ATLANTA - Ballet and gospel music combine for “Divine” world-premiere production: When Dr. Kevin Johnson sits down at a piano and begins writing music, he’s never quite sure where the melody will eventually go.
“You know, I don’t know. As a composer, you write it and go, ‘Okay, set it free and see what it becomes.’”
In the case of his newest creation, “what it becomes” is a soul-stirring, world-premiere dance piece for Atlanta Ballet.
Dr. Johnson’s Sunrise Divine is one of three works making up Atlanta’s Ballet’s February program, collectively titled Heart/Beat: Gospel, Brubeck & Rhythms of the City. Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin says he wanted to find someone to create music for an original piece rooted in gospel.
“I did my search, and I found Spelman Glee Club, that created beautiful music based on tradition and gospel,” he says.
Dr. Kevin Johnson is director of the world-renowned Spelman College Glee Club, and says getting the call to work on what would become Sunrise Divine felt divine: “‘Are you interested in writing a piece for the Atlanta Ballet?’ And I’m, like, ‘First of all…yes!’”
Sunrise Divine opens and closes with newly-composed music, bookending songs which trace the progression of gospel music. The music will be sung live during performances (by members of the Spelman College Glee Club, Golden Gate Singers, and soloists including Lydia Pace), and the choreography has been created by Dwight Rhoden, famed choreographer and co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
As for the message behind Sunrise Divine, the composer says he hopes audiences walk away with a sense of hope. “The water will be troubled. It’s not going to be this smooth thing,” says Johnson. “The message of the piece is, no pun intended, we can find a peace in the midst of the water raging.”
Heart/Beat: Gospel, Brubeck & Rhythms of the City will be performed at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on February 7-9 and 14-15.
For show times and ticket information, click here.
Hollywood stars headline weekend horror convention: From Jaws to The Exorcist to Halloween – some of the scariest movies of all-time will be represented at a horror convention in Downtown Atlanta this weekend.
Days of the Dead Atlanta will take over the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel from Friday, February 7th through Sunday, February 9th – bringing thousands of horror fans face-to-face with the icons they worship. This year’s celebrity lineup is filled with Oscar nominees and film legends, including Academy Award Winner Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws and Close Encoutners of the Third Kind), John Cusack (Better Off Dead, Say Anything), and Oscar-nominees Linda Blair (The Exorcist) and Kathleen Turner (Serial Mom). The celebrities will sign autographs and many will offer photo-opps with fans – some, like Danielle Harris of the Halloween series and Tony Todd (Candyman), will pose in-costume. Along with the celebrity appearances, Days of the Dead Atlanta features a vendor floor filled with movies, posters, and memorabilia.
Admission at the convention doors is $30 for Friday (5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), $35 for Saturday (11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), and $75 for all three days.
The hotel is located at 165 Courtland Street Northeast in Downtown Atlanta.
You already know that a certain handsome feature reporter is a horror movie super fan – and never misses a chance to interview his favorite genre stars. So we spent the morning at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, catching up with a few of this year’s headliners and getting a jump-start on the shopping, too!
Dr. Jackie Walters on Good Day Atlanta: Doctor Jackie Walters is getting personal. The beloved OBGYN celebrity doctor and star of BRAVO'S "Married To Medicine" has a new book that she hopes will educate and empower women.
Doctor Jackie is here now with more on The Queen V.
For more information on Dr. Jackie Walters click here.
You can also follow her on Instagram @therealdrjackie.
Pike Nurseries on Good Day Atlanta: Rebbeca Kunimoto stops by to talk about orchids and careing for them.
For more information click here.
Skype interview with Praise 102.5's Darlene McCoy: For more informationo Darlene McCoy click here.
Pet of the day from Zoo Atlanta: Zoo Atlanta stops by with today's pet of the day.
For more information on today's pet of the day click here.