Company Dancer John Welker Retiring After 22 Seasons

Atlanta Ballet will bid a fond adieu to veteran company dancer John Welker, who will take his final bow after an extraordinary career that has spanned more than two decades. A production particularly near and dear to his heart, John has fittingly chosen Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker as his final performance, bringing his career as a professional performer full circle. Since his inaugural season, John has danced countless lead roles such as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrect in Giselle, Basilio in Don Quixote, Cavalier in Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker, Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Dracula in Michael Pink’s Dracula, and Principal Male in John McFall’s Firebird. Throughout his career, John has been an inspiration and mentor to young dancers as he and Christine served as co-directors of Atlanta Ballet’s Pre-Professional Summer Intensive Programs from 2006 to 2014. He is also the founder of and ballet master for Wabi Sabi – Atlanta Ballet’s summer series and one of the city’s most exciting dance initiatives – which combines Atlanta’s own emerging choreographers with beautiful and engaging venues for amazing outdoor performances that bring art to the people. Click here to read the full press release about John's retirement.

“I'm indebted to all the people to whom I owe the preciousness of my experience at Atlanta Ballet: my wife, Christine, and son, Lucas, my family, all of my teachers, my beautiful fellow dancers, the amazing staff, and the Atlanta audiences who have always been there for me. I hope I have made you all proud. For it is in all of you I found myself and realized the fulfillment of my dreams as a dancer and artist.” - John Welker

You can still see him one more time this holiday season at The Fox Theatre as the Cavalier, Snow King, and Drosselmeyer! (Casting subject to change.) We will also be collecting cards and messages for John at the marketing table in The Fox Theatre lobby at all performances of Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker.

In the role of Cavalier
Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 11 at 2:00pm
Friday, December 16 at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 18 at 7:00pm
Thursday, December 22 at 2:00pm
Saturday, December 24 at 1:00pm

In the role of Snow King
Saturday, December 10 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 17 at 2:00pm
Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30pm
Thursday, December 22 at 7:30pm
Friday, December 23 at 7:30pm

In the role of Drosselmeyer
Sunday, December 11 at 7:00pm
Saturday, December 17 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, December 21 at 2:00pm

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John Welker and Nadia Mara in Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. Photo by Charlie McCullers.