• April 17-19, 2015

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Modern Choreographic Voices — April 17-19, 2015

Featuring Alexei Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas,
Gina Patterson's Quietly Walking
& Ohad Naharin's Minus 16

For 2015, Atlanta Ballet is bringing back three of your favorite innovative works from past seasons.

Witness an exquisitely challenging classical work with Seven Sonatas from American Ballet Theatre artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky. Breathtakingly impeccable and performed with live piano accompaniment, Seven Sonatas focuses on the playful relationships of three couples.

Quietly Walking is an imaginative melding of classical and contemporary movement by choreographer Gina Patterson. "A lovely restrained piece, it felt like the quiet walk suggested by the title, an opportunity for Zenlike mental stillness and contemplation of beauty" (Creative Loafing Atlanta).

Ohad Naharin's Minus 16 takes you on a thrilling exploration of the human experience with music ranging from Israeli folk songs to Dean Martin standards. Minus 16 will have you dancing in your seat and maybe even center stage.

Run time is approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes, including two 20-minute intermissions.


Program subject to change.


Supported by the Adele Davis Memorial Fund for New Works.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Photos by Charlie McCullers.

Quietly Walking images feature Christian Clark, Jonah Hooper, Rachel Van Buskirk, and Christine Winkler.
Seven Sonatas images feature Christian Clark, Tara Lee, Nadia Mara, Brandon Nguyen, Jared Tan, Rachel Van Buskirk.
Minus 16 images feature Christian Clark and Rachel Van Buskirk.

Videos by Brian Wallenberg.

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.

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.

Review: Atlanta Ballet glides with ease into modern dance, but “MCV” plays it a little too safe

In the evening’s most moving duet, Christian Clark stabs at Van Buskirk’s stomach in quiet desperation as she teases, then drifts away. Tenderness and violence intermingle. Van Buskirk suddenly appears on Clark’s shoulders, and they never make eye contact. Throughout the work, Naharin reveals profound human complexity.

Atlanta Ballet kicks off spring and summer the right way

“Seven Sonatas” was a beautifully executed piece of classical ballet, with each of the six dancers taking care to extend movements through their fingertips. ABT’s ballet mistress Nancy Raffa staged the work for Atlanta Ballet and described it as “one of Alexei’s jewel boxes,” an extremely detailed piece that, while abstract, still makes a definite emotional impact. Rachel Van Buskirk was particularly adept in the role originated by ABT’s popular star Xiomara Reyes — there was a similar lightness, quickness, and cheeky joyfulness to her attack. The accompaniment by a single pianist provided a strong thread supporting the piece, and the dancers were obviously up for the challenge of this technically demanding work.

Atlanta Ballet’s “The Best of Modern Choreographic Voices”

Gina Patterson’s “Quietly Walking” is an arresting, cinematic vision from start to finish. While its themes are weighty topics like isolation in the modern world, separation from nature, and separation from fellow human beings, the imagery and emotions it evokes are tastefully understated. What overwhelms and captivates are the striking pairing of Max Richter’s haunting instrumental music and Patterson’s polyphonic choreography. Appropriately dark, meditative lighting enhances the atmosphere. Atlanta Ballet’s dancers were easily up to the challenges of each of the program’s pieces, but they particularly excelled in this work. It generated an almost immediate standing ovation.

Atlanta Ballet Reprises Works from Modern Choreographic Voices

The three works on this year’s program are impeccably crafted. There is so much going on at once that it’s impossible to watch everything at once. Dance fans should embrace the opportunity to revisit them. I love mixed-repertoire performances and the opportunity they bring to see the work of several choreographers in the same evening, as well as to watch how the dancers from a single company handle the various styles and choreographic demands.

Modern movement: Atlanta Ballet’s ‘Modern Choreographic Voices’ brings back favorites

Modern Choreographic Voices is an evolution of the program created by Atlanta Ballet in 2010, then titled “Ignition: New Choreographic Voices.” Over the past five seasons, artistic director John McFall has molded the program into a barometer of what’s new and exciting in the dance world, presenting new works by up-and-coming artists as well as premieres by modern day greats.

