The Atlanta Ballet Is Losing Nearly Half Its Dancers | WABE 90.1 FM

The Atlanta Ballet Is Losing Nearly Half Its Dancers

Apr 6, 2017

The Atlanta Ballet is losing about half its company. Five dancers are quitting; eight more are being fired.

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That's according to the web publication ArtsATL. Its executive editor, Laura Relyea, spoke to WABE's "City Lights" Thursday as part of the show's ArtsCast segment. She said many dancers don't like the company's recent return to a more classical style.

“Multiple sources told ArtsATL that their departures reflect discomfort with the substantial change in direction the ballet has taken under their new artistic director, Gennadi Nedvigin,” Relyea said.

All of the company's female principal dancers are quitting. Another principal, Christian Clark, is also leaving. He's danced with the Atlanta Ballet since he was 8 years old.

Atlanta Ballet had been known for innovation. In February, it announced the end of its contemporary summer troupe, Wabi Sabi.

The ballet’s board chair, Allen W. Nelson, told ArtsATL the organization is holding auditions to fill the vacancies.

“We’re on a journey here," he said. "I see this as the next stage of the journey.”

A note of disclosure: Atlanta Ballet is a WABE underwriter.