Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Atlanta Ballet's Wabi Sabi to perform at the Botanical Garden

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 7:08 AM

SUMMER BLOSSOMS: Atlanta Ballet dancer Jackie Nash is a member of Wabi Sabi, which will perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this Thursday, June 21.
  • Jonah Hooper
  • SUMMER BLOSSOMS: Atlanta Ballet dancer Jackie Nash is a member of Wabi Sabi, which will perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this Thursday, June 21.
The dancers of the Atlanta Ballet will take to the Botanical Garden this Thursday night for "Cocktails in the Garden." As visitors sip cocktails, the dancers of the Ballet's chamber performance group Wabi Sabi will premiere new works at various locations throughout the property.

Atlanta Ballet dancer John Welker created Wabi Sabi last season as a small "company within a company," designed to bring dance off the proscenium stage and to provide dancers with the opportunity to choreograph. The group takes its name "Wabi Sabi" from a Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in the simplicity and transience of the natural world.

For the Botanical Garden performance, Welker has commissioned six choreographers to create new site-specific works including three Atlanta Ballet company members — Tara Lee, Peng-Yu Chen and Jonah Hooper — and three guest choreographers. Former Atlanta Ballet member and current dancer with Germany's Ballett Augsburg, Nathan Griswold, is among the visiting artists, along with BalletMet's Jimmy Orrante and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet's Rachelle Scott.

The evening also provides a great way to see the Botanical Garden's current "Independent Visions: Sculpture in the Garden" exhibit at night.

And sadly, the performance is the very last opportunity for audiences to see company member Jacob Bush perform with the Atlanta Ballet. Bush has been with the company for five seasons and recently danced the leading role of Curdie in the world premiere of Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the Goblin, which the world-renowned choreographer created on the Atlanta Ballet in February. Bush leaves the company to join Germany's Ballett Augsburg at the end of this season.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden's "Cocktails in the Garden" with performances by Wabi Sabi takes place on Thursday evening, June 21. Cocktails will be served from 6 to 10 p.m. with Wabi Sabi scheduled to begin performances at 7 p.m. Performances are free with admission to the Garden, and the entrance ticket includes one free cocktail, with more available for purchase. For more information, visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden or the Atlanta Ballet.

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