Atlanta Ballet Announces a New Nutcracker for 2018!

After 21 years and 488 performances of Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker by John McFall, Atlanta Ballet has announced that the Company will present a new version of the traditional tale that will premiere in December 2018. Under the artistic direction of Gennadi Nedvigin, Atlanta Ballet’s new Nutcracker will come to life through the creative collaboration of the following design team’s visionary talents:

· Choreography by Yuri Possokhov
· Set Design by Tom Pye
· Costume Design by Sandra Woodall
· Lighting Design by David Finn

This production will not be the first time that Atlanta Ballet theatergoers have experienced the work of some of these extraordinary artists on-stage. Audiences have enjoyed former acclaimed principal dancer turned renowned international ballet choreographer Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony in 2015 and 2016, and they will fall in love with his sensational Firebird in the upcoming April program. Award-winning designer Sandra Woodall’s whimsical costumes have been seen on Atlanta Ballet dancers in Helen Pickett’s a ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, which will return to the stage in May. Distinguished lighting designer David Finn’s previous work with Atlanta Ballet includes The Four Seasons, The Exiled, and a ballet based on Camino Real by Tennessee Williams.

Atlanta Ballet’s new Nutcracker will be presented at The Fox Theatre. The design team is in the very early stages of the creative process, so more information about the new production will be released as details develop.

The final performances of Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker with live music from the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra will run December 8 – 28, 2017. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in August 2017.

For more information about individual members of the creative team, please see extended biographies below.


About the creative team behind Atlanta Ballet’s NEW Nutcracker, coming December 2018

YURI POSSOKHOV (Choreographer) 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. Possokhov danced lead roles, including 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 ballet at the State College of Theatrical Arts, completing the five-year course under Evgeny Valukin in 1990. He frequently toured internationally with the Bolshoi and was often invited to perform as a guest artist in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In 1992, at the invitation of Ballet Master Frank Anderson, Possokhov joined the Royal Danish Theater. 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. He spent the next 12 years dancing lead roles both with San Francisco Ballet and abroad. During this period, he began choreographing. In 1997, he completed three works, Songs of Spain, A Duet for Two, and Beyond Borders, which was performed in five cities in Russia and toured Japan, China, and Denmark. Possokhov has gone on to create numerous ballets set on San Francisco Ballet, including Magrittomania (2000), Damned (2002), a co-choreographed full-evening Don Quixote with Helgi Tomasson, and Study in Motion (2004). The same year, he created a new production of Firebird for Oregon Ballet Theatre, and the next year he was invited back to create La Valse. In 2005, Possokhov created Reflections, and in 2006 he created a full-length Cinderella commissioned by Bolshoi Ballet and Ballet Mori before retiring as a principal dancer. Yuri Possokhov has continued to create new works for San Francisco Ballet, including Fusion, Diving Into the Lilacs, Classical Symphony, RAkU, and Francesca da Rimini. Classical Symphony originally premiered in 2010.

TOM PYE (Scenic Designer) Roundabout Debut. Broadway: Testament of Mary, All My Sons, Top Girls, Cyrano de Bergerac, Glass Menagerie, Medea, Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Nom). West End: A Christmas Carol, Sinatra, Medea. Recent: Invisible Thread (Second Stage, ART); High Society (Old Vic); Platonov, Ivanov, The Seagull (Chichester, National Theatre); John Gabriel Borkman (Abbey Theatre, BAM); Mother Courage, Happy Days, Measure for Measure (Royal National). Opera: Death of Klinghoffer, Eugene Onegin, Così Fan Tutti (MET/ENO); Akhnaten (ENO/LA); Death in Venice (Premio Franco Abbiati).

SANDRA WOODALL (Costume Designer) has contributed scenic and costume designs to San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Georgian National Ballet, The Norwegian National Ballet, the State Opera Ballet of Austria, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Project, Singapore Dance Theatre, National Ballet of Finland, and other companies around the world. Recent productions include costume designs for Atlanta Ballet’s Camino Real choreographed by Helen Pickett. Ms. Woodall’s artwork has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design, and in many group exhibitions, including the 2011 Wearable Art exhibit in Hong Kong. In 1999 and 2000, she was a Fulbright scholar teaching at what is now the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA). She has contributed designs and visual consultation to many productions in Taiwan and China, including 2009’s stadium-scale opening pageant for the Deaf Olympics, scenic designs for the 100th anniversary-celebration of Taiwan National Day, and in the 2015 scenic and costume design of Winter Journey by Wan Fang and directed by Stan Lai in Beijing.

DAVID FINN (Lighting Designer) began his professional career as a lighting designer at age 16 working for the puppeteer Burr Tillstrom and Kukla, Fran & Ollie. David's previous work with Atlanta Ballet includes The Four Seasons, The Exiled, and Camino Real (for which he also completed his first professional scenic design). His design credits for dance include The Nutcracker and Cinderella (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Romeo & Juliette for Sasha Waltz (Paris Opera Ballet), Swan Lake (Bayerisches Staatsballett), and works for renowned choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, James Kudelka, José Limón, Helgi Tomasson, Liam Scarlett, Yuri Possokhov, and Dana Reitz, as well as for leading international companies. David was the resident lighting designer for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project from 1993-2000. His opera work includes projects for the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera, Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper, La Monnaie (Brussels), Opera de Lyon, Opera Communale (Florence), Het Muziektheater (Amsterdam), Stuttgart Opera, Opera Australia, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and San Francisco Opera. For film, Finn’s work includes stage lighting for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence and producer/director of the PBS documentary The Green Monster. David has designed two shows for Cirque du Soleil: ZED in Tokyo and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE in Las Vegas. Future plans include Les Troyens for The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cosi fan Tutti for Opera Australia, a world premiere of The Little Prince for The National Ballet of Canada, and a world premiere of Frankenstein for The Royal Ballet.

Atlanta Ballet dancers Alessa Rogers and Brandon Nguyen. Photo by Charlie McCullers.