Atlanta Ballet Launches Second Company for Advanced Dancers Transitioning to Professional Life

For training, AB2 members will have their own classes and will regularly join Atlanta Ballet's company classes. Photos by Kim Kenney, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet

This month, the curtain will rise on the first season of Atlanta Ballet 2—the second company of Atlanta Ballet.

Growing out of Atlanta Ballet's former Fellowship Division, AB2 is designed for advanced students ages 17–21, who are transitioning from student life to professional life. The company will also serve as a route to joining Atlanta Ballet.


During AB2's 36-week season, its members will receive shoes, a weekly stipend and free tuition at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. At the helm of AB2 will be Atlanta Ballet's artistic director, Gennadi Nedvigin, and the Centre for Dance Education dean, Sharon Story.

"AB2 will give the world premiere of Beauty & the Beast, a one-hour ballet by Bruce Wells," says Story. "They will also have two or three original works made on them this year and do classical and neoclassical repertory specifically selected for them from our repertory and others."

Photo by Kim Kenney, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet

Atlanta Ballet is additionally in talks about performance opportunities for AB2 at local venues, such as the Atlanta Botanical Garden and High Museum of Art. Like most second companies, AB2's dancers will have the opportunity to perform with the main company at the artistic director's discretion.

"AB2 dancers will take class with Atlanta Ballet when the company men and women split up–which is typically twice per week," explains Story. "They will take class with the company onstage when they are involved with Atlanta Ballet performances."

AB2 dancers will also participate in Atlanta Ballet's vast mentorship system. "Mentoring occurs on a daily basis," says Story. "Company members mentor AB2 dancers; artistic staff mentors company members; principal faculty from the Dance Centre mentors AB2; AB2 mentors conservatory students; and it goes further down into the school."

AB2's 2017–2018 season dancers come from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan and Spain and were selected from Atlanta Ballet's Dance Centre, the former Fellowship Division and auditions in Atlanta, New York and Barcelona.

Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.