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Why Are Ballet Dancers Leaving the Atlanta Ballet ?

TimesAtlanta | By
Posted:  April 7, 2017  //  No comments

Fourteen months after Gennadi Nedvigin took the helm as artistic director of the Atlanta Ballet, 13 dancers are set to depart.

That’s nearly half of the 23 company members and five apprentices. Two apprentices and six company members have not been “reengaged” — offered a new contract —for the 2017-18 season, Atlanta Ballet said. Five company members are departing Atlanta Ballet by choice, according to a spokeswoman.

Those choosing to leave include Tara Lee, who has been with Atlanta Ballet for 21 seasons and has choreographed four pieces for the group. Christian Clark, who began dancing at the Atlanta School of Ballet when he was eight years old and has been a dancer with Atlanta Ballet for 15 seasons, is also choosing to leave.

Nedvigin was not available for comment Friday morning because he is traveling internationally, an Atlanta Ballet spokeswoman said.

This kind of turnover is not unexpected or abnormal when a new artistic director comes in, said Atlanta Ballet President and CEO Arturo Jacobus. A ballet company getting a new artistic director is not unlike a new boss taking the helm at any other workplace, he said.

“Any time a new leader comes in there is inevitably turnover. Certain individual dancers decide the new direction is not for them, and others are not fitting in with the new vision of the leader,” Jacobus said. “Whether it be a corporation when a new CEO comes in or a sports team getting a new coach, there is definitely a new vision that the new leader brings, and there is fallout with that.”

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