image013The Atlanta Ballet has announced that artistic director John McFall will end his tenure with the organization after  21 years at its helm. His last day as artistic director will be June 1, 2016.

McFall, who joined Atlanta Ballet in 1994 as only the organization’s third artistic director, is credited with transforming the oldest ballet company in the nation from a regional troupe to one of the most inventive and boundary-pushing dance organizations in the industry, attracting talent and spectators from around the world.

McFall brought such blockbusters as “Dracula,” “Romeo et Juliette” and “Nutcracker” to the stage, as well as inventive collaborations with Indigo Girls and Big Boi from Outkast. There were also international tours, including the company’s debut in London performing McFall’s enchanting “Peter Pan” as the centerpiece of Royal Festival Hall’s millennium celebration and, more recently, the Ballet’s two-week tour to China, where the Company performed as the sole representative of the U.S. for the country’s first “International Ballet Season” hosted by the National Ballet of China.

“I’ve had the privilege of leading Atlanta Ballet as artistic director for more than two decades. It has been an extraordinary experience and adventure. The 2014-15 season was the crown jewel of my tenure artistically. We brought the curtain up on some of the most astounding and exhilarating works the dance world has to offer,”McFall said in a statement.  “I have determined that this is the perfect time to transition and step aside from my responsibilities. I’m at the peak of my accomplishments with the Ballet, and I’m proud of that legacy. It is time for another inspired individual to bring his or her vision to this wonderful company. My family and I have been considering moving to Europe for quite some time, and my lovely wife Paige has recently identified an opportunity in Amsterdam that I support with enthusiasm. So I will say “au revoir.” Atlanta Ballet is in my heart, and always will be.”


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.