Gennadi’s Choice — March 17-19, 2017
Featuring selections from Paquita choreographed by Marius Petipa and staged by Gennadi Nedvigin, the North American premiere of Vespertine by Liam Scarlett & the world premiere of Denouement by Gemma Bond
The March program, curated by Atlanta Ballet’s new artistic director, Gennadi Nedvigin, explores the evolution and transformative nature of dance. From the 19th century masterpiece Paquita to Vespertine, a captivating piece by famed British choreographer Liam Scarlett, to a brand new work that emerging choreographer Gemma Bond created on Atlanta Ballet in the fall, this triple-bill celebrates the timeless beauty and power of ballet.
A famed nineteenth century classic revered for demanding and intricate choreography, Paquita is an energetic work that will thrill audiences. Atlanta Ballet dancers have spent months in the studios preparing this challenging work, and their artistry and technique will be on full display.
Lauded as “an important name in the ballet world” (The New York Times), Liam Scarlett, is artist in residence at the Royal Ballet in London and a choreographic star on the rise. Atlanta Ballet is thrilled to present the North American premiere of Vespertine, which was originally created on Norwegian National Ballet. Inspired by and set to music from the Baroque period, Vespertine is a nuanced convergence of old and new with fresh, dynamic movement steeped in the classical tradition.
American Ballet Theatre dancer and emerging choreographer Gemma Bond has created an exquisite world premiere ballet for Atlanta Ballet that features live piano and cello accompaniment. Inspired by what could have been, Denouement explores the idea of past, present, and future through three couples, looking at how a different choice at a pivotal moment in our lives can set us on a trajectory that we may not have imagined. The world premiere by Gemma Bond is commissioned by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.
*Program subject to change.
Rachel Van Buskirk and Gennadi Nedvigin. 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. 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. Click here for dining, hotel, and additional venue information.
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.
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Gennadi’s Choice marks a new chapter for Atlanta Ballet as the company is shaped by the new artistic direction of Gennadi Nedvigin. The first mixed bill of his inaugural season, the program provides a glimpse of his commitment to classical ballet and contemporary works with a strong classical basis. It features excerpts of Paquita, Denouement by Gemma Bond, and Vespertine by Liam Scarlett.
Nedvigin: It is a window into the future, even if you just look at the ballets that are in the "Gennadi’s Choice" program. We’re starting with purely classical 19th century ballet. It’s one of the first ballets Marius Petipa brought to the Imperial Ballet [of St. Petersburg, Russia]. And then there’s a ballet by Gemma Bond that she just created, but it all derived from classical training. Gemma trained at The Royal Ballet School. So we go from the start, from the beginning, and then here’s the growth and the evolution of dance. I think the audience can relate to both of them.
As a major company, Atlanta Ballet must have presentation of both worlds: the one that we started from and the one we’re moving towards.
The production the dancers are currently preparing for is a mixed program called “Gennadi’s Choice,” and it will be the first chance for Atlanta audiences to get a good look at the artistic vision that Nedvigin has mapped out for the company and the direction he plans to take it in the coming decades.
The Right Choices
First and foremost kudos on choosing Gennadi. Welcome to Atlanta!
His 3 choices was one of the best ballet performance we have seen in Atlanta, NYC and at Jacob's Pillow in the Berkshires.
We are looking forward to the 2017-18 season and future performances in the wonderful Cobb Energy Centre.
Gennadi's Choice 2017
Liam Scarlett's "Vespertine" (Atlanta Ballet 2017)
Gemma Bond's "Denouement" (Atlanta Ballet 2017)
James Whiteside on Creating Gemma Bond's Costumes (Atlanta Ballet 2017)
Gennadi Nedvigin | Atlanta Ballet | ChooseATL
Gemma Bond got her first taste of choreography at the young age of 13 when she competed in The Royal Ballet’s Sir Kenneth MacMillan Choreographic Competition. She later returned to choreography when she joined American Ballet Theatre in 2008. From 2010 to the present, Bond has created three new ballets for ABT’s Choreographic Institute and various new works for New York Theatre Ballet, Intermezzo Ballet Company, the Hartt School, and the Columbia Collaborative. She choreographed a pas de deux that was performed at the prestigious Eric Bruhn Prize and a ballet that was performed at the Youth America Grand Prix Gala in 2014. Bond has also worked on commercial projects with 1stAveMachine. Bond was awarded a fellowship grant from The New York Choreographic Institute (an affiliate of New York City Ballet) in 2014. With this grant, Bond was able to create a new work titled The Giving. In 2016, Bond had her first solo show in New York City with Danspace Project called HARVEST. She also created a new ballet for American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. Photo by Jade Younge.
Marius Petipa, “The Father of Classical Ballet” (March 11, 1818—July 14, 1910), was from Marseilles, France and son of a family of artists. His father, Jean, was a ballet master, and his brother, Lucien,was a principal dancer and later a choreographer at the Paris Opéra. After many years of dancing throughout Europe, Petipa was offered a position as principal dancer in St. Petersburg in 1847. There he apprenticed under ballet masters Jules Perrot and then Arthur Saint-Léon. In 1870, Saint-Léon left Russia, and Petipa was named chief ballet master. Petipa was the architect of greatness at the Imperial Ballet during the last thirty years of the 19th century; he developed the opulent, multi-act evening-length spectacle, which was to set the pattern for the entertainments so loved by the court audience. It was this grand classical style of controlled emotion (stressing the formal values of clarity, harmony, symmetry, and order) that produced such successes as Don Quixote, La Bayadère, Raymonda, and the ultimate — Sleeping Beauty. One of Petipa’s greatest contributions to classical ballet was the crystallization of the pas de deux, which always has a well-defined structure in his ballets consisting of the opening adagio for the ballerina and her partner followed by variations for each dancer. The two dancers again join in the concluding coda, which usually contains a display of pyrotechnics. Contributed by Nathan Hites, Dance History Faculty at Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education.
Liam Scarlett, born in Ipswich, trained at the Linda Shipton School of Dancing and then The Royal Ballet School. He graduated to The Royal Ballet in 2005 and was promoted to first artist in 2008. For The Royal Ballet’s New Works in the Linbury, he created Of Mozart (2008) and Consolations and Liebestraum (2009), both of which were nominated for a Critics Circle Dance Award for “Best New Classical Choreography.” His first commission for the main stage with The Royal Ballet, Asphodel Meadows (2010), was nominated for a South Bank Show Award and an Olivier Award and won the Critics Circle Dance Award for “Best Classical Choreography.” In 2012, he retired from dancing and was appointed artist in residence with The Royal Ballet, and he went on to create his first full-length work, Hansel and Gretel (2013), in the Linbury Studio Theatre. Since 2012, he has worked with many companies, including The Norwegian National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and English National Ballet. In 2015, The Norwegian National Ballet commissioned a three act Carmen with designs by John Bausor and music arranged by Martin Yates. This was followed closely by a new Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, which received great critical acclaim. 2016 brought Frankenstein, his first full-length co-production for The Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.
April 1, 1846 at the Paris Opéra ~ Music by Édouard-Marie-Ernest Deldevez ~ Choreography by Joseph Mazilier
REVISED: December 27, 1881 at the Mariinsky Theatre ~ Additional Music by Ludwig Minkus
Choreography by Marius Petipa
The original Paquita was a two-act ballet created in 1846 by choreographer Joseph Mazilier (to music by Édouard-Marie-Ernest Deldevez) as a vehicle for the acclaimed Romantic era ballerina Carlotta Grisi at the Paris Opéra. Set in Spain during the Napoleonic occupation, it tells the story of a gypsy girl, Paquita, who saves the life of a French officer, Lucien D’Hervilly.
In 1881, Marius Petipa, “the father of classical ballet,” revised the ballet considerably, adding a new “pas de trois” and “grand pas classique” to new music composed by Ludwig Minkus at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. It is these set pieces by Petipa which remain of the ballet today, while the original Mazilier choreography has fallen into obscurity.
The “Paquita—grand pas classique” is a Spanish-tinged classical ensemble danced by the ballerina and her cavalier with six first-soloists and eight-second soloists. Although the opening march, adagio, and coda remain the same, each of the six soloists may bring her own variation, drawn from other ballets.
Contributed by Nathan Hites, Dance History Faculty at Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education.