Exiled, she was named Best Choreographer in Atlanta. And in 2015, Helen premieres her fist full-length ballet, Camino Real by Tennessee Williams. The commission includes a new score by Peter Salem, set by David Finn and Emma Kingsbury, costumes by Sandra Woodall, and lighting design by David Finn.

In 2005, Mikko Nissinen, director of the Boston Ballet, offered Helen her first choreographic commission entitled Etesian. The New York Choreographic Institute awarded her a Fellowship Initiative Grant in 2006. In the same year and through 2008, Helen choreographed for Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Louisville Ballet, and Ballet X. In 2007, Dance Magazine named Helen one of "25 to Watch." She received a choreographic residency from Jacob’s Pillow in 2008. Helen was one of the first choreographers to receive the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works Grant. From 2009 through 2011, Helen created new ballets for Royal Ballet of Flanders, Ballet West, Boston Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. In the 2012/2013 season, her commissions included Semper Oper/Dresden Ballet, Vienna State Opera, Scottish Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Smuin Ballet. Future commissions include: Les Troyens, Opera by Hector Berlioz, Chicago Lyric, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet West, Kansas City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Scottish Ballet, and Boston Ballet.

Helen has collaborated, as an actress and choreographer, with installation video artists and filmmakers including Eve Sussman, Toni Dove, and Laurie Simmons. Helen, a founding member of Eve Sussman’s The Rufus Corporation, created the role of the Queen in 89 Seconds at Alcazar, which was shown at the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and now is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2007, Helen acted in Sussman’s feature length film, The Rape of the Sabine Women. She choreographed the bubble dance and played Sally Rand in Toni Dove's video installation and feature film, Spectropia.  Helen choreographed the dance sequences for Laurie Simmons’ The Music of Regret, which had its world premiere in 2006 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

For over a decade Helen performed with William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt. During her last season with Ballet Frankfurt, Helen simultaneously performed with The Wooster Group and director Elizabeth Le Compte. She acted with the group for five non-consecutive years in the OBIE award-winning House/Lights and North Atlantic. In 2005, Helen returned to the speaking role, Agnes, as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet of Flanders in William Forsythe’s Impressing the Czar. In 2009, Impressing the Czar received the Laurence Olivier Award, and in 2012, the Prix de la Critique award for outstanding performance of the year. In spring 2015, Dresden Semper Oper will revive Impressing the Czar.

Helen teaches Forsythe Improvisation Technologies throughout Europe and the United States. In addition, she has created a motivational creative workshop, entitled "The Expansive Artist," and a choreographic intensive for college-aged choreographers titled, "Choreographic Essentials."

In 2006, Dance Europe published Helen’s article, "Considering Cezanne." In 2012, Emory University published her writing for the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, director Martha Fineman, that appeared on the Emory University School of Law website.

In 2011, Helen earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University. For her Master’s thesis, she collaborated with Christopher Janney, sound and light architect.

Please visit helenpickett.com for more information on Helen Pickett and her work.


Photo by Tatiana Wills.

David Finn, Lighting & Co-scenic Designer

Camino Real is David’s first professional scenic design for the stage. He worked previously with Helen Pickett as lighting designer on The Exiled for Atlanta Ballet last season. David’s lighting design credits for dance include The Nutcracker and Cinderella (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Romeo & Juliette for Sasha Waltz (Paris Opera Ballet), Swan Lake (Bayerisches Staatsballett), and works for renowned choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, James Kudelka, José Limón, Helgi Tomasson, Liam Scarlett, Yuri Possokhov, and Dana Reitz, as well as for leading international companies. David was the resident lighting designer for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project from 1993-2000. His opera work includes projects for the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera, Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper, La Monnaie (Brussels), Opera de Lyon, Opera Communale (Florence), Het Muziektheater (Amsterdam), Stuttgart Opera, Opera Australia, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and San Francisco Opera. For film, Finn’s work includes stage lighting for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence and producer/director of the PBS documentary The Green Monster. David has designed two shows for Cirque du Soleil: ZED in Tokyo and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE in Las Vegas. Future plans include Hansel & Gretel for Het Muziektheater (Amsterdam), The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Australia, Waiting for Godot for the Theatre du Nouvelle Monde (Montreal), and a world premiere of Frankenstein for The Royal Ballet. David Finn photo courtesy of roh.org.

