The Four Seasons — October 21-23, 2011
The Four Seasons
Choreographed by James Kudelka
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
Live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra
Touted by critics and patrons as a "modern masterpiece," James Kudelka's The Four Seasons is a rich interpretation of the journey of life. Explore the passage of Everyman's life with the innocence of spring, the passion of summer, the calmness of autumn, and the chilling death of winter. A stunning, mature work – most definitely Kudelka's piece de resistance – this is a story of youth, discovery, and living life to the fullest.
Choreographed by Wayne McGregor CBE
Music by Steve Reich
An avant-garde performance, Wayne McGregor's EDEN|EDEN explores a futuristic world of sight and sound. Recently honored as a Commander of the British Empire, McGregor, along with minimalist composer Steve Reich, transports, the audience on a relentless journey of cloning and genetic engineering.
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.
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.
If Atlanta Ballet's programming of "The Four Seasons" with "EDEN/EDEN" was planned as a strategy to attract audiences for both traditional and contemporary dance, Friday evening's program revealed much more.
Clearly the troupe is expanding its artistic range. James Kudelka's "The Four Seasons" offered up the company's classical, lyric, human side, a Man's journey through the cycles of life. The piece unfolded with subtle beauty, breath, volume and depth, if a little predictably, as Vivaldi's music illuminated an ordered universe, where life and mortality are governed by natural forces. Coupled with "The Four Seasons," the second piece, Wayne McGregor's "EDEN/EDEN," gained potency, showing a frightening vision of a future where humans use (or abuse?) science and technology to intervene with natural life cycles. This is a path we're already on.
Creative Loafing's food writers would probably describe Atlanta Ballet's up-coming opening night program as an "unusual pairing." The first course is James Kudelka's exuberant and heartfelt choreography set to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Firmly grounded in the traditions of classical ballet and inspired by a popular classical score, this piece was a big audience favorite when the Atlanta Ballet gave the work its US premiere in 2010. Think of it as pasta primavera: a perennially favorite dish, classically prepared.
Cyborg humans, or a cloned super-race, seem unusual subjects for ballet. But choreographer Wayne McGregor doesn't shy away from such radical ideas.
His relentlessly driving "EDEN/EDEN," set to music from composer Steve Reich's video opera "Three Tales," alludes to this stark, futuristic vision through a rush of images and a movement style that, like most of McGregor's ground-breaking works, pushes the body past its physical limits.
"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."
James Kudelka's "The Four Seasons"
"The Four Seasons"
About the Choreographers
The Four Seasons
James Kudelka is widely acknowledged as one of North America's most innovative choreographers. His mastery of both classical ballet and modern/contemporary dance has earned him commissions from companies - some 20 in all - as stylistically diverse as American Ballet Theatre, Chicago's Hubbard Street Dance and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. Even as a student at Canada's National Ballet School Kudelka demonstrated a choreographic interest in exploring innovative approaches. While adept in the classical ballet vocabulary he infuses it with a contemporary sensibility acquired from his intense interest in modern movement idioms. Kudelka's work covers an impressive range, from virtuoso pas de deux, through large-scale and always arresting adaptations of such classics as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Cinderella, to boldly innovative creative collaborations with dancers, designers and musicians. Kudelka has never been afraid to tackle psychologically challenging subject matter in his story ballets - he views dance as a primary medium of artistic discourse - and through his gift for movement metaphor infuses poetic, emotional meaning into his many non-narrative works. After nine distinguished years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005) James Kudelka continues to undertake collaborative projects that engage and challenge him as a choreographer.
Wayne McGregor is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London; Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006) and the government's first Youth Dance Champion (appointed 2008); in 2004 McGregor was a Research Fellow at the Experimental Psychology department of Cambridge University.
McGregor is a frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, New York City Ballet, Australian Ballet and English National Ballet; as well as movement director for theatre and film (including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). His upcoming productions include a new work for the Bolshoi Ballet (summer 2011) and a new full-length work for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance (November 2010, Sadler's Wells).