Preview: In Naharin’s “Minus 16,” Atlanta Ballet’s Nadia Mara saved the last dance for me

We talked during a lunch break last week, moments after the company had completed a rehearsal run-through of Minus 16. She told me the point of the audience interaction is to bring them into the experience and out of their comfort zone, to challenge them to do something they wouldn’t normally do. The dancers aren’t allowed to touch their partners, or speak to them. It’s all about finding an instant connection and, hopefully, pulling the audience member out of their inhibitions.

“Modern Choreographic Voices” shows Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic range

Not every dance company puts such varied works on a program. Many dancers in other companies can neither adapt to different styles so quickly, nor perform them at such a high level, said Ballet Mistress Dale Shields. For Atlanta Ballet dancers, it’s hard on their bodies, but they thrive on pushing their physical and emotional limits.

The triple bill will show just how far Atlanta Ballet dancers will stretch themselves. Like events in a triathlon, each ballet poses unique demands.

Review: Atlanta Ballet reaches for poetic extremes with latest Modern Choreographic Voices

Aggressive, absurd and at times overpowering, Naharin’s world came down in stark contrast to Ratmansky’s “Seven Sonatas.” Hopefully, the company will continue to explore both realms. But whether poetically precise or boundlessly ecstatic, Atlanta Ballet continues to invite its audience into a wild, multifaceted and ever-changing world. - See more at: http://www.artsatl.com/2014/03/review-atlanta-ballet-rides-poetic-extremes-latest-modern-choreographic-voices/#sthash.RNEvigiu.dpuf

Atlanta Ballet’s diversely talented Nadia Mara realizes Uruguayan girlhood dream

Mara’s fanciful dream took some unexpected turns along the way. But now, at 28 and eight seasons into a thriving career at Atlanta Ballet, she’s getting to dance the part originated by one of her early heroes, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Julie Kent, in “Seven Sonatas.”

Choreographed by ABT’s Russian-born artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky, the dance is one of three in Atlanta Ballet’s diverse and challenging Modern Choreographic Voices program next weekend at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

The naked truth: Atlanta Ballet encourages audiences to ‘catch some skin’ this weekend

Atlanta Ballet, which has increasingly blended bold contemporary choreography with classical dance in recent seasons, appears primed to take a leap of even greater boldness during this weekend’s “Modern Choreographic Voices” program.

Preview: Modern Choreographic Voices gives Atlanta Ballet permission to get its groove on

For both performers and audience, the evening promises a challenge. Follow Agami’s advice for best results: “Melt into it, and let it affect you,” she suggests. “The situation is asking you to take a layer off, then a second, and under the third you might find something you’re afraid of. It’s wild, but we’re all wild. It’s like a mirror for the viewer.” - See more at: http://www.artsatl.com/2014/03/preview-modern-choreographic-voices-atlanta-ballet-permission-groove/#sthash.yS3DjXO6.dpuf

Israeli Choreographer Returns to Atlanta Ballet

Deborah Friedesa of the Jerusalem Post said of “Secus,”: “From total stillness, the dancers burst into flurries of activity, creating a sense of organized chaos both in the space and within their bodies. Their novel movement often defies description, but it constantly commands attention and inspires awe.”

The Atlanta Ballet will also present ballet icon Alexei Ratmansky’s “Seven Sonatas.” Ratmansky, who revived the Bolshoi Ballet and served as its director for four years, is currently artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York.

He has been called “the most looked-to choreographer in Western ballet” and “the most gifted choreographer, specializing in classical ballet today” by The New York Times.

Atlanta Ballet’s Modern Choreographic Voices

Atlanta Ballet is certainly challenging its dancers, both by the works they are performing and by the compression of the season, requiring dancers to shift choreographic styles weekly and learn new ballets in days. “Seven Sonatas” is so demanding it requires two casts to allow dancers sufficient recovery time. I saw Cast B, which is not an inferior cast, just a description. The company is also challenging the audience: Modern Choreographic Voices is filled with choreography that requires the full attention of the audience and that pushes the dancers to expand their technical and artistic palettes. The program may be too abstract for general or young audiences with little or no dance experience, but it definitely explores the directions in which contemporary dance is heading. For dance aficionados, it is a delightful program.

{Dd} Response: Atlanta Ballet celebrates contemporary movement in ‘Modern Choreographic Voices”

By presenting the works of world-renown, innovative choreographers such as Ratmansky and Naharin, as well as supporting company dancer Tara Lee as she investigates her own movement vocabulary, Atlanta Ballet showed that it is more than a top-tier American ballet company. The company proved it is hungry to learn and perform current, edgy work.

Modern Choreographic Voices

If you are an avid ballet/dance patron then this is going to ring your chimes.

Review: “New Choreographic Voices” vividly illustrates fast ascent of Atlanta Ballet

Maybe it’s Gaga technique, Gyrotonics, yoga or some combination of those. Maybe it’s the atmosphere, where dancers are nurtured as individual artists and where creativity is valued over commercialism. Whatever it is, something is happening at Atlanta Ballet, and audiences should take note.

Atlanta Ballet's New Choreographic Voices Will Leave You 'Gaga'

Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director John McFall has repeatedly gifted Atlanta with stunning new repertoire that astonishes and intrigues audiences, but, more than that, it engages them. The 2013 NCV surpassed previous performances in every way. This year's performance offered three works that drastically differed from one another, and that dared the audience members to remain aloof from the action on the stage and in their midst.

Atlanta Ballet takes on dance that ‘gets under your skin’

Artistic director John McFall believed his classically trained Atlanta Ballet dancers were ready for the demanding contemporary choreography of Ohad Naharin.

The question was, would the white-hot Israeli choreographer share McFall’s leap of faith?

New Choreographic Voices: A breathtaking evening of dance that will move you

I thought this might be a “dancer’s evening” that might not feel accessible to the average Joe.  Boy was I wrong!!

I’m telling you now, RUN, don’t walk to see this production!!!  This is by far the most moving evening of dance I’ve ever seen!!!  I’m not kidding. I openly wept during the second act.

Preview: Atlanta Ballet’s “New Choreographic Voices” gets its Gaga on with “Minus 16”

He predicts that the world premiere of Patterson’s “I Am” will touch audiences deeply. He invited some of the company’s trustees to watch a rehearsal recently and was amazed at their reaction. “I looked over and saw all these trustees crying,” he says. “They didn’t just have watery eyes, they were sobbing. It’s not often that you get that kind of emotional response.”

Essay: The night I danced with Atlanta Ballet and caught a flying ballerina

It was both exhilarating and liberating, a mad rush of adrenaline. A friend who witnessed the moment said the smile on my face was the most genuine thing he’d seen in a long time. No wonder. Thursday night, I got back in touch with my inner child. And what child doesn’t dream of someday catching a beautiful ballerina?

Check out Atlanta Ballet's New Choreographic Voices today

The three unique pieces will surprise you with their clever beauty, and the company has integrated interesting packaging that invites you to really feel like you are involved in the performance.

Review: Atlanta Ballet in New Choreographic Voices

The three short pieces that make up the Atlanta Ballet's New Choreographic Voices are abstract works without specific characters, settings or stories, but nonetheless there's about as much drama on stage as you'd ever want in an evening at the theater.

Ballet preview: The transformation of Tara Lee (Part 1 of an in-depth Q&A)

The past few weeks have been a blur for Atlanta Ballet’s Tara Lee.  There are daily rehearsals for a world premiere by choreographer Helen Pickett, called “Prayer of Touch,” in which Lee has a leading role. Then, after that, there’s a second daily rehearsal for yet another world premiere, “Pavo,” choreographed by … Tara Lee.

Ballet preview: The transformation of Tara Lee (Part 2 of an in-depth Q&A)

Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee describes “Pavo” as a story of transformation, the struggle to recognize the unhealthy cycles we adopt in life and the greater struggle to break free of them.

Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee spreads her wings with ‘Pavo’

Throughout her career with the ballet, Lee says it's been the company's collaborative and democratic environment that has kept her there for 16 seasons, and that it helped make "Pavo" the piece it is. "'Pavo' is obviously material that could never have been created with just me or just them," she says of the company. "This had to happen collectively. My intent from the beginning was that this was going to come through all of us. It wasn't necessarily going to be 'my ballet.' It was just something I was guiding."

Preview: Atlanta Ballet’s “New Choreographic Voices” will showcase two world premieres

In rehearsal for her new work “Prayer of Touch,” New York-based choreographer Helen Pickett watches intently as Atlanta Ballet veteran Tara Lee darts across the studio, her tiny, muscular body just barely glistening with sweat as she performs a complicated, lightning-quick movement sequence.

Atlanta Ballet to debut daring performances

A cast of emerging choreographers in the Atlanta Ballet’s now annual season closer will present a mixed repertory program beginning tonight at the Alliance Stage of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

Quietly Walking Magnificent!

