This summer, Atlanta Ballet will welcome back two of its legends – Artistic Director Emeritus Robert "Bobby" Barnett and former Atlanta Ballet dancer turned international ballet sensation Caroline Cavallo.
Barnett, 87, and Cavallo, 42, will be special guest instructors for a week during the Ballet's annual Summer Intensive Program, which began June 25 at the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in Midtown Atlanta.
To commemorate the occasion, the Company will also host its inaugural Atlanta Ballet Alumni Day today, June 26. Nearly 500 former ballerinas, from 1929 to present, have been invited back for the celebration, which will include a ballet class taught by Barnett as well as a formal reception.
Barnett began his career as a soloist with the renowned New York City Ballet, where he was a protégé of George Balanchine. In 1958, Atlanta Ballet invited him to join the Company as a principal dancer and he was eventually named artistic director in 1963, introducing many Balanchine masterworks into the repertoire, including The Nutcracker. Barnett retired in 1994 after more than 30 years, but continues to be active with the organization.
Cavallo, an Atlanta native, was a student of Barnett's. Following a short stint with Atlanta Ballet, she became one of the first American dancers with Royal Danish Ballet (RDB) in 1989. Cavallo retired in 2010 after 21 years with the Company as a principal dancer. In addition to her tenure with RDB, Cavallo guest-performed with several major companies around the world: the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet , amongst others, and was invited to dance Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and the leads in Cortège Hongrois and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 with the New York City Ballet.
For more information on Atlanta Ballet Alumni Day or Atlanta Ballet's Summer Intensive Program, visit www.atlantaballet.com.
About Atlanta Ballet: Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 81 years, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization.