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Atlanta Ballet records

Collection number: ahc.MSS963

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials created by the Atlanta Ballet to document outreach, development, education, research, and programing efforts. Topics include marketing and public relations, advertising, fundraising, volunteers, research and performance of specific ballets, costumes, and special events. Specific programs and groups documented by the collection include the Atlanta Ballet Guild, Atlanta Ballet II, the Atlanta Ballet Board, the Atlanta Ballet School, the Cleveland Ballet, the Dancing Wheels project, the Ferst Center, the Fox Theatre, the Dance Technology project, International Night, Kids-in-Step, the Atlanta Ballet School of Dance Education, the King Plow project, the Olympic Arts Festival, Performance Points, Stephen Dunn Associates, the White Oak dance project, and the Woodruff Arts Center. Materials in the collection include playbills, press releases, programs, brochures, newsletters, bylaws, directories, financial statements, reports, research materials, minutes, reports, and audio cassettes.


  • 1955-2002, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

The Atlanta Ballet was established in 1929 by dancer and choreographer Dorothy Moses Alexander (1904-1986). Founded as the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group, the company became the Atlanta Civic Ballet in 1940, and was subsequently named the Atlanta Ballet, Inc. in 1967. In 1946 the Atlanta Civic Ballet helped to found what would eventually become the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Robert Barnett and Virginia Rich Barnett, dancers from the New York City Ballet, joined the Atlanta Company as principal dancers in 1958. They brought ballets previously unseen in the South, such as George Balanchine's Serenade and The Nutcracker, as well as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. Alexander retired in 1963, and Barnett was named permanent artistic director and held that position until John McFall replaced him in 1994. In 1973, Governor Jimmy Carter awarded the Atlanta Ballet the title of state ballet company of Georgia.

In 1996, the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education (ABCDE) opened, with Sharon Story as the first dean; it offered children the opportunities to learn ballet and to perform with the professional dance company. During the same year, the Atlanta Ballet Company performed at the Olympics Art Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. The Centre collaborated with several other dance groups to create The Teacher Training Institute (TTI) in 2002 to teach children with learning disabilities. The National Association of Schools of Dance fully accredited the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education in 2003.

Since it's inception, the Atlanta Ballet has performed at local events such as the first Arts Festival in Piedmont Park, the first Regional Dance Festival, as well at nationally and internationally. Other notable ballets performed at the Atlanta Ballet include Shed your Skin: The Indigo Girls Project (premiered 2001), The Great Gatsby (premiered 2007), big (premiered 2008), and The Princess & the Goblin (premiered 2012). The Atlanta Ballet is the oldest professional dance company in America and the largest self-supported arts organization in Georgia.


19.23 linear ft. (40 document cases, five half document cases, 52 audio cassettes)



System of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into seven series, I: Marketing and outreach, II: Programs, III: Development, IV: Special events, V: Education, VI: Scrapbooks, VII: Audio cassettes.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audio recordings were made audio cassetes and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital audio. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1997, with subsequent additions

Related Archival Materials

Atlanta Ballet visual arts material, VIS 90, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Description Control

This collection was reprocessed in 2017.

Atlanta Ballet records
Leah Lefkowitz
March 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305