1929 – Dorothy Alexander Concert Group, the nation’s first regional ballet company, opens its doors.
1943 – Support from local citizens during the first twelve years is strong. The Company changes its name to more accurately reflect the contribution that the ballet is having on not only Atlanta, but the South as a whole. The new name is the Atlanta Civic Ballet; Dorothy Alexander, Director.
1946 – Atlanta Civic Ballet makes history by becoming the first dance company in the nation to help fund a symphony. The season’s annual proceeds are donated to the Atlanta Youth Symphony (to become the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra).
1947 – Dorothy Alexander is named Atlanta Woman of the Year in Arts.
1953 – Over the next two years, the Company makes two USO trips. The trips include stops in Bermuda, Azores, Iceland, Japan, Korea, and Okinawa.
1954 – The Atlanta Civic Ballet performs at the first Arts Festival in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park.
1956 – Atlanta hosts the nation’s first Regional Dance Festival. The annual festival continues today under the umbrella of Regional Dance America.
1958 – New York City Ballet soloist Robert Barnett joins the Atlanta Civic Ballet as a principal dancer and associate director.
1959 – Barnett receives permission from George Balanchine for the Atlanta Civic Ballet to use his choreography for The Nutcracker and Serenade. Atlanta Civic Ballet is the only regional company to perform the New York City Ballet’s signature piece, The Nutcracker, at the time.
1962 – A year after Dorothy Alexander retires as artistic director, Robert Barnett assumes the role. Alexander continues to be active with the company as an advisor.
1965 – Over the next two years, the company will be among the first in the nation to perform Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.
1967 – The company gains professional status and becomes Atlanta Ballet, Inc.
1972 – The company makes its first New York appearance at the Delacorte Theater during the New York Dance Festival.
1973 – Governor Jimmy Carter proclaims Atlanta Ballet the State Ballet Company of Georgia. Dorothy Alexander also receives the National Endowment for the Arts Award.
1979 – Atlanta Ballet celebrates its 50th Anniversary, having grown to a nationally-recognized professional company with 25 dancers and apprentices.
1980 – Gil Boggs, principal dancer with Atlanta Ballet, heads the U.S. delegation to the International Ballet Competition of Varna, Bulgaria. Robert Barnett and ballet master Mannie Rowe serve as official coaches for the U.S. The following year, Barnett will serve as head coach in Moscow.
1981 – Dorothy Alexander receives the highest achievement in dance, the Capezio Award.
1982 – Robert Barnett receives a Governor’s Award for the Arts.
1983 – Atlanta Ballet is selected for residency at New York City’s Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. The contract continues for five years.
1990 – Atlanta Ballet visits Taipei at the invitation of the Minister of Culture.
1994 – Robert Barnett retires from Atlanta Ballet, and John McFall, celebrated for his imagination and innovation, is appointed as the Company’s third artistic director.
1996 – John McFall establishes the Centre for Dance Education, identifying Sharon Story as dean. The school is one of the largest and most respected in the nation. A satellite location in Buckhead is opened as the Centre for Dance Education merges with the Atlanta School of Ballet. During this summer, the Company performs at the Cultural Olympiad as part of the Atlanta Olympic Games.
1999 – London audiences are captivated by the Atlanta Ballet’s performance of McFall’s Peter Pan as the centerpiece for the Royal Festival Halls’ Millennium Celebration.
2001 – Atlanta Ballet premieres Shed Your Skin: The Indigo Girls Project. The unique performance combines a live rock band with 21 dancers.
2003 – The Centre for Dance Education is awarded full accreditation status from the National Association of Schools of Dance. The Centre is the only accredited dance school in the state of Georgia, and one of only nine schools affiliated with a professional dance company in the nation to receive this status.
2004 – John McFall celebrates his tenth year with Atlanta Ballet and introduces Jupiter, which uses Mozart's last two symphonies to showcase the unique qualities of Atlanta Ballet's dancers. Also new is McFall's Stella, which is set to Ravel's Bolero. It features only six dancers, but highlights different strengths and qualities creating a sense of mixed-energy, movement, and relationship.
2005 – A full evening of ballet classic Swan Lake is presented for the first time in more than 10 years. Atlanta Ballet forges relationships with innovative choreographers like Christopher Hampson, Lauri Stallings, and dance icon Violette Verdy.
2006 – The Centre for Dance Education opens its second satellite location in Cobb County.
2007 – Atlanta Ballet premieres the groundbreaking The Great Gatsby, co-choreographed by John McFall and Lauri Stallings and set to original jazz music of the era. Also premiered is Lauri Stallings’s bekken/the drum also waltzes.
2008 – Atlanta Ballet premieres big, the innovative collaboration with Antwan "Big Boi" Patton of OutKast. It was an event unlike anything Atlanta Ballet has ever brought to the stage - the fusion of live hip-hop sounds with the visual of Atlanta Ballet's exquisite dancers.
2009 – Celebration begins for a year of anniversaries: 80 years of Atlanta Ballet, 50 years of The Nutcracker, and 15 years with Artistic Director John McFall.
2012 – Atlanta Ballet presents the world premiere of Twyla Tharp's The Princess & the Goblin, created by the legendary chroreographer of Come Fly Away and Movin' Out. The full-evening story ballet, created through a partnership with Atlanta Ballet and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, marks the first time Tharp has ever worked with children. The ballet featured young dancers from the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education.
2013 – For the first time in a decade, Atlanta Ballet goes on tour. Atlanta Ballet joined 11 other companies from around the world for China’s inaugural “International Ballet Season” hosted by the National Ballet of China. Atlanta Ballet is one of only two dance organization from the United States to participate in the event.
2015 – Atlanta Ballet commissions a brand new work from Choreographer-in-Residence Helen Pickett, her first full-length ballet, and an original score from acclaimed British composer Peter Salem. A Ballet Based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, which fuses theater, live music, and dance, is a critical success. The design team included some of the biggest names in the performing arts world, including Sandra Woodall for costume design, David Finn for lighting and set design, and Emma Kingsbury for set design.
2016 – John McFall retires from Atlanta Ballet, and Gennadi Nedvigin is named the Company's fourth artistic director. Gennadi joined Atlanta Ballet after an illustrious career that began at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and culminated with 19 seasons as a dancer with San Francisco Ballet. He retired as a principal dancer to take the role with Atlanta Ballet.
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