Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

Look/Don't Touch

Look/Don't Touch

Juliana Missano. Photo by Rachel Neville.

March 22-24, 2019 Look/Don't Touch

  • Cacti Choreography by Alexander Ekman
  • Sandpaper Ballet Choreography by Mark Morris
  • AON <All or Nothing> Choreography by Yury Yanowsky (World Premiere)
  • Featuring Live Music

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An imaginative mix of three works in March will delight and surprise, revealing the playful side of dance.

After it’s 2015 Atlanta Ballet premiere, Alexander Ekman’s Cacti returns to take audiences on a zany, laugh-out-loud romp. Poking (pun intended) fun at the seemingly pretentious nature of “high art,” Cacti celebrates the absurd and flips dance stereotypes on their heads.

High energy and wildly entertaining, dance legend Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet is “…a diversion, a giddy all-American filler that seemed as much fun to dance as it was to watch “(The San Francisco Chronicle). Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi provides the costumes that, when the dancers align, create the magnificent tromp l’oeil effect of bucolic rolling fields meeting a clear blue sky.

AON <All or Nothing> plays with audiences perceptions as it explores concepts of extreme duality in society through intricate partnering and layered vignettes. Things may appear as black and white, but it is the gray space in between that is ultimately key to bringing us together. This brand-new commission from former Boston Ballet principal Yury Yanowsky promises an arresting visual accompaniment to the March lineup and features a cinematic original score.

Approximate run time including two 20-minute intermissions is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Performance Photos

  • Venue
    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

    The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the first major performing arts facility built in metro Atlanta in four decades.

    The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is located in northwest Atlanta near the junction of I-75 and I-285, at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road. Click here for parking, dining, hotel, and additional venue information.

    Emergency Phone Number
    The 24-hour public safety number for the Cobb Energy Centre is 770.916.2911. Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that the house manager may find you in case of an emergency.

    Special Needs
    The venue is ADA compliant. Designated seats in various locations are available for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance. The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, elevators, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains.  For more information, please call 770.916.2800.

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  • Seating Chart

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

  • Video

    Mark Morris' "Sandpaper Ballet" Teaser | Atlanta Ballet

    Alexander Ekman's "Cacti" - Inspiration | Atlanta Ballet

    Yury Yanowksy's "AON" (All or Nothing) Teaser | Atlanta Ballet

  • Artistic & Designers - Sandpaper Ballet

    Mark Morris, Choreographer

    Mark Morris has been hailed as the “the most successful and influential choreographer alive, and indisputably the most musical” (The New York Times). In addition to creating over 150 works for the Mark Morris Dance Group, he conducts orchestras, directs opera and choreographs for ballet companies worldwide. Morris’ work is acclaimed for its ingenuity, musicality, wit and humanity. Named a fellow of the MacArthur Foundation in 1991, he has received eleven honorary doctorates to date and a multitude of awards, including the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society, the Benjamin Franklin Laureate Prize for Creativity, the Cal Performances Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Gift of Music Award and the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award. In 2015, Morris was inducted into the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York. Formed in 1980, Mark Morris’ internationally-renowned Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has received “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity” (Bloomberg News). Live music and community engagement are vital components of the dance group. It has toured with its own musicians, the MMDG Music Ensemble, since 1996, and regularly collaborates with orchestras and opera companies around the world. MMDG’s film and television projects include “Dido and Aeneas,” “The Hard Nut,” “Falling Down Stairs,” the U.K.’s “South Bank Show” and “Live from Lincoln Center.” In 2015, Morris’ signature work L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato premiered on PBS’ “Great Performances.”

    The Mark Morris Dance Center opened in 2001 to provide a home for the dance group, subsidized rental space for local artists, programs for local children and seniors and dance classes for students of all ages and abilities.

    Tina Fehlandt, Stager

    Tina Fehlandt was an integral part of the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) for 20 years and performed in over 50 works choreographed by Mark Morris. With MMDG, she toured the world and appeared in several television specials, most notably as Louise in Mr. Morris’ production of “The Hard Nut.” She has been the subject of feature articles in Self-Magazine, Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher. In Ballet Review, Ms. Fehlandt was hailed as “one of the most beautiful dancers anywhere.” Ms. Fehlandt has staged Mark Morris’ work at San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Ballet Covent Garden, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Washington Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, as well as Princeton University, Indiana University, New York University, Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College, Barnard College, Juilliard, Long Island University and the White Oak Dance Project. Ms. Fehlandt is a full-time lecturer in dance at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts where she teaches all levels of ballet and modern dance. She continues her association with MMDG as an instructor in the Summer Intensives and as faculty at the school teaching professional/advanced ballet.

