Before it even hit the stage, the Atlanta Ballet's season-closing production of big, featuring OutKast's Big Boi, was the subject of a New York Times article. But you don't give a dance performance high marks because of national press or celebrity collaborators. You do, however, honor it for the audacity of saying to the world that ballet needs to continue to grow and challenge itself, even if it forces people to question whether it's ballet at all (or, as some suggested with big, modern dance). A palpable energy crackled from the sometimes turbulent (and uneven) marriage of ballet and hip-hop, but the impact that both forms have had on Atlanta's cultural scene over the years makes the combination long overdue. Kudos to our very own Mr. Big, Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall, and resident choreographer Lauri Stallings for stepping up to the plate (and the mic). www.atlantaballet.com.
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