Founded by visionary dance instructor Dorothy Moses Alexander, the Atlanta Ballet began performing in 1929. Alexander's dream of bringing quality ballet to the Atlanta community resulted in the Dorothy Alexander Dance Art Group—the first regional ballet company in the United States. In 1941 Alexander's Dance Company changed its name to the Atlanta Civic Ballet to reflect its cultural contributions and ties to the city.
AlexanderGeorgia General Assembly declared the Atlanta Ballet to be the state's official ballet company.
In 1994 John McFall became the ballet's third artistic director, and he continues to lead the Atlanta Ballet in its mission to educate audiences about dance. Under McFall's direction, both contemporary and modern dance premieres, as well as many new full-length ballets and several world-premiere productions, have opened in Atlanta. He has also arranged collaborations between the Atlanta Ballet and such Atlanta-area musicians as the Indigo Girls and the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
In early 2007 Barry Hughson was hired as the company's executive director. He and McFall now share the directorship of the ballet.
In 1996 the Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education, which offers dance instruction to both children and adults. One of the largest dance education programs in the United States, the center serves more than 1,700 students annually through a diverse selection of courses, including ballet, flamenco, hip-hop, and tap, and conducts other educational programs that reach more than 150,000 people in metropolitan Atlanta each year.
Media Gallery: Atlanta Ballet