Atlanta Ballet to Launch 2013-14 Season with 2-Week China Tour, Begin. 10/29
A special addition has been made to Atlanta Ballet's 13-14 performance season.
The 84-year-old company has announced that it will now begin its upcoming season with a two-week tour to China - its first major international tour in more than 10 years.
Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall shared the news during the Company's "Welcome to the Season" event, Friday, Sept. 27.
The Ballet will join 11 other companies from around the world for China's inaugural "International Ballet Season" hosted by the National Ballet of China. The Company, represented by 19 of its 26 professional dancers, will depart Atlanta Tuesday, Oct. 29 for the engagement, which will include seven performances at various venues throughout Beijing, China. Their return is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 11.
As the sole representative from the United States, the Company has titled the program "Atlanta Ballet presents Dance from America," which will feature four distinct works chosen to reflect the Ballet's broad repertoire and the versatility of its artists:
· Pas de deux from George Balanchine's patriotic "Stars & Stripes"
· Christopher Wheeldon's neo-classical "Rush"
· Atlanta Ballet resident choreographer Helen Pickett's "Prayer of Touch"
· The wedding night pas de deux from Stanton Welch's "Madame Butterfly"
"We are honored to have the extraordinary opportunity to visit China and represent our city and state abroad," said Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall. "The birth of this festival speaks volumes about the energy, enthusiasm and vision of the Chinese dance community, and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of the movement. We are also looking forward to being a part of the rich exchange of ideas and culture. I'm positive that our time there will impact the Company in profound ways, and it's inspiring to know that we'll be able to bring those experiences back to our patrons."
McFall has been a proponent of touring since joining Atlanta Ballet in 1994. However, travel slowed in recent years as the Company focused more on projects and affairs at home. The China engagement will be the Company's first major international presentation since performing McFall's "Peter Pan" in London in 1999 - the centerpiece for the Royal Festival Halls' Millennium Celebration. Despite the hiatus, touring has remained a priority. Strategic touring has now become a major component of Atlanta Ballet's current 5-year plan, which was adopted in 2010.
"This opportunity couldn't have come at a better time for the organization," said Atlanta Ballet executive director Arturo Jacobus. "The Company has evolved significantly since our last trip overseas, and we feel poised to reintroduce ourselves to the international dance community. The last five years, especially, have allowed us to strengthen our foundation as an organization and sharpen our focus artistically. We've brought the world to Atlanta, now it's time to once again share Atlanta Ballet with the world."