Stephen Mills’ Hamlet — April 11-13, 2014
Choreographed by Stephen Mills
Music by Philip Glass
Live with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra led by guest conductor Beatrice Affron
Once again, Atlanta Ballet redefines the limits of dance with this modern production of Shakespeare’s enduring masterpiece. Intense and theatrical, poignant and moving, Hamlet uses daring, contemporary movement and staging that bring to life Hamlet’s internal struggle over avenging his father’s murder. Set to the pulsating and spellbinding music of Philip Glass and performed live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, Stephen Mills’ Hamlet provides a full sensory, riveting performance not to be missed.
“Sleek and sophisticated” - Dance Magazine
“A visual feast” - Austin Chronicle
Please be advised that this production uses strobe lighting and haze.
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Performance images by Charlie McCullers. Featured Atlanta Ballet dancers include Laura Feig and Emily Cook Harrison.
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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Rachel Van Buskirk was all regal imperiousness as his mother. She has the uncanny ability to play characters older than herself, to great effect, and her technique these days is flawless. Heath Gill shone as a fiery and vengeful Laertes, and Tara Lee pulled out all the stops as the lovelorn and finally unhinged Ophelia — one of her finest performances I’ve seen. Her pas de deux with Hamlet began in a mood of tentative, slightly awkward young love and morphed into a full surrender to Hamlet, only to be cruelly rejected. Her desperate rocking forward and back from the waist — literally coming unhinged? — was heart-breaking. - See more at: http://www.artsatl.com/2014/04/review-atlanta-ballet-slays-bards-season-exceptional-hamlet/#sthash.l8hklfda.dpuf
This weekend, the Atlanta Ballet takes on the tragic story of Hamlet set to the otherworldly, brooding music of Philip Glass at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre from April 11-13. We caught up with music director and conductor of the Pennsylvania Ballet Beatrice Jona Affron, who will be guest-conducting the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra for the performances, to ask about Glass's music, the possibility of dancing in the pit, and the worrisome prospect of getting lost in the composer's famous repetitions.
Several scenes are especially outstanding. A sequence between the three ghosts and Hamlet is filled with quick directional changes and sharp angles juxtaposed against curved lines and flowing movement. There is a scene in which the women are seated on stools; their spatial design and movement seems as though they have stepped out of Ailey’s “Revelations.” Later, there is a dazzling moment in which Ophelia, danced by Tara Lee, mourns in the river, filled with actual water, while shiny raindrops fall behind her. The sword fight between Hamlet (danced by John Welker) and Laertes (danced by Heath Gill) is one of the best-choreographed, most-believable fight scenes I can remember. Some of the finest choreography includes the full cast; the movement in the group sequences is intricate and requires full attention.
Audiences will love the new contemporary feel of a classic story and the fantastic music performed by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, Stone said.
“It’s very modern and the costumes are vibrant and the set pieces illustrate the literature so well. … It’s got a lot of drama.”
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal
The modern take on the classic tale included music by Philip Glass performed live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. This version of Hamlet blends traditional ballet with contemporary staging to paint a striking picture of murder, betrayal and madness. The performance opens with Hamlet on his deathbed after his fatal duel with Laertes, recalling the events that led to his death.
The product is a startlingly original story ballet that has mesmerized audiences and critics around the world.
Lest this conjure a sense of antiquity, however, Mills' Hamlet is nothing if not modern. Set to the music of Philip Glass and brought to life through colorful costuming and sleek scenic designs, the work opens as Hamlet dies, setting up the remainder of the tragedy in reflection. What follows is a visual feast...
Congrats but Query
Spectacular performance. I was so totally absorbed in the music and the fantastic dance that I must have missed when and why the costumes of Hamlet and his three "ghosts" changed from black to red. Please explain when and how this happened.
But, just to make sure you got my real message, Jane and Dusty Miller are proud of the stature that the Atlanta Ballet has attained.
Pretty good - choreography got better as performance unfolded.
Was surprised by the standing "O" - there was some fairly sloppy dancing, with wobbles, and even a fall by a chorus member; music, especially the violin solo, was wobbly also, and often flat.
Special effects worked pretty well. Audience needs to BE QUIET when the lights go down!
