• May 15-17, 2015

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

MAYhem — May 15-17, 2015

Featuring the premieres of Alexander Ekman’s Cacti
Yuri Possokhov's Classical Symphony &
John Heginbotham's Angels' Share

MAYhem is an explosive program that presents the future directions of dance propelled by the extraordinary talents and artistic vision of Atlanta Ballet.

Alexander Ekman is one of today's most surprising choreographers with his work, Cacti, serving up a large dose of humor and whimsy. The piece makes light of the sometimes absurd nature of the avant-garde.

Classical Symphony by Yuri Possokhov, former Bolshoi dancer and San Francisco Ballet resident choreographer, is a celebration of ballet. The New York Times described it as an "exhilarating and bold display of full-throttle academic pure dance with modern accentuations."

Fresh off winning the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, John Heginbotham created Angels' Share for Atlanta Ballet's Wabi Sabi 2014 summer season. An ethereal and uplifting work, we are thrilled to premiere it on the Cobb Energy stage with live music.


Run time is approximately 1.5 hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Program subject to change.


*Top image: Artists of Boston Ballet perform Alexander Ekman's Cacti. Photo by Rosalie O'Conner.

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.

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. Groups save up to 30% off regular prices!

Click here for details and to submit a request to Myredith Gonzales, Group Sales Manager.

Daring new work takes center stage

There is electricity in the air in one of Atlanta Ballet’s West-side studios as Helen Pickett, in her second year as choreographer in residence, rehearses “The Exiled” with a handful of dancers. The sparks are firing because these
artists are working with the choreographer to build a ballet unlike anything they’ve danced before. Pickett, whose works are increasingly being presented by international companies, is choreographing her first
narrative ballet. It’s a piece of significant dramatic heft and a departure from more lyrical works. And in another first, and perhaps most courageous, Pickett has developed a script...

Review: Atlanta Ballet takes a bold dance on the high wire with season ending “MAYhem”

MAYhem, beyond a clever play on the month, is a fitting description for last weekend’s Atlanta Ballet season closer. The title calls to mind a kind of lawlessness that could be fertile ground for risky, innovative ideas. And indeed the three works on the bill — John McFall’s “Three,” Helen Pickett’s “The Exiled,” and Jorma Elo’s “1st Flash” — are ambitious. But the word also evokes chaos and disorder, the results of an experiment gone off track. - See more at: http://www.artsatl.com/2014/05/review-atlanta-ballet-dances-high-wire-season-mayhem/#sthash.DSnSvVzx.dpuf

Great 1st Ballet Experience!

This was a great first Ballet experience I got to see through my internship with The Atlanta Ballet's PR department Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and it seriously got better each time. These are true artists across all departments that contribute to the final performances.

Need more variety

Atlanta Ballet always delivers superb dancing, and the MAYhem program was no exception. However, must the choreography and music selection of all three dances be so grim and tortured? I felt that the dances were choreographed more for the dancers'' fulfillment than for the audience's enjoyment. Perhaps the challenge for the choreographer will be to create a dance for next year's MAYhem which has a positive theme and more melodic music. Low attendance for the Sunday performance despite extensive publicity should signal a review of the dance selections.

Mayhem Rocks!

The May 17 production of Mayhem was wonderful! We are truly blessed to have such imaginative productions and talented dancers here in Atlanta. Very well done!

Where’s the Windex?

The Exiled was a lesson in perseverance, both for the audience and dancers. It was pretentious, tedious, and finally just plain embarrassing as the dancers had to finish their paces in their undies. It struggled for meaning behind a plexiglas scrim which fulfilled its purpose of distancing the action through the accumulation of bodily oils deposited by the dancers. Its reasoning was so corny and trite, the dancers flailed in vain to invest the piece with some depth. Ms Pinkett is entitled to failures, but please don't inflict them on an audience in the future. The company as always was strong. They were just required to so the impossible - make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

provacative then preachy

Overall, I found the performances impeccably performed but conceptually a bit boring. John McFall's piece was the most sophisticated and provocative of the repertoire trio, eliciting many deep emotional reactions throughout and inspiring me to want to have a second viewing. The second piece I found to be contrived and -- quite frankly -- annoyingly preachy (although I did like the set design). I felt sorry for the mother in the row behind me who had to explain to her 3-year-old daughter, "Mommy, why are they all taking their clothes off?" The final piece showcased AB's dancers' athleticism, but just felt "ho hum" emotionally / conceptually. I kept wondering when that giant hanging bed would fall down and awake me from my semi-slumber with a "thud".