Quietly walking was the most beautiful ballet I have ever seen. I was mesmerized. It was lush, evocative and thrilling. The whole stage was utilized so that every movement contributed to the total composition. The contrast with the dancers in green and those in brown was impactful. I have never been so moved by a dance performance in my life. It was wonderful. Thank you!

Minus 16

I had to tell you how much I enjoyed Saturday night’s performance (4/18/15). I will never forget Naharin’s Minus 16. It was absolutely thrilling to watch the audience participants interact with the dancers on two levels, one, to experience the warmth and enthusiasm of the dancers towards the participants and two, to see how the dancers were able to elicit grace and energy from the non-dancers. Bravo to my beloved Atlanta Ballet!

Great Experience

My absolute first time attending a show and I loved it.

A Thoroughly Enjoyable Evening

Although "traditional" ballet should continue to have a place in the Atlanta Ballet repertoire, the contemporary dance performances define the truly unique nature of the company. Several other companies present similar performances but never with the same freshness and joie de vivre. Loved the way the three pieces moved from ballet to modern dance. The only aspect that struck a slightly sour note, perhaps only to me, was the brief, gratuitous bum exposure. The nudity did not bother me, but why? A little to shlockey for my taste.

Dancer technique astounds; choreography varied.

Ratmansky and Tara Lee's pieces were beautiful and well thought out. The Secus piece however was a lazy attempt of choreography. Naharin was lucky to have the beautiful technique of the dancers to make his work anything worth watching.

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  • Atlanta Ballet's 2014-2015 Season

  • MCV: Audience Reaction to Modern Choreographic Voices

  • Alexei Ratmansky's "Seven Sonatas" Promo

  • Alexei Ratmansky's "Seven Sonatas" with Atlanta Ballet

  • Alexei Ratmansky's "Seven Sonatas" w/ Rachel Van Buskirk

  • Alexei Ratmansky's "Seven Sonatas" featuring Christian Clark

  • Alexei Ratmansky's "Seven Sonatas" featuring Nancy Raffa

  • Nancy Raffa Staging Alexei Ratmanksy's "Seven Sonatas"

  • Ohad Naharin's "Minus 16" presented by Atlanta Ballet

  • Minus 16 Promo

  • Ohad Naharin's "Minus 16" - In The Studio

  • Ohad Naharin's Minus 16 featuring Rachael Osborne

  • QUICK CLIP: Gina Patterson's Quietly Walking

  • Gina Patterson's "Quietly Walking" presented by Atlanta Ballet

Ohad Naharin

Choreographer, Minus 16

Ohad Naharin has been hailed as one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers. As Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company since 1990, he has guided the company with an adventurous artistic vision and reinvigorated its repertory with his captivating choreography. Naharin is also the originator of an innovative movement language, Gaga, which has enriched his extraordinary movement invention, revolutionized the company’s training, and emerged as a growing force in the larger field of movement practices for both dancers and non-dancers.

Born in 1952 on Kibbutz Mizra, Ohad Naharin began his dance training with the Batsheva Dance Company in 1974. During his first year with the company, visiting choreographer Martha Graham singled out Naharin for his talent and invited him to join her own company in New York. While in New York, Naharin studied on scholarship at the School of American Ballet, furthered his training at The Juilliard School, and polished his technique with master teachers Maggie Black and David Howard. He went on to perform internationally with Israel’s Bat-Dor Dance Company and Maurice Béjart’s Ballet du XXe Siècle in Brussels.

Naharin returned to New York in 1980, making his choreographic debut at the Kazuko Hirabayshi studio. That year, he formed the Ohad Naharin Dance Company with his wife, Mari Kajiwara, who died of cancer in 2001. From 1980 until 1990, Naharin’s company performed in New York and abroad to great critical acclaim. As his choreographic voice developed, he received commissions from world-renowned companies including Batsheva, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Nederlands Dans Theater.

Naharin was appointed Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company in 1990 and has served in this role except for the 2003-2004 season, when he held the title of House Choreographer. During his tenure with the company, Naharin has choreographed over 20 works for Batsheva and its junior division, Batsheva Ensemble. He has also restaged over 10 of his dances for the company and recombined excerpts from his repertory to create Deca Dance, a constantly evolving evening-length work.