Hamlet Commercial - 30 sec spot
Stephen Mills' "Hamlet" presented by Atlanta Ballet
Company dancers Nadia Mara and Christian Clark on "Atlanta & Company"
Stephen Mills is known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects and has works in the repertories of companies across the US and around the world. From his inaugural season as artistic director of Ballet Austin in 2000, Mills attracted attention from around the United States with his world-premiere production of Hamlet, hailed by Dance Magazine as “...sleek and sophisticated.” The Washington Post recognized Ballet Austin as “one of the nation's best-kept secrets” in 2004 after Ballet Austin performed Mills' world premiere of The Taming of the Shrew, commissioned by and performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Company was first invited to perform at The Kennedy Center in January of 2002 with the Mills production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and at The Joyce Theater (NYC) in 2004. In 2005, after two years of extensive research, Mills led 13 organizations through a community-wide human rights collaboration that culminated in the world premiere work Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project. In 2006, Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project was awarded the Audrey & Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award by the Anti-Defamation League.
In 1998, Mills was the choreographer chosen to represent the U.S. through his work Ashes, at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris. Most recently, Mr. Mills was awarded the Steinberg Award, the top honor at the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur International Choreographic Competition for One/The Body’s Grace.
Mr. Mills has created more than 40 works for companies in the United States and abroad. His ballets are in the repertories of such companies as The Hong Kong Ballet, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Atlanta Ballet, The Milwaukee Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cuballet in Havana, Cuba, BalletMet Columbus, The Dayton Ballet, The Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Ballet Pacifica, Dallas Black Dance Theater, The Louisville Ballet, The Nashville Ballet, Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet, The Sacramento Ballet, and Dance Kaleidoscope. He has worked in collaboration with such luminaries as the eight-time Grammy Award-winning band Asleep at the Wheel, Shawn Colvin, and internationally renowned flamenco artist José Greco II.
As a dancer, Mr. Mills performed with a wide variety of companies such as the world-renowned Harkness Ballet and The American Dance Machine under the direction of Lee Theadore. He also performed with the Cincinnati Ballet and The Indianapolis Ballet Theater before becoming a part of Ballet Austin. Mr. Mills has danced principal roles in the Balanchine repertoire as well as works by Choo-San Goh, John Butler, Ohad Naharin, Vicente Nebrada, Domy Reiter-Soffer, and Mark Dendy.
In addition to his work as a choreographer, Mr. Mills is a master teacher committed to developing dancers. He has been invited as guest faculty at many pre-professional academies, including Jacob’s Pillow, Goucher College, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas, The Virginia School of the Arts, The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, Stephens College, and Point Park College in Pittsburgh. Mr. Mills is a member of the national dance service organization Dance/USA and has served both in leadership roles and on the Board of Trustees for the organization.
Biography courtesy of Ballet Austin, http://www.balletaustin.org/about/artists.php.
BEATRICE JONA AFFRON (Conductor) was born and raised in New York City. She joined Pennsylvania Ballet in 1993 as the assistant conductor and was promoted to music director and conductor in 1997. A graduate of Yale University, Beatrice studied conducting with Robert Spano and at New England Conservatory. At Pennsylvania Ballet, Beatrice has conducted many Balanchine ballets as well as other classics such as The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet. In 2004, she conducted the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake. Other dance credits include Les Sylphides, Moor’s Pavane, and Dark Elegies, all of which Beatrice led at the Boston Conservatory. Outside of dance, Beatrice is heard in a large and varied repertoire that encompasses works from Handel to Donizetti to Philip Glass. In 2002, she received international attention when she led the world premiere performances of Philip Glass and Mary Zimmerman’s Galileo Galilei at Chicago’s Goodman Theater and subsequently on a tour to London’s Barbican Theatre. In 2005, Beatrice made her debut with the Glimmerglass Opera conducting Donizetti’s Lucie de Lammermoor. Other guest conducting appearances include Opera Theatre St. Louis, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and New England Conservatory. This is Beatrice’s second appearance with Atlanta Ballet.
Casting for Friday, April 11 at 8pm and Saturday, April 12 at 8pm - click here
Casting for Saturday, April 12 at 2pm and Sunday, April 13 at 2pm - click here