Atlanta Ballet Announces Title of Twyla Tharp World Premiere

ATLANTA – Another page has been written in Atlanta's Ballet's historic Twyla Tharp chapter. The legendary choreographer has officially titled her world premiere ballet with the company: “Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin.”

Co-commissioned by Atlanta Ballet and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), the ballet will receive its world premiere in Atlanta, February 10-19 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, followed by the Canadian premiere in fall 2012.

Tharp, Atlanta Ballet and RWB originally announced the project in March during Atlanta Ballet’s 2011-12 season announcement. Since then Tharp has spent most of the summer in Atlanta working with the company to create and choreograph the work.

Rehearsals began in May with just seven dancers and a modest cast of kids. Now 13 students from Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education will dance alongside the full professional company. This premiere marks Tharp’s first use of children in a full-length ballet in her almost 50-year choreographic career.

The ballet, 20 years in the making as described by Tharp, will be based on George MacDonald’s late 19th century classic children’s tale “The Princess and the Goblin.” Like MacDonald, Tharp uses the children as the driving force and moral heart and soul of the enchanting tale. With most of the central characters, general narrative line and moral themes remaining true to the MacDonald story, Tharp combines the formality of ballet and the emotional expressiveness and wit of modern dance to tell this magical adventure tale of adult redemption achieved through the trusting innocence and determined love of children.

The ballet is set to music by Franz Schubert, arranged and orchestrated by composer and Schubert scholar Richard Burke. The music will be played live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra led by guest conductor Gary Sheldon.  The set design is by Caleb Levengood and costumes by Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Anne Armit. The lighting is by Tony-Award-winning designer Donald Holder. Tickets start as low as $20. For tickets, call 800-982-2787 or stop by the Cobb Energy Centre box office. To purchase tickets online, visit or For updates and more information on “Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin,” please also visit the official Atlanta Ballet blog

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 82 years, 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 over 150,000 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.

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet: Versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are trademarks of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. These qualities keep the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in demand as it presents more than 150 performances every season. Founded in 1939 by Gweneth Lloyd and Better Farrally, RWB holds the distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company. In 1953, the Company received its royal title, the first granted under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. In the ensuing decades, RWB grew to take its place among the world’s internationally renowned companies. In 1970, a professional school was created under the direction of David Moroni. Today two-thirds of the Company’s dancers are graduates of the RWB School.

About Twyla Tharp: Dance legend, Twyla Tharp, has choreographed more than 135 dances, five Hollywood movies, and directed and choreographed four Broadway shows. One of her most notable successes was the Broadway musical “Movin’ Out,” a dance narrative set to the music of Billy Joel, which won her a Tony Award for Best Choreography. Tharp also conceived and choreographed Come Fly Away which premiered on the Alliance Stage in 2009. Her prolific catalog spans genres and generations, including blockbuster productions on Broadway and in Las Vegas, and Hollywood screen credits in movies like Hair, Amadeus, and Ragtime. Tharp is the recipient of 19 honorary doctorates, a Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor.