Atlanta Ballet’s U.S. Premiere of Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon to be Presented at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre February 9-17, 2024

Award-winning choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s tenth original ballet explores the complex life of 20th century French fashion designer

ATLANTA (December 18, 2023) – Under the artistic direction of Gennadi Nedvigin, Atlanta Ballet is co-producing Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon with Hong Kong Ballet and Queensland Ballet with the North American premiere slated for February 9-17, 2024.

Acclaimed Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s tenth original full-length narrative ballet, Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon, delves into the complex life of one of the 20th century’s most intriguing iconoclasts. The woman who launched a global fashion empire and was credited in the post–World War I era with popularizing a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style, Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel, redefined the world of fashion; and more than a century later, her legacy continues. That legacy is defined in part by Chanel’s brilliant designs, shrewd business acumen and glamorous lifestyle; and it is also defined by immorality and opportunism on her rise to the top.

Ochoa’s original full-length narrative ballet chronicles Chanel’s almost mythical rags-to-riches and often controversial story. Through Ochoa’s wide range of dance training and acclaim for depicting modern narrative scenes in abstract and concise movements, she portrays Chanel’s life and polarizing reputation through ballet.

“I am interested in telling stories about strong historical women,” said Ochoa, who has also produced works about Eva Perón and Frida Kahlo. “Behind the surface of a strong woman, there is always a hidden emotional story full of hardships and flaws.”

Ochoa is a prolific and sought-after choreographer who has created more than 100 works for more than 70 companies around the world. One of the few female choreographers making narrative ballet, she has created nine such ballets, most recently Frida for Dutch National Ballet in 2020 and Doña Perón in 2022 for Ballet Hispánico.

Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon brings together a widely respected and award-winning creative team. Artistic collaboration was provided by Nancy Meckler; the original score is by Peter Salem, with set and costume designs by Jérôme Kaplan. The Atlanta Ballet Orchestra will perform Salem’s music live at the North American premiere.

“Annabelle is a brilliant choreographer and thoughtful storyteller, and we are honored to premiere her work in the U.S. for Atlanta audiences,” said Nedvigin. “The ballet portrays a historical figure with a past that was both inspiring and problematic, so we want to go beyond the stage with meaningful partnerships and educational resources to help contextualize Chanel’s story.”

Atlanta Ballet, in conjunction with this production, is developing programing with SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film and The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. Programing from SCAD will focus on the House of Chanel's immense influence on the fashion industry, and the Breman will explore the harmful impact of Coco Chanel’s antisemitism and collaboration with the Nazis. Additional resources will provide education on recognizing and combatting antisemitism today.

Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon is a co-production of Hong Kong Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Queensland Ballet. Hong Kong Ballet premiered the ballet in March; and, after the ballet is performed by the Atlanta Ballet as its world premiere in the USA, the Queensland Ballet will present it in the fall of 2024.

Atlanta Ballet’s North American premiere of Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon is made possible by a lead gift from The Carlos Family Foundation, with additional support from Katherine Scott. For more information about Atlanta Ballet and the supplemental programming and educational resources to support the ballet depicting Coco Chanel’s life, please visit

This production was inspired by real-life persons and events, but some incidents, names, characters and timelines portrayed in this production are fictitious. Reference to any specific product, service, design or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, sponsorship or association by any person with Atlanta Ballet.

# # #

About Annabelle Lopez Ochoa:
The Belgian-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is an award-winning sought-after choreographer who has created ballets for more than 70 dance companies around the world. After a 12-year long dance career, where she danced in various European companies. In 2003, she decided to focus her energies solely on choreography. Temecula Performing Arts Examiner said, "Ochoa is truly a masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry.” In 2019, Ochoa became the recipient of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award as well as the program director of the Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Ballet Summer Course. This season, Ochoa will create her tenth narrative ballet Coco Chanel: The Life of a Fashion Icon for Hong Kong ballet in a co-production with Atlanta Ballet and Queensland Ballet.

About Atlanta Ballet:
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 94 seasons, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves more than 35,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit, follow us on Instagram @atlantaballet, and like us on Facebook at

Rebecca Tejeda, Cookerly PR