Emma Kingsbury, Co-scenic Designer

Emma Kingsbury has completed a Bachelor of Design from NIDA and a Bachelor of Creative Arts from The University of Melbourne. Emma is a proud recipient of 2011 The William Fletcher Foundation Grant for Excellence in Design. Emma has designed for film, television, theatre, opera, and dance. Most recently, Emma was costume designer for Atomic The Musical for Off-Broadway in New York and was set and costume designer for the Salieri opera The Chimney Sweep for Pinchgut Opera in Sydney. In 2014, she was also costume buyer for Gods of Egypt to costume designer Liz Palmer and wardrobe supervisor Helen Dykes (January 2014- May 2014). She was assistant designer to Dan Potra on the Dreamworks/Global Creatures arena spectacular How To Train Your Dragon (November 2011-March 2012). She is currently an associate designer (Oedipus Rex) for Belvoir Street Theatre and costume designed the multi-award winning The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe. Emma was costume design assistant to costume designer Isis Mussenden and assistant costume designer Gypsy Taylor on The Wolverine Fox Film Australia (June 2012- December 2012). Emma was production design mentor for The Shoot, a co-production between Samsung, Baz Luhrmann, NIDA, and Sydney Opera House. She was head of th art department/art director for Channel 9 and Ambience Entertainment’s Seasons 4 and 5 of Magical Tales, working out of Fox Studios Sydney. Emma has worked as costume designer and concept artist for Jim Sharman’s film Andy X The Movie, featuring at the Brisbane Festival and Melbourne International Arts Festival. Other production design highlights include I Have Had Enough (Sydney Chamber Opera), SANTAFEST (Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority), Two by Two (45 Downstairs), Return To Earth (Griffin Theatre Company), Nightbook (Can You See Me? Theatre), The Criminals (Old 505), The Tempest (AADA), The Winter’s Tale, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Lonesome West (Theatreworks), Into The Woods, and Ekkentros and Ubu Roi (PipeDream) and music videos for Planet Love Sound, Emma Birdsall, Twin Lakes, and Jinja Safari. Emma Kingsbury photo courtesy of emmakingsbury.com.

Peter Salem, Music and Sound Designer

Peter Salem's compositions range from scores for television dramas and documentaries to film to music for theatre, dance, and concert hall. His full-length ballet, A Streetcar Named Desire, which was commissioned by Scottish Ballet, won the Southbank Sky Arts award in 2013 and was nominated for an Olivier Award. It is currently being revived in the UK and will tour the US in May. He has a new ballet commission from English National Ballet for 2016. Peter's many television scores include music for the hugely popular series Call the Midwife. Other dramas include Great Expectations, the award-winning 5 Daughters, and, most recently, Cider with Rosie, all for the BBC. He has scored crime dramas such as Trial and Retribution, Painted Lady, and The Vice and documentaries like Francesco’s Venice and Simon Schama’s The Power of Art, as well as writing music for the ballet movie Alive and Kicking. Peter has composed music for many theatre productions in London's West End, at the National Theatre, and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as for the multi-award winning physical theatre company Shared Experience Theatre. His music for the concert hall includes a series of pieces for strings, including Windhover for piano trio that was recorded by the Fidelio Trio. Peter Salem photo courtesy of petersalem.co.uk.


Sandra Woodall, Costume Designer

Sandra Woodall has contributed scenic and costume designs to San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Georgian National Ballet, The Norwegian National Ballet, the State Opera Ballet of Austria, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Project, Singapore Dance Theatre, National Ballet of Finland, and other companies around the world. Recent productions include visual design of Winter Dreams. Ms. Woodall’s artwork and designs have been shown in solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut and the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design and in numerous group exhibitions, including the 2011 Wearable Art exhibit in Hong Kong. In 1999 and 2000, she was a Fulbright scholar teaching at what is now the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA); she has contributed designs and visual consultation to many productions in Taiwan and China, including 2009’s stadium-scale opening pageant for the Deaf Olympics, scenic designs for the 100th anniversary-celebration of Taiwan National Day, and in the 2015 scenic and costume design of Winter Journey by Wan Fang and directed by Stan Lai in Beijing. Sandra Woodall photo courtesy of cballet.org.

