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John Welker's final performances w. Atlanta Ballet


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And from the Atlanta Ballet's own website on Welker's departure -- (I had missed this, but it appeared a couple of weeks back tucked into a press release on their Nutcracker):




Welker has played a pretty outsized role in Atlanta Ballet's productions over the years--he's forty and John McFall, the director he has worked with here his whole career, has just left, so it's not (to me) a surprising or troubling departure. But he certainly deserves big praise for all he has done here. I have no idea what the the new director, Gennadi Nedvigin's longer term plans are for the company's roster, but at any rate Nedvigin made what I thought a nice statement about Welker in the article I originally posted. 


“'John Welker is this type of an anchor that connects all (Atlanta Ballet) generations and helps develop new, young dancers,' Nedvigin said. 'He’s an example of a great dancer, and it’s always sad to see those experienced and knowledgeable dancers go.'”

Edited by Drew
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Hi Drew,

Thanks for sharing this. I saw Atlanta Ballet's production of The Nutcracker just over a week ago. It was my first time seeing the Atlanta Ballet, and I was quite impressed. Even though I (wrongly) assumed most people there would be families doing the Nutcracker for the holiday season and wouldn't really know the company well, the deep appreciation for Welker was palpable. He was applauded upon his entrance and received a deep and continuous ovation at the curtain call. His pas de deux in the second movement was the highlight of the night. (Although Saho Kumagai was also excellent as Marya). 

It's interesting to read that he's retiring not for ballet reasons, but so that he can take a few courses to finish his Bachelor's degree!


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I have plans to catch Welker in Nutcracker later this week -- a matinee that I expect will be families "doing the Nutcracker" for the holidays, though I hope there will people there to show their appreciation for him too. 


Atlanta Ballet has an interesting repertory this season. At least from my point of view it does. I am going to try to attend every program if I can.

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