DDP Talks To Claudia Schreier
Resident Choreographer of Atlanta Ballet
How long have you been Resident Choreographer?
I have been the Choreographer in Residence at Atlanta Ballet since the beginning of 2020.
Tell me about your history with the Company and Artistic Director.
Following the premiere of my first commission for Atlanta Ballet, First Impulse, in 2019, Gennadi offered me the role of Choreographer in Residence, which I eagerly accepted. Since then, I have created Pleiades Dances (2021), Fauna (2022), and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, which was presented in collaboration with the Cathedral Choir Society at the Washington National Cathedral. Other projects include the short film, Force of Habit (2021), directed by Adam Barish and co-presented with Guggenheim Works & Process. This May, I will be premiering my latest work for the Company, Carnivale.
What does your role involve?
I travel to Atlanta multiple times per year to start a new work from scratch and collaborate with the Company’s incredible artistic, production and administrative teams to bring it to fruition.
Claudia, when I interviewed you for Global Conversations, you talked about your responsibility to the local community – I have not heard a resident choreographer before or since express an obligation to serve in that way. Can you elaborate on this idea a bit more?
I see my role at Atlanta Ballet as serving part of the Company’s overall mission, to expand ballet’s reach and impact in a city already known for its vibrant culture and prolific artistic output. Part of that comes from representation; part of it is advocating for fundamental forms of support for our youth to maximize their potential; part of it is mentorship; and part of it is just listening and learning.
What’s the best part of the job/role?
Atlanta Ballet has truly become a family to me. Being Choreographer in Residence means that my relationship with the Company deepens with each subsequent project, and I consider it an immense privilege to have a creative home base in which taking on greater challenges and making longer term goals is possible.
Is there a current project you would like to discuss?
I am looking forward to presenting the premiere of Carnivale as part of Atlanta Ballet’s upcoming program, Significant Others, May 12-14 at the Cobb Energy Centre. The work is a playful, festival-inspired ballet set to a concerto by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, with costumes and set by Abigail Dupree Polston.
Always the next one!
How can DDP best serve the field and celebrate the great work of Atlanta Ballet?
Thank you for asking — the more national/international exposure, the better. It’s important for the health and longevity of our companies that it be understood that affiliation with the name of a city/region does not indicate “regional”-level dance; these companies offer world-class performances and deserve to be recognized as such.