    Isaac MizrahiCostume designer 

    Isaac Mizrahi has worked extensively in the entertainment industry as an actor, host, writer, designer and producer for over 30 years. He hosted his own television talk show, has written three books and has made countless appearances in movies and on television. He served as a judge on “Project Runway: All-Stars” and is chief designer for the Isaac Mizrahi brands. He has designed costumes for opera, ballet, Broadway and off-Broadway, as well as directed productions for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Annually, he directs and narrates his production of Peter and The Wolf at The Guggenheim Museum. He has performed cabaret at Café Carlyle, Joe’s Pub, West Bank Café, City Winery and many other venues across the country. Mizrahi also has his own production company, Isaac Mizrahi Entertainment, under which he has several projects in development in television, theatre and literature. His most recent book, I.M.: A Memoir, was published in February 2019.

    James F. Ingalls, Lighting Designer

    James F. Ingalls has designed several pieces for Mark Morris, including Orfeo ed Euridice
    (Metropolitan Opera); King Arthur (English National Opera); Sylvia, Sandpaper Ballet, Maelstrom and Pacific (San Francisco Ballet); Platée (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and New York City Opera); Mozart Dances, Romeo and Juliet: On Motifs of Shakespeare, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, and Dido and Aeneas (MMDG). Recent designs for dance include The Nutcracker (Pacific Northwest Ballet/Seattle); Twyla Tharp’s 50th Anniversary Tour (U.S. and N.Y. State Theatre); The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky (Teatro alla Scala Ballet and American Ballet Theater); Celts, choreographed by Lila York (Boston Ballet); and Sea Lark and Death and the Maiden (Paul Taylor Dance Company). Recent theatre work includes Desdemona, directed by Peter Sellars (UCLA/CAP, Melbourne and Sydney Festivals) and Druid Shakespeare, directed by Garry Hynes (Galway, Irish tour and Lincoln Center Festival). He often collaborates with Melanie Rios Glaser and The Wooden Floor dancers in Santa Ana, California.

  • Artistic & Designers - AON

    Yury Yanowsky, Choreographer

    Yury Yanowsky maintained a career as a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet that spanned over two decades. Yanowsky won first prize at the Prix de Lausanne, and the silver medal at the Varna and U.S. International Ballet Competitions. Over the past decade, Yanowsky has had the opportunity to showcase his choreography around the world. He has been commissioned to create new works for Boston Ballet, Boston Ballet 2, Bundes Jugend Ballet, Jacobs Pillow Gala, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Kansas City Ballet, Portland Ballet and Festival Ballet Providence. In 2015, he was awarded the choreographic prize at the prestigious Erik Bruhn Competition, and his ballet Smoke and Mirrors for Boston Ballet was named Best in Dance for 2016 by The Arts Fuse and hailed as a “visual and choreographic masterpiece.” Yanowsky has served as movement consultant for American Repertory Theatre and as movement director for The Boston Lyric Opera. He is a frequent teacher at Boston Ballet and is an adjunct faculty member at Dean College and Harvard University.