Naharin trained in music throughout his youth, and he has often used his musical prowess to amplify his choreographic impact. He has collaborated with several notable musical artists to create scores for his dances, including Israeli rock group The Tractor’s Revenge (for Kyr, 1990), Avi Belleli and Dan Makov (for Anaphaza, 1993), and Ivri Lider (for Z/na, 1995). Under the pseudonym Maxim Waratt, Naharin composed music for MAX (2007) and edited and mixed the soundtracks for Mamootot (2003) and Hora (2009). Naharin also combined his talents for music and dance in Playback (2004), a solo evening which he directed and performed.

In addition to his work for the stage, Naharin has pioneered Gaga, an innovative movement language. Gaga, which emphasizes the exploration of sensation and availability for movement, is now the primary training method for Batsheva’s dancers. Gaga has also attracted a wide following among dancers around the world and appealed to the general public in Israel, where open classes are offered regularly in Tel Aviv and other locations.

Naharin’s compelling choreographic craft and inventive, supremely textured movement vocabulary have made him a favorite guest artist in dance companies around the world. His works have been performed by prominent companies including Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballet Frankfurt, Lyon Opera Ballet, Compañía Nacional de Danza (Spain), Cullberg Ballet (Sweden), the Finnish National Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Les Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Naharin’s rehearsal process with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet during a restaging of Deca Dance was the subject of Tomer Heymann’s documentary Out of Focus (2007).

Naharin’s rich contributions to the field of dance have garnered him many awards and honors. In Israel, he has received a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa by the Weizmann Institute of Science (2004), the prestigious Israel Prize for dance (2005), a Jewish Culture Achievement Award by The Foundation for Jewish Culture (2008), a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa by the Hebrew University (2008), and the EMET Prize in the category of Arts and Culture (2009). Naharin has also been the recipient of the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government (1998), two New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards (for Naharin's Virus at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2002 and for Anaphaza at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2003), the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement (2009), and a Dance Magazine Award (2009). Visit www.batsheva.co.il/en for more information on Mr. Naharin. (Photo by Maxim Warratt.)

Gina Patterson

Choreographer, Quietly Walking

With a long performance career as a principal artist and almost thirty years as a professional in the field, Gina Patterson brings to her art a rich and varied background. She was known as a versatile, consummate performer, dancing with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Ballet Austin, and Ballet Florida and performing as a guest artist around the world. Since 1998, she has created over 80 original works, 10 of them full-evening productions, winning international acclaim and such honors as the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, a nomination for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award, the Hubbard Street 2 National Choreographic Competition, and the National Choreographic Initiative. Her works appear in the repertoire of more than 20 companies, including VOICE, Nashville Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Richmond Ballet, MADCO, Hubbard Street 2, Dayton Ballet, BalletMet, and DanceWorks Chicago. She is in demand as a master teacher and coach and since 2009 has been the artistic director of VOICE Dance Company, a project-based laboratory for her work. Go to voicedancecompany.org to learn more about Ms. Patterson and VOICE Dance Company. (Photo by Eric Midgley.)


Alexei Ratmansky

Choreographer, Seven Sonatas

Alexei Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has choreographed ballets for the Dutch National Ballet, Kirov Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the State Ballet of Georgia, under the artistic direction of ABT principal dancer Nina Ananiashvili. His 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, choreographed for Ananiashvili, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award by the Theatre Union of Russia. In 2005, he was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet. He was made Knight of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2001. Ratmansky was named artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004. For the Bolshoi Ballet, he choreographed full-length productions of The Bright Stream (2003) and The Bolt (2005) and re-staged Le Corsaire (2007) and the Soviet-era Flames of Paris (2008). Under Ratmansky’s direction, the Bolshoi Ballet was named “Best Foreign Company” in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics’ Circle in London, and he received a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream in 2006. In 2007, he won a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2009, Ratmansky choreographed new dances for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida. Ratmansky joined American Ballet Theatre as artist in residence in January 2009. Seven Sonatas was Ratmansky’s third work for American Ballet Theatre since On the Dnieper, his first work for the Company, and Waltz Masquerade, a ballet honoring Nina Ananiashvili’s final season. The Nutcracker was his first full-length ballet for the Company. You can access additional information on Mr. Ratmansky at abt.org/education/archive/choreographers/ratmansky_a.html. (Photo by Fabrizio Ferri.)