Atlanta Ballet dancers in rehearsal with Yuri Possokhov. Photo by Kim Kenney, Courtesy Atlanta Ballet.
When Gennadi Nedvigin took over as artistic director of Atlanta Ballet in 2016, one of his first goals was to produce a new Nutcracker; it's been over 20 years since the company's last revamp by former director John McFall. Nedvigin immediately turned to choreographer Yuri Possokhov. "You need to be a really mature choreographer to visualize the whole story," says Nedvigin. Now, two years later, Atlanta Ballet's new Nutcracker will come to life December 8–24.
Gennadi Nedvigin coaches Atlanta Ballet dancers. Photo by Charlie McCullers, Courtesy Atlanta Ballet.
Atlanta Ballet has hired former San Francisco Ballet principal Gennadi Nedvigin to become the company's fourth leader. He stepped into the role in July, after longtime artistic director John McFall retired on June 1. "I could have danced longer, but I wanted to prioritize this opportunity," explains Nedvigin of his recent retirement from the stage. "It will work best if I do one thing."
While at San Francisco Ballet, Nedvigin's experience included working as a ballet master and stager of Yuri Possokhov's works, in addition to dancing lead roles in a wide variety of repertoire. When he staged Possokhov's Classical Symphony for Atlanta Ballet in 2014, Nedvigin was very impressed with the company. "I also enjoyed the sense of closeness among the dancers and the family atmosphere," he adds.
Three of San Francisco's most stunning leading men have just retired from the company. After multi-decade careers, Joan Boada, Pascal Molat and Gennadi Nedvigin took their final bows during an emotional farewell performance on April 17. Nedvigin will join Atlanta Ballet as its new artistic director.