New Choreographic Voices: Helen Pickett

Touch | Choreographed by Helen Pickett
Music by Felix Mendelssohn

After bringing the Atlanta Ballet debut of Petal for last season’s Fusion, Helen Pickett is back with a world premiere. Pickett’s ultimate aim is to create an authentic experience that involves the viewer and leads to a shared journey between the dancers and their audience. She believes that “art, after all, is about sharing experiences and inviting people to feel the thrill of movement.” Let yourself be pulled in by the sensations and energy of Prayer of Touch.


“One of my great pleasures as a choreographer is watching dancers connect corporeally, emotionally and spiritually to the movement in any given moment. Through their exploration, they reach a state of awe-inspiring vulnerability. They share themselves with unwavering commitment. As this generous energy transfers from the studio to the stage, it insists itself throughout the theater space and transcends the fourth wall. As a result of this outpouring, we, the audience, experience incomparable yet evanescent connection.

Meaningful connection starts with an act of vulnerability. Here I use the word vulnerability to mean an active state of honesty. If we consciously choose this state, we allow ourselves to access life without numbing judgment. We accept that the choices we make contribute to our internal and external connections. We opt to connect authentically. Embarking on such journeys encourages us to keep realizing our boundless possibilities. And once we feel this energy coursing through us there is no going back.

Therefore I feel it is my responsibility as a choreographer to cultivate an atmosphere that not only nurtures connection, but also incites contribution and collaboration. Within this space, who we are, rather than who we should be, emerges and we bloom.

When I set Petal last year for the Atlanta Ballet, it was my privilege to work with passionately connected individuals. I felt their bounteous energy fill the rehearsal studio and watched it pour over the edges of the stage. This extraordinary company performed with singular intensity. Prayer of Touch, my second commission for Atlanta Ballet, explores not only the desire, but also the necessity we have for connection. We present this ballet to you, an offering that reveals who we are.” - Helen Pickett