Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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Twyla Tharp’s ‘The Princess and the Goblin’
at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center

2012 February 15

Twyla Tharp’s “The Princess and the Goblin” Photo: Kim Kenney

 
Atlanta Ballet presents the world premiere of Twyla Tharp’s “The Princess and the Goblin.” But it ain’t all ballet.

Whether you like the ballet or find it boring as hell, this may change your mind. Because Tharp mixes a variety of styles in her humorous choreography, filled with dancers who mock one another with flexed feet, squiggly squirms and, yes, even a slap of krumping.

Tharp has a knack for story telling. Just as her masterpiece and world premiere of “Come Fly With Me” needed no words to tell stories, neither does this fairytale about a princess who discovers the town’s children are being kidnapped by a goblin.

Tharp not only choreographed the show, for six weeks she worked with the dancers, which include members of the Atlanta Ballet, and 11 ballet students ranging in age from 7 to 15. She shaped these dancers like no one else could.

Tharp, 70, is one of the most prominent choreographers of our day. After studying with Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham, she joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company before she began her own company, Twyla Tharp Dance, in 1969. She has choreographed for dance companies around the world and five Hollywood movies, and has directed and choreographed four Broadway shows.  Her numerous awards include a Tony Award and two Emmy Awards.

Atlanta Ballet and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) co-commissioned Tharp to create a world premiere. Both companies shared resources and split costs down the middle. Atlanta Ballet built all the sets and RWB offered the expertise of their costume designer who created the costumes. RWB dance company will premiere the show in October.

Story by George McDonald, conceived, directied and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, music by Richard Burke. Co-porduced by Atlanta Ballet and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

“The Princess and the Goblin” runs through Feb. 19 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.

Atlanta Ballet Company

Jacob Bush

Rachel Van Buskirk

Peng-Yu Chen

Christian Clark

Pedro Gamino

Heath Gill

Jonah Hooper

Yoomi Kim

Tara Lee

Nadia Mara

Jackie Nash

Brandon Nguyen*

Tommy Panto

Alessa Rogers

Claire Stallman*

Abigail Tan

Jared Tan

Jesse Tyler

John Welker

Christine Winkler

HarryYamakawa*

Lisa Barrieau (Apprentice)

Nayomi Van Brunt (Apprentice)*

Melissa Mitchell (Apprentice)*

Pablo Sanchez (Apprentice)*

Miguel Montoya (Apprentice)

Briley Jozwiak (Fellowship)

 

Children’s Cast

Stella McFallFlannery BogostSophie Basarrate

Tristan Bogost

Charlotte Brewer

Christina Carlos

Catherine Carlos

Hanae Dillon

Anna Scott Johnson

Pryor Krugman

Joshua Nunamaker

Kevin Silverstein

Cameron Walls

 

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