Atlanta Ballet’s ‘Black Swan’ shows a company on the cusp of a new generation

The second piece of the evening, Craig Davidson’s Remembrance/Hereafter was a breath of fresh air and felt explosive, exciting and freeing from the moment the curtain opened on a visually impactful set that resembled a hanging garden. Right away, my eye was drawn to the warm but dynamic qualities that dancer Nadia Mara brought to the opening section. She makes us remember why we love to watch live dance. The long, flowing dresses were a perfect choice to complement Davidson’s razor quick choreography. The choreographer describes this piece as an “invitation to remember those who have passed, those we may soon leave behind and the anticipation of our ultimate reunion.” It felt like a celebration of life and the beauty that ballet can bring as an artform.

Olivia Yoch was a standout and seemed to literally dive into this ballet with the fearlessness that we were longing for in the previous piece of the evening. The women were stunning, but this was also an opportunity to see the men break out and really move. There were many moments of expert and daring partnering from the men, but they weren’t just there to create some fun “ta-da” partnering moments. There were standout individual performances from Bush, Leier and Tan. A beautiful string quartet brought Schubert’s music alive, reminding us that great art can sometimes come from deep personal pain. The moving score could not have been more perfect to reflect the deeper meanings behind Remembrance/Hereafter, and the dancers pulled out all the stops to remind us that life is short and should be embraced even through loss and sadness.

By Emily Harrison of Dance Informa.