June 2014 Update from Atlanta Ballet’s President & CEO

Friends and Patrons,

The Season is over, summer is here, and on July 31st our fiscal year ends – at Atlanta Ballet it’s a time for reflection. The past year has been a tremendous success for us on and off the stage. We continue to meet and exceed goals that are pivotal in our strategic plan. That’s pretty exciting.

We aspire to produce compelling performances of extraordinary works, and I’m proud of the ways we have achieved that goal over the last 12 months. Starting with our tour of the Company in China, it was an honor to be invited to the International Dance Festival. Opportunities like these are vital to showcase the extraordinary talents and strengths of our Company to the international dance community.

Atlanta Ballet Company dancers strike a pose on the Great Wall.

We continued throughout the season to present our Atlanta audiences with a variety of excellent performances that allow our Company to show its diverse skills - the dancers really are something special. John McFall has done a fantastic job of seeking out repertoire that allows our audiences to see what is happening throughout dance in this era. Whether it’s the re-tooling of classic stories or brand new works, what he presented this year was about what dance is right now.

Atlanta Ballet Company dancers Brandon Nguyen and Thom Panto and Fellowship dancer Stephanie Hall in John McFall's THREE. Photo by Charlie McCullers.

We celebrated our second of three years with Helen Pickett, our Choreographer in Residence, and she built another piece on our Company dancers. She shared her expertise in a workshop held at Kennesaw State University, allowing dancers from our community to experience her energy and vision. What she brings to our Company and community is a contagious passion for dance combined with expert skills.

Atlanta Ballet Company dancers Nadia Mara, Alessa Rogers, Rachel Van Buskirk, Christian Clark and John Welker in Helen Pickett's The Exiled. Photo by Charlie McCullers.

These objectives in our strategic plan are vital for enriching dance in Atlanta, and I’m thrilled we met them this year.

We also met goals for our Centre for Dance Education and commitment to Community Programs in Atlanta this year. Over 10,000 children in Metro Atlanta had the opportunity to attend a Kids In Step performance. Not only does this program share ballet with young children, it offers them a view into what happens behind the scenes. Our Centre Dance Theatre ensemble, a select group of pre-professional dancers from the Centre for Dance Education, was invited to perform at the 2014 Southeast Regional Ballet Association Festival closing gala, a notable achievement. Additionally, the performance "Dance Concerto," choreographed by principal faculty member Armando Luna, received top honors, an outstanding national recognition. We continue to build our dedication to providing the highest caliber of dance education.

Centre Dance Theatre performs principal faculty member Armando Luna's "Dance Concerto." Photo by Kim Kenney.

And there’s more to come. This month we’re excited to partner with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to offer Atlanta Ballet AileyCamp. This summer program teaches dance to underserved middle school students and operates on a full-scholarship basis. With summer upon us, we also look forward to Wabi Sabi – "Dance in the Real World." We are deeply committed to exposing new audiences to dance and breaking conventional boundaries about how dance is viewed.

The work never ends for us here at Atlanta Ballet, and that’s a good thing; our passion for dance is tangible, and we’re so grateful you feel the same way. Take a moment to evaluate your commitment to dance, and, if you feel moved to do so, I encourage you to make an Annual Fund contribution right now. Whether it’s your first gift, a renewal, or an additional gift, you’ll know you made all of this possible. Click here to make your donation online.

See you next Season.

Best Wishes,

Arturo Jacobus
President & CEO
Atlanta Ballet