Update from the Executive Director Arturo Jacobus: “The Creative Surge” in Contemporary Dance

I recently ran across an article in The New York Times that brilliantly articulated something I have been observing and talking about for nearly three years. Simply put, it is that we are at the dawn of a new golden age in ballet, led by the creative genius of an unprecedented number of fresh new choreographic voices, world-wide.

When I entered the world of ballet in the 1980’s, I was soon struck by the dearth of creative talent to support the advancement and evolution of the art. In the ensuing years, there were a handful of superstar performers, a few movies, and a couple of dance fads that elevated the visibility of dance, but nothing really notable or innovative was happening on the creative side of ballet. The explosion of innovative work and the abundance of original voices we are now witnessing, is a phenomenon that might come along in any given field once every two or three generations. The good news is that Atlanta Ballet’s artistic vision and strategic direction tie very neatly into this phenomenon. I want to share with you the link to this New York Times article by Roslyn Sulcas – click here. It’s a well-done piece and it is one of the first acknowledgements by a major publication of the creative surge we are all experiencing in ballet.

As an Atlanta Ballet patron, you will notice that nearly 50% of the exciting new choreographic voices mentioned in the article are creative artists whom Atlanta Ballet has featured on its programs over the past few years and is planning to present in future seasons. Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor and Jorma Elo are names that have been on our programs with great success over the past couple of seasons. Alexei Ratmansky is scheduled for next season with his Seven Sonatas, and Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director John McFall is working diligently to schedule Liam Scarlett for a future season. Helen Pickett, of course, has been named our resident choreographer, has done two new works for us over the past two seasons, and is scheduled to create at least two more works, including one full-evening ballet, over the next two years.

I feel that Atlanta Ballet is not only living in the time of a great creative revolution, but is at the very core of it.

Arturo Jacobus
Executive Director
Atlanta Ballet

Arturo Jacobus; photo by Charlie McCullers.