    Lucas Vidal, Composer

    Lucas Vidal has been honored to win two GOYA Awards: one for his score to “Nobody Wants the Night” starring Juliette Binoche and another sharing best song with pop star Pablo Alboran for the Spanish blockbuster film “Palmeras en la Nieve.” He also received an Emmy Award for composing the theme of The Olympic Games and a GQ Men of the Year Award in 2017 for his professional achievements. Throughout his career, he has scored more than 20 feature films, with different sonorities for “Fast & Furious 6 ”and “El árbol de la sangre” by Julio Medem. He has also worked with pop artists such as Antonio Orozco and Amaia Montero. Born in Madrid, Lucas showed exceptional talent as a young composer and quickly developed his own style. He majored in film scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he was the youngest student to ever compose and record the score for a feature film with an 80-piece orchestra. After graduation, he moved to New York and continued his studies at Julliard School of Music, under the mentorship of Richard Danielpour, before finally settling in Los Angeles. In addition to feature films, Lucas has scored numerous television advertisements for companies like Apple and Toyota, as well as trailers for films such as “Wonder Woman,” “Terminator,”
    and a “Star Wars” film. Lucas’ resume also includes compositions for the Boston Ballet, Providence Ballet, Boston Symphony Hall and Los Angeles’ renowned Disney Hall. He has recorded more than 200 sessions in the most prestigious studios across America and Europe, including Capitol Studios and Abbey Road Studios. He recently produced the new Raphael album, where he is merging orchestral and electronic music. He is also composing the score for the new Netflix show “Elite” and just finished the movie “Paradise Hills,” featuring Emma Roberts and Milla Jovovich. Lucas has been the musical director and conductor of the Christmas Concerts at Teatro Real in Madrid, where he performed the music of John Williams. Lucas divides his time between Los Angeles and Madrid.

    Lyuba Yanowsky, Costume Designer

    Lyuba Yanowsky was born in Spain. She has grown up in a family of artists (Yanowsky) with a heritage in ballet, choreography and stage productions. Once she finished her studies of ballet, she studied fashion design and costume studies from 1997 to 2002. She took her qualifications in IED (Madrid), Central Saint Martins School of Art (London), Wimbledon School of Art (London) and in OVTS (Bristol), where she achieved an MA in Costume and Set Design. Her career in fashion started in 2000 in Delpozo atelier in Madrid. In 2005 she started her own company Phobos Squad “Aute Couture,” and, in 2006, she created Phobos Bodywear “Sportswear.” She also worked as a fashion stylist for many magazines in Spain and the U.K. Ms. Yanowsky has worked as a costume designer in several theatre productions in England and Spain, such as The Knight of the Burning Pestle, A Christmas Carol, King John and Animal Farm (OVTS, UK) and El cereco de Lemingrado, Los mares habitados and Abre el ojo (2RCT, Spain). As a ballet costume designer, she has worked with many choreographers and ballet companies, including Morpho (Nadia Yanowsky, Staatsoper Berlin, Germany), Messe (Montserrat Leon, Leipziger Ballet, Germany), Nyris (Yury Yanowsky, Boston Ballet, USA), Siryn (Yury Yanowsky, London Coliseum, U.K), Raíces (Anatol Yanowsky, Gran Canaria, Spain), Voricity Control, (Yury Yanowsky, Gran Canaria, Spain), and Live now, think later (Xenia Wiest, Kremlin Gala, Russia). Ms. Yanowsky currently combines her work as a costume designer with her work as a stage director and performance director in Spain.

    Joseph R. Walls, Lighting Designer

    Joseph R. Walls has designed several pieces for Atlanta Ballet, including La Sylphide, Ricardo Amarante’s The Premiere, Gemma Bond’s Denouement, Tara Lee’s blink and Andrea Miller’s Push. He has also designed for STEPS Panama, Staibdance, Ballet West, Inland Pacific Ballet, Charlotte Ballet and The Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center. This past summer, Walls designed for Sundance Mountain Resort’s Summer Theatre. He has been nominated for the prestigious Premios Escena award for best lighting design in Panama City, Panama. In January, Walls designed the lighting for the weeklong World Youth Day 2019 celebration with Pope Francis in Panama. Currently, Walls is collaborating with Dana Genshaft, Ethan Stiefel and Trey McIntyre for The Washington Ballet’s evening of Three World Premieres in April 2019.

