Gennadi Nedvigin rehearsing Classical Symphony at Atlanta Ballet. Photo by Charlie McCullers, courtesy Atlanta Ballet.

Atlanta Ballet Names New Artistic Director

Gennadi Nedvigin, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, must have made an impression at Atlanta Ballet when he staged Yuri Possokhov's Classical Symphony for the company in 2015. After a seven-month search, AB has chosen Nedvigin to succeed artistic director John McFall, who steps down from the position this summer.

Nedvigin will take up his new post on August 1. Though this will be his first directorship, he has taught company class at SFB and acted as ballet master and stager at Atlanta Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and Romanian National Ballet. Bolshoi-trained Nedvigin joined SFB in 1997 and became a principal in 2000. In his 19 seasons with the company, he has performed nearly every principal role in the classical repertoire, a broad range of contemporary works and has originated roles by modern dancemakers.


Atlanta Ballet is particularly excited about Nedvigin's experience working with preeminent choreographers. Allen Nelson, chair of AB's board of trustees, said in a press release that Nedvigin has the “access, artistry and innate understanding of excellence" to elevate the company and its artistic vision.

As a student at SFB School, I had the privilege of witnessing that artistry first hand, in company rehearsals and onstage. Nedvigin is one of those performers who puts his audience at ease: you never worry if he'll complete a tricky move; you simply watch and marvel at the number of revolutions or height of the leap. San Francisco's ballerinas shine with him as a partner, and his elegance radiates in classical roles and gives him fluid dynamism in contemporary ones.

Nedvigin follows in the footsteps of Joffrey Ballet director Ashley Wheater and Boston Ballet director Mikko Nissenen, other SFB dancers-turned-directors. The company will send Nedvigin off with a farewell performance, to take place during the run of John Cranko's Onegin, the final program of SFB's season.

Programming for Atlanta Ballet's 2016-2017 season has yet to be announced, although we bet Nedvigin has some ideas.

Latest Posts


Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Tatiana Melendez Proves There's No One Way to Have a Ballet Career

This is Pointe's Fall 2020 cover story. Click here to purchase this issue.

Talk to anyone about rising contemporary ballerina Tatiana Melendez, and one word is bound to come up repeatedly: "Fierce." And fair enough, that's a perfectly apt way to describe the 20-year-old's stage presence, her technical prowess and her determination to succeed. But don't make the mistake of assuming that fierceness is Melendez's only (or even her most noteworthy) quality. At the core of her dancing is a beautiful versatility. She's just as much at ease when etching pure classical lines as she is when boldly throwing herself off-balance.

"Selfish choreographer that I am, I want Tatiana to stay with Complexions for all time," says her boss Dwight Rhoden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's co-artistic director and resident choreographer. "She has a theatricality about her: When the music comes on, she gets swept away." Not too shabby for someone who thought just a few years ago that maybe ballet wasn't for her.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

The Anatomy of Arabesque: Why Placement and Turnout Are Key to Achieving This Crucial Position

Audition for any school or company, and they'll likely ask for a photo in arabesque. The position not only reveals a great deal about a dancer's ability, but it is also a fundamental building block for more advanced movements, like penché or arabesque turn. Beyond technique, it can be the epitome of grace and elegance onstage, creating unforgettable images—just try to imagine Swan Lake or Balanchine's Serenade without an arabesque.

Yet many dancers are unsatisfied with their arabesque lines, and students frequently ask how to improve their extensions. (Social media posts of dancers with extreme flexibility don't help!) In an attempt to lift the back leg higher, dancers may sacrifice placement and unknowingly distort their position in the process. How can you improve the height of your back leg while maintaining proper placement and turnout? We talked to a few experts to better understand the science behind this step.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Coppélia" (1976)

Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov share the unique experience of having danced at both American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet during their careers. The two overlapped at ABT in the mid-'70s, where they developed one of the best-known partnerships in ballet. They were both celebrated for their dynamism onstage; however, in this 1976 clip of the pas de deux from Coppélia, Kirkland and Baryshnikov prove they are also masters of control.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks