Five of Atlanta’s most recognizable and prolific dancers have started their own dance company, the Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.
Until recently, those dancers–John Welker, Tara Lee, Christian Clark, Rachel van Buskirk and Heath Kill–owed their recognition to their tenures at the Atlanta Ballet. All either retired or resigned from, or were let go by, the ballet.
That’s because the ballet’s board as well as its new artistic director, Gennadi Nedvigin, wanted to steer the company toward the classical tradition of ballet. (The previous artistic director, John McFall, was inclined towards modern and contemporary styles. McFall retired in 2016 after 20 years.)
Last week, after the final curtain closed on the Atlanta Ballet’s 2016-2017 season, ArtsATL broke the news that Welker and the aforementioned dancers had formed a new company called Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.
Welker spoke with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” and explained the genesis of Terminus, the influence of long-time mentor John McFall and his vision for the future:
“One of the things I really wanted to put at the forefront of our organization is our love for the city,” Welker said, and that “while we have big aspirations and dreams to be a nationally- and internationally-recognized company, that it was known through our name that Atlanta was our home, and that our roots belong here. . . . . We wanted to honor the city that has given us so many opportunities.”
Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre is scheduled to debut the weekend of Oct. 13 at the Westside Cultural Arts Center.