Ari Pelto

With performances that have been called poetic, earthy, vigorous and highly individual, conductor Ari Pelto is in demand in opera houses throughout the United States. Since his debut in 2004 conducting Verdi's La Traviata at the New York City Opera, Mr. Pelto has been engaged as a regular guest conductor for the company, conducting Madama Butterfly, Carmen, and La Bohème in subsequent seasons. Highlights from his most recent season include Romeo et Juliet at Minnesota Opera, Magic Flute at Portland Opera, La Bohème at Boston Lyric Opera, and The Cunning Little Vixen at Chautauqua.

Mr. Pelto works regularly at some of the country's most prestigious conservatories and young artists' programs. In 2005, he conducted Don Giovanni at Wolf Trap and returned in 2006 to conduct a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro. At San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, he conducted Benjamin Britten's Rape of Lucretia in 2004. He has conducted operas at the Oberlin and San Francisco Conservatories, the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Curtis Institute of Music.  He has also been engaged as a regular faculty member and conductor at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, where, in the spring of 2008, he conducted Le Nozze di Figaro.

Mr. Pelto spent the fall of 2002 conducting 30 performances of La Bohème in 20 states with the Western Opera Theater (San Francisco Opera's national touring company), after bringing Cosi Fan Tutte to 21 states the previous year. In 1999, he made his international debut in Germany with the Bochumer Symphoniker, and the same year conducted Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival Opera in Walnut Creek, CA, returning the next year to lead Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He returned to Festival Opera in 2006 to conduct Tosca. In recent seasons, he has had repeat engagements with the Florida Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony, and Atlanta Ballet.

At age 24, he became assistant conductor of the Spoleto Festival USA, where he led symphonic and chamber orchestra programs to critical acclaim and was responsible for the musical preparation of productions of Fidelio, Janacek's Excursions of Mr. Broucek, and Britten's Curlew River. From 2000-2002, he served as assistant conductor of the Florida West Coast Symphony in Sarasota, FL, conducting over 30 concerts there.

Mr. Pelto has had the good fortune to work with a number of the world's finest teachers of conducting, including Robert Spano, Jorma Panula, and Mendi Rodan. At the Indiana University School of Music, he studied with the eminent conductor Imre Pallo. While pursuing his degree there, he also served as assistant conductor of the Opera Theater, where he led many performances including those of Don Pasquale, The Marriage of Figaro, Idomeneo, Orpheus in the Underworld, and Falstaff.

He holds a degree in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory and has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral violinist in Europe, China, and throughout the United States. www.aripelto.com.


Photo courtesy of www.aripelto.com.

Pre-show Music in the Lobby
Starting 1.5 hours prior to every performance

Get to the theater early and enjoy a specialty cocktail or other beverage while Atlanta Ballet's DJ Quasi Mandisco sets the mood.

Night Out at the Camino Real
Friday, March 20, 2015
Party with Us Starting at 6:30pm, then Ballet with Us at 8pm

Join us for opening night of the world premiere of a ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams and make it a "Night Out!" For $25, enjoy a chance to walk the opening night red carpet like a VIP, a pre-show party in the Cobb Energy Centre's grand tier lounge with entertainment from DJ Quasi Mandisco, an appearance from Atlanta Ballet company dancer Kiara Felder, a complimentary drink, and a ticket to the 8pm performance of Camino Real. Pre-show festivities start at 6:30pm. Make it a date night or bring a group of friends for a very memorable night out with Atlanta Ballet! Click here to get your Night Out tickets now with promo code OUT.

*Price level 2. Choice of cocktail, beer, or wine. Must be 21 to consume alcohol. Cannot be combined with other offers or applied to previous purchases.


Talk Back with Choreographer Helen Pickett
Saturday, March 21 after the 8pm performance

Remain in the theatre after the Saturday evening show as choreographer Helen Pickett discusses the process of creating her first full-length ballet. She will be joined by other members of the Camino Real artistic team, including Peter Salem, music and sound designer, and Emma Kingsbury, co-scenic designer. The discussion will be moderated by Lee Foster of Theatrical Outfit. This event is included with your Saturday evening performance ticket. (Photo: Dancers Heath Gill and John Welker with Helen Pickett. Photo by Charlie McCullers.)