Atlanta Ballet

A Night to Remember

I had the opportunity to experience the Atlanta Ballet at the Cobb energy center. The performance was around 2 hours, with three pieces being performed throughout. Each of the pieces composes and choreographed by six separate people and allowing them to express there sentiments and vision fully. There were three major composers, the first being Dave Brubeck who composed the score for the jazz portion, Mikael Karlsson and Victor Fieldman for the Rhythms of the City, and Kevin Johnson, who wrote and arranged the Gospel portion. The Atlanta Ballet was the dance company that performed with special guests ft the Spelman College Glee Club and the Golden Gate singers. The instruments from each piece varied; the jazz pieces had heavy use of trumpets, saxophones, piano, and the double bass.

In contrast, the tuplet/ rhythm portion was composed of mouth sound, and percussive body sounds. The last piece was written mainly of voice in all parts ( soprano – bass) in conjunction with piano drums and various percussive instruments. The ballet was unique in the sense that they wanted the ballet to reflect the city that it was in as well as honor the people who live in it. The music sounded great, but my absolute favorite was the end piece, “ Sun Rise Divine.” The music was tangible, and the voices ringing out captured my attention from the opening. The intricate harmonies of Sunrise divine, along with the musical selections, took you on the journey of what gospel music is. The soloist control of dynamics added to the complexity of the piece, and the emotion behind the voice could be felt in both the chorus and each performer; it was personal for them. I think each piece bought along with it on technical challenges, whether it was various improvisation in jazz or ensuring that the words and the dancers lined up in Tuplet, regardless, the energy was there. Being that this was the final show, everyone was comfortable and confident in the repertoire being performed, and for that, I am grateful because it allows you to enjoy the show more. To me, the best composition was sunrise Divine, it spoke to me and my history, and to see something like that performed was special. My least favorite was the first, and it was because of the composition, that was lovely. It was more because I felt like the choreographer didn’t do a good enough job understanding the pieces he was choreographing to. To have live music accompany a ballet is knew but experiencing a ballet is not. I used to dance, so it was nice being in that atmosphere again.

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