Ex-Atlanta Ballet Dancers To Make Debut As Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre is Rachel Van Buskirk (from left), Christian Clark, John Welker, Heath Gill and Tara Lee. Photo by Joseph Guay.

This weekend, five of Atlanta’s most recognizable and prolific dancers premiere their new dance company, the Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.

Lois Reitzes with our partner news organization WABE learned more about the performance, titled “exstasis,” in an interview with Terminus co-founders John Welker and Tara Lee. Hear the interview >

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Until recently, the dancers–John Welker, Tara Lee, Christian Clark, Rachel van Buskirk and Heath Kill–owed their recognition to their tenures at the Atlanta Ballet. All either retired or resigned from, or were let go by, the ballet.

That’s because the ballet’s board as well as its new artistic director, Gennadi Nedvigin, wanted to steer the company toward the classical tradition of ballet. (The previous artistic director, John McFall, was inclined towards modern and contemporary styles. McFall retired in 2016 after 20 years.)

After the final curtain closed on the Atlanta Ballet’s 2016-2017 season, ArtsATL broke the news that Welker and the aforementioned dancers had formed a new company called Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.

Welker spoke with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” after the announcement of the new company and explained the genesis of Terminus, the influence of long-time mentor John McFall and his vision for the future:

“One of the things I really wanted to put at the forefront of our organization is our love for the city,” Welker said, and that “while we have big aspirations and dreams to be a nationally- and internationally-recognized company, that it was known through our name that Atlanta was our home, and that our roots belong here. . . . . We wanted to honor the city that has given us so many opportunities.”

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre is making its debut this weekend with “exstasis” at the Westside Cultural Arts Center.

This article originally appeared with an audio interview on WABE.org.

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