  • Designers & Artistic - Cacti

    Alexander Ekman, Choreographer

    Alexander Ekman is an international choreographer and director creating pieces for opera houses, theatres and museums. He also directs films and music videos, as well as live performances in pop-up locations. Ekman is known for his fast-paced timing, witty humor and clever transitions. He aims to create work with which the majority can relate and connect. Since 2006, he has devoted his time to creating pieces that both entertain and question the observer. He aims to transform the atmosphere in the audience and to always surprise and entertain the audience. Around 50 dance companies worldwide have performed pieces by Ekman, such as Royal Swedish Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza, Goteborg Ballet, Iceland Dance Company, Bern Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin, The Norwegian National Ballet, Boston Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Sydney Dance Company, The Royal Ballet of Denmark and Vienna Ballet. He has also created for festivals such as the French Europa Danse and the Athens International Dance Festival. To learn more about Ekman’s work, follow him on Instagram (@Ekman) or visit

    “A master of comic timing” - Financial Times
    “Playful and humane…humor, style, and charm” - The Village Voice
    “Silly, clever and knowing” - The Guardian 
    “Brilliant!” – The New York Times
    “Witty, effervescent, playful, surreal and joyously physical” - 
    The Australian

    Andy Stein, Arranger

    Andy Stein has been called “a musician with a checkered past” (NY Times). His compositions and arrangements include an opera with librettist Garrison Keillor and some arranging for Sir Paul McCartney. His full “Symphony, ‘Death and the Maiden,’ ” (of which the last movement is used here in Cacti) is of course adapted from Schubert’s famous string quartet, and is performed in its entirety by many orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. It can be heard on a Naxos disc with JoAnn Falletta conducting. He has also created concerted works for Andre Watts, Joshua Bell and others, and has scored several Hollywood feature films and an Oscar-winning cartoons. Growing up in New York with lots of music in the family, he began his violin studies at age 5, encouraged by his aunt Lillian Fuchs, a prominent violist. He played and studied theory with his pianist father and counterpoint at Mannes College of Music. Continuing at the University of Michigan, he joined up with some friends to form Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, an eclectic rock band with whom he remained for 8 years, putting 750,000 miles on the bus and releasing 8 albums for Paramount and Warner Brothers. Perhaps best known as the “Powdermilk Biscuit Fiddler,” heard weekly for 22 years on public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor,” Stein has recorded/performed with a variety of artists from Itzhak Perlman, Lady Gaga, and Sir Paul McCartney to Meryl Streep and Willie Nelson. With one foot in the jazz field, he has recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods, Paquito D’Rivera and, most importantly, with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, with whom he won his 2nd Grammy for work on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Since the 1980s, he has been known for his re-creations of the work of Joe Venuti, the first jazz violinist in the 1920s, whose recordings inspired the careers of Stephane Grapelli and others. His TV appearances include “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Conan,” “SNL” and “Great Performances” (PBS). Stein is also a featured soloist on some Disney films and Ken Burns’ documentaries. He has performed for two United States presidents, the president of the Dominican Republic, four New York City mayors and the Native American occupying force on Alcatraz. Please visit

    Ana Maria Lucaciu, Stager

    Ana Maria Lucaciu was born in Bucharest, Romania. After graduating from the National Ballet School of Canada, she joined Canada’s National Ballet and went on to dance with the Royal Danish Ballet, Augsburg Ballet (Germany), The Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company (Lisbon) and, most recently, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York, where she danced for seven years. Lucaciu has performed and created works with contemporary dance’s foremost choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Jiří Kylián, Alexander Ekman, Jo Stromgren, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and many others. Holder of a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Empire State College, she collaborates and performs with a wide range of artists and companies, and she freelances as a dancer and choreographer in her own right. Lucaciu teaches ballet, contemporary and improvisation workshops at professional programs and dance companies across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Lucaciu assisted Crystal Pite on the Polaris project at New York City Center. She currently assists Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman with new creations and stages his work around the world.

    Tom Visser, Scenic and Lighting Designer

    Tom Visser was born in 1980 and grew up in the west of Ireland. Coming from a theatrical family, he spent a lot of time as a child in theatres around the world. At the age of 18, he started working in musical theatre. In 2003, he joined The Nederlands Dans Theatre, which brought him into contact with many great names in the dance world. For the past 10 years, he has been working as a freelance lighting designer. He has created works for NDT1 and 2, Royal Swedish Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Sydney Dance Company and The Norwegian National Ballet, to name a few.

