An Update from Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin and CEO Arturo Jacobus to Our Atlanta Ballet Family
As we continue to prioritize the health and well-being of Atlanta Ballet patrons, supporters, artists, staff, and the community at large, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining productions of the season in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education continues to follow Fulton County School Systems in regard to class cancellations and Centre closings, which means the school also remains closed indefinitely.
While we are disappointed to see our season and school year come to a close in this manner, we remain committed to delivering on our mission to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance – just in a modified way. It has been amazing to witness the way our Atlanta Ballet family has come together to inspire and take care of each other and our community – even in this time of physical distance. Ticketholders of cancelled performances have been donating the cost of their tickets back to the ballet. Instead of preparing garments and sewing tutus for upcoming performances, the Atlanta Ballet costume shop has converted into a small factory to create protective medical masks for the incredible doctors and nurses at local hospitals that are experiencing a shortage in supplies. Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education instructors are creating virtual classes for their students to continue training at home, and also livestreaming select classes on Atlanta Ballet’s Facebook for all to enjoy. Archived footage of past performances and fan favorites are being shared on our social media outlets with the hope of brightening the days of our followers. Additionally, a recorded version of Atlanta Ballet 2’s presentation of Bruce Wells’ The Swan Princess – a one-hour reimagined version of the classic Swan Lake which premiered in February – will be released to the public this weekend.
This crisis is making a significant impact on everyone and everything around the world - and our organization is no exception. As a result of the cancellation of performances and classes, Atlanta Ballet projects a loss of more than $1.5 million through June alone. We are committed to continuing to compensate our collective workforce of more than 150 people for as long as possible, which includes dancers, school faculty, costumers, artistic leaders and administrative staff. As a result of closing all three of our Centre locations, more than one thousand aspiring dancers are forced out of learning in the studio and will not have the opportunity to demonstrate their acheivements on stage by performing at the school’s annual Spring Concert. During this time, we also are unable to impact the lives of the nearly one thousand children in the metro Atlanta area who participate in our community engagement programs every month.
With that said, Atlanta Ballet needs you now more than ever, If you are able, please consider donating to Atlanta Ballet to help sustain our organization during this critical time. A gift of any size makes a difference. As our employees try to navigate this unprecedented challenge, it is important that the anxiety of paying rent, accessing health care, or caring for their families isn’t further heightened by mass layoffs or furloughs. Donations to Atlanta Ballet also support our costume shop in purchasing the fabric and materials needed to create the protective masks, surgical caps and other medical supplies for our heroes on the frontline.
We are deeply saddened that the dancers’ artistry will not be seen on stage this Spring, but we are happy to announce that some of those productions and pieces have been worked into the 2020|2021 performance season. Yuri Possokhov’s sensational Firebird and a world premiere by Juliano Nunes will be a part of Atlanta Ballet’s September program, and audiences will finally have the chance to experience the beauty and romanticism of Giselle for two weekends next February. We are excited to announce the rest of the season next week, which will hopefully give our extended Atlanta Ballet family something to look forward to in the midst of these dark times.
Thank you for your support of Atlanta Ballet – now and in the future. We will get through this together, and will emerge stronger and closer as an Atlanta Ballet family once we reach the other side.
Arturo Jacobus Gennadi Nedvigin
President & CEO Artistic Director