Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi to perform at the Botanical Garden

New works premiere among the flowers (and cocktails)


  • Jonah Hooper
  • SUMMER BLOSSOMS: Atlanta Ballet dancer Jackie Nash is a member of Wabi Sabi, which will perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this Thursday, June 21.

The dancers of the Atlanta Ballet will take to the Botanical Garden this Thursday night for “Cocktails in the Garden.” As visitors sip cocktails, the dancers of the Ballet’s chamber performance group Wabi Sabi will premiere new works at various locations throughout the property.

Atlanta Ballet dancer John Welker created Wabi Sabi last season as a small “company within a company,” designed to bring dance off the proscenium stage and to provide dancers with the opportunity to choreograph. The group takes its name “Wabi Sabi” from a Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in the simplicity and transience of the natural world.

For the Botanical Garden performance, Welker has commissioned six choreographers to create new site-specific works including three Atlanta Ballet company members — Tara Lee, Peng-Yu Chen and Jonah Hooper — and three guest choreographers. Former Atlanta Ballet member and current dancer with Germany’s Ballett Augsburg, Nathan Griswold, is among the visiting artists, along with BalletMet’s Jimmy Orrante and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s Rachelle Scott.