    Jonathan McPhee, Guest Conductor

    Jonathan McPhee is music director for the Lexington Symphony and maintains an active guest-conducting career. Having completed 28 years as music director for Boston Ballet, he is currently serving as a guest conductor for Houston Ballet, New York City Ballet, Sarasota Ballet and the Kiev National Opera Orchestra in the Ukraine. His adaption of Wagner’s RING Cycle into two full evenings with orchestra and singers premiered in 2016 to rave reviews. Mr. McPhee has served as conductor for The Royal Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, National Ballet of Canada, The Australian Ballet, Den Norske Ballet in Norway and Royal Danish Ballet, among others. His works as an arranger and composer are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. and Schott Music, and they are in the repertoires of orchestras and ballet companies around the world. Mr. McPhee’s editions of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and The Firebird are the only authorized reduced orchestrations of these works. Mr. McPhee’s best-selling recording of The Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet Orchestra has sold over 85,000 copies. He has recorded Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet with that orchestra (available on iTunes), and Michael Gandolfi’s Caution to the Wind on the CRI label. Mr. McPhee was the conductor for the films of Martha Graham’s works telecast by DANCE IN AMERICA that included Samuel Barber’s Cave of the Heart, Gian Carlo Menotti’s Errand into the Maze, and Edgard Varese’ Integrales, Offrandes and Octandre. Mr. McPhee received his Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music from the Royal Academy of Music and University of London, and a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from The Juilliard School.

  • Program Notes

    Sandpaper Ballet
    Choreography by Mark Morris

    Music: Leroy Anderson - "Sleigh Ride (Overture)," "The Typewriter," "Trumpeter's Lullaby," "Sarabande," "Balladette," "Jazz Pizzicato," "Jazz Legato," "Fiddle Faddle," "The Girl in Satin," "Song of the Bells," "The Syncopated Clock"

    Premiere: April 27, 1999, at San Francisco Ballet – War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

    Length: 30 minutes

    AON <All or Nothing>
    Choreography by Yury Yanowsky

    Music: Lucas Vidal

    Premiere: March 22, 2019, at Atlanta Ballet – Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta, Georgia

    Choreography by Alexander Ekman 

    Music: Franz Joseph Haydn (Sonate no V “Sitio” from Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze, Hoboken XX, 1B, 1786-1787; Allegro from string quartets Opus 9, no 6 in A major, 1769), Ludwig van Beethoven (String quartet no. 9 in C major, Op. 59, 1808, from Andante con moto quasi allegretto), Franz Schubert (Presto from string quartet Der Tod und das Mädchen, 1824, arranged for orchestra by Andy Stein)

    Text: Spenser Theberge

    I created Cacti [nearly 10] years ago for the Netherlands Dance Theater in The Hague.This work is about how we observe art and how we often feel the need to analyze and "understand" art. Many of my friends have told me that they didn't really understand modern art and started to fee that perhaps it was not for them. I believe that there is no right way and that everyone can interpret art and experience it the way they want. Perhaps its just a feeling that you canʼt explain or perhaps its very obvious what the message is. Cacti discusses art criticism and it was created during a period of my life where I was very upset every time someone would write about my work. I did not find it fair that one person was going to sit there and sort of decide for everyone what the work was about. Now I have stopped reading my reviews, but still question this unfair system mankind has created.

    While creating Cacti, I had the chance to create a work with musicians in the studio, which was a new way of working for me. Together with a string quartet we created a rhythmical game between dancers and musicians which became the score for the work. Cacti demands a high concentration both from dancers and musicians, which makes it very exciting to observe. I have always been fascinated by human capability during highest concentration and our way of acting in a state of emergency.

    I have made around 35 pieces up to date and Cacti is definitely one of those works which I will always feel a certain love for. It is extremely hard to create a piece which feels complete and finished from beginning to end. I think with Cacti we somehow managed to arrange the pieces of the puzzle in a way that it actually felt sort of "finished.”


    Alexander Ekman

    Premiere: February 25, 2010, at the Netherlands Dance Theatre, The Hague, The Netherlands

    Length: 27 minutes

  • Casting
  • Pre-Ballet Talks

    Pre-Ballet Talks
    Friday, March 22 at 7pm & Saturday, March 23 at 7pm

    How did “ballet” come to mean everything from the lyrical romanticism of La Sylphide to the jagged irreverence of Alexander Ekman’s Cacti? Join us in the lower mezzanine lobby of the theatre at 7pm on Friday or Saturday for a preview discussion of the evening’s program led by Atlanta Ballet staff member Lauren Elliott.

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