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  • Atlanta Ballet's 2014-2015 Season

  • John Heginbotham's "Angels' Share" for Atlanta Ballet's Wabi Sabi

Alexander Ekman

Choreographer, Cacti

Alexander Ekman is an internationally sought after choreographer producing entertaining works of artistic integrity within the contemporary and classical dance world. Ekman has created 35 works to date. His works are being performed worldwide by companies such as the Boston Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Norwegian National Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, Dresden Semper Oper, Vienna Staatsballet, Sao Paulo City Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Ekman's works are known for their clever ideas, fast-paced choreography, and abundance of humor. Besides holding the choreographic credit, he regularly designs the set/costumes and co-composes the music for his creations.

Ekman also creates unique performances in collaboration with different disciplines. His dance film 40 M UNDER (2009 Cullberg Ballet) formed part of a triple bill performance. In 2012 Ekman incorporated pop singer Alicia Keys into his choreographic work Tuplet for her annual Black Ball event in New York. This work was originally made for Cedar Lake Dance Company utilizing a score created with the dancers' own rhythmic impulses and employing their bodies as percussion instruments. In 2014 Ekman made his debut on the main stage of the Norwegian Opera House with a surrealist interpretation of the classic ballet Swan Lake, creating his own version for the Norwegian National Ballet. Together with top designer Hendrik Vibskov and with a new musical score by composer Mikael Karlsson, Ekman produced this groundbreaking performance in which he transformed the stage into an actual lake. In April 2015 Ekman premiered his version of A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Royal Swedish Ballet. Visit alexekman.com for more information on Mr. Ekman's work. (Photo by T.M.Rives.)

John Heginbotham

Choreographer, Angels' Share

John is the winner of the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and is a two-time recipient of the Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works (NEW) Fellowship Grant (2010, 2012). In addition to his work with Dance Heginbotham, John’s choreography has been seen at Dance Theater Workshop, The Museum of Modern Art, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, and the New York and Toronto Fringe Festivals, among other venues.  He has created work for the Cork Opera House (Cork, Ireland), Dartmouth College, The Juilliard School, Purchase College, Princeton University, Long Island University, The Wooden Floor (Santa Ana, CA), Big Apple Baroque, Oasis Theater (Minneapolis, MN), art/pop group Fischerspooner, and the cabaret artists Lady Rizo and the Assettes and Our Lady J.  A frequent collaborator with live music, John has worked with numerous composers and ensembles, including string quartet Brooklyn Rider, Alarm Will Sound, the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, Jesse Blumberg, Tyondai Braxton, Colin Jacobsen, Gabriel Kahane, and Shara Worden (also known as My Brightest Diamond).  In December 2013, he choreographed Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim Museum and collaborated with Mizrahi again in spring 2014 on The Magic Flute at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, John graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993 and was the recipient of the Martha Hill Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Dance. He has danced in the works of Pam Tanowitz, John Jasperse, Rebecca Stenn, Janis Brenner, Allison Chase, David Neumann, Ben Munisteri, Stanley Love, Vanessa Walters, and Pilobolus Dance Theater (guest artist). From 1995–1998, he was a member of Susan Marshall and Company, originating roles in her evening-length works, The Most Dangerous Room in the House and the award-winning dance opera composed by Philip Glass, Les Enfants Terribles.  John was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1998–2012.  As a member of MMDG, he performed across the United States and internationally with artists including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, The Bad Plus, Zakir Hussain and with opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and the English National Opera.

As a teacher, John offers dance master classes in the United States and abroad. He has taught at institutions including the University of California, Berkeley, George Mason University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Washington, and The Laban Centre in London. He is currently on faculty at Princeton University and the Mark Morris Dance Center, and he is a founding teacher of Dance for PD®, an ongoing collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. Visit danceheginbotham.org to learn more about Mr. Heginbotham's upcoming projects. (Photo by Amber Star Merkens.)

Yuri Possokhov

Choreographer, Classical Symphony

Yuri Possokhov received his training under Pyotr Pestov at the Choreographic Ballet Academy in Moscow. Upon graduating in 1982, he joined the Bolshoi Ballet. During his ten years with the company, he worked primarily with Ballet Master Yuri Grigorovich and was quickly promoted to become one of the premier dancers in the company, partnering Natalia Bessmertnova, Ludmila Semenyaka, Nadezhda Pavlova, and Galina Stepanenko. During his time with The Bolshoi, Possokhov performed the leading roles in almost all of the classical and contemporary ballets in the repertoire at that time. He danced the lead role in the Bolshoi’s premiere of The Prodigal Son, the company’s first performance of a work by George Balanchine.

While performing, Possokhov studied choreography and the teaching of ballet at the State College of Theatrical Arts, completing the five-year course under Evgeny Valukin in 1990. In addition to participating in the Bolshoi’s frequent international tours, Possokhov was often invited to perform as a guest artist in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He also performed with Bolshoi ballerina Nina Ananiashvili’s own company, Ananiashvili and Friends, in numerous performances and galas worldwide.

In 1992, at the invitation of Ballet Master Frank Andersen, Possokhov joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a principal dancer. Performing many leading roles on the stage of The Royal Danish Theater, Possokhov’s repertory diversified with works by John Neumeier, Anna Laerkesen, George Balanchine, and John Cranko. Possokhov was also cast in the role of Prince Desiré in the Royal Danish Ballet premiere of Helgi Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty. The following year, he was invited to dance a guest performance at San Francisco Ballet’s opening night gala, after which Helgi Tomasson invited him to join the company as a principal dancer.

Possokhov spent the following 12 years dancing with San Francisco Ballet, performing leading roles with the company both in San Francisco and abroad, and partnering many of the company’s ballerinas, including Yuan Yuan Tan, Joanna Berman and Lucia Lacarra. During this period, he began choreographing. In 1997, he completed three separate works – Songs of Spain and A Duet for Two set on fellow San Francisco Ballet principal dancers Muriel Maffre and Joanna Berman; and Impromptu Scriabin for San Francisco Ballet soloist Felipe Diaz. He also organized a program titled Ballet Beyond Borders, with sixteen dancers from San Francisco Ballet, which performed in five cities throughout Russia. The success of the tour led to additional performances with San Francisco Ballet dancers in Japan, China, and Denmark in the following years.

In 1998, Possokhov premiered in the title role of Lar Lubovitch’s Othello — a co-production of the San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) — and reprised the role as a guest artist with ABT in New York City the same year.

In 2000, Yuri Possokhov created Magrittomania, a work commissioned for San Francisco Ballet’s Discovery Program and inspired by the paintings of René Magritte. The ballet won an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for outstanding choreography the following year. In 2002, Possokhov premiered Damned, a work based on Euripides’ play Medea. The piece was performed during the season and was taken on tour to New York City with the company that fall. Damned was subsequently re-staged and performed under the name Medea at The Perm Opera and Ballet Theater (Russia) in 2009. In 2003, he co-choreographed a full-length production of Don Quixote with San Francisco Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, which the company subsequently performed in Los Angeles and Paris. Study in Motion, set to the music of Alexander Scriabin, was Possokhov’s piece for San Francisco Ballet in 2004, which was performed in London the same year and reprised in San Francisco the following season. The same year, he was invited by Oregon Ballet Theater (OBT) to create a new production of Firebird, which was so successful that he was invited back the following year to create La Valse.

For San Francisco Ballet’s 2005 repertory season, Possokhov created Reflections, a piece set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn. In early 2006, he was invited by the Bolshoi Ballet to create a full-length Cinderella, which premiered to critical acclaim and was performed by the company in Moscow, at the Royal Opera House in London, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As part of San Francisco’s earthquake centennial in 2006, Possokhov created Ballet Mori, which was performed by SFB principal dancer Muriel Maffre. After the 2006 repertory season, Yuri Possokhov retired from the stage as a principal dancer; his last performance was during the company’s tour to New York’s Lincoln Center that summer.  

Following his retirement, he joined the artistic staff at San Francisco Ballet as a choreographer in residence, where he continually choreographs new works for the company and dances principal character roles. In 2006, he created Once More, a ballet performed at the New Century Chamber Orchestra Gala by Joanna Berman and principal dancer Damian Smith. The following year, he premiered his Firebird with San Francisco Ballet, adapted from his previous work for Oregon Ballet Theater. In 2007, The Georgia State Ballet commissioned Sagalobeli, a one-act work that the company presented on its first-ever American tour in 2008.

In the following years, Yuri Possokhov has continued to create new works for each of San Francisco Ballet’s repertory seasons, including Fusion, Diving Into the Lilacs, Classical Symphony, RAkU, and Francesca da Rimini. Both Classical Symphony, originally premiered in 2010, and RAkU in 2011, have been presented on the company’s national and international tours, including an engagement at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theater. Yuri Possokhov is a frequent guest at Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet, having staged both Bells and a new full-length Don Quixote for the company in 2011. In 2012, Possokhov returned to Copenhagen and created Narcisum, commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet. His latest work for San Francisco Ballet was Rite of Spring, choreographed in 2013 to mark the centennial year of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps. Go to yuripossokhov.com for a full list of Mr. Possokhov's dance roles. (Photo by Chris Hardy.)