Press Releases

February 25, 2016

SF Ballet Principal Dancer Gennadi Nedvigin Named Artistic Director of Atlanta Ballet

SAN FRANCISCO, Thursday, February 25, 2016—San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Gennadi Nedvigin has been appointed artistic director of Atlanta Ballet after nearly 20 years with SF Ballet. He will succeed John McFall, who announced his retirement seven months ago and will step down from the position in June. A farewell performance is planned, with details to be announced and his final performance will take place during the Company’s run of Cranko’s Onegin. Nedvigin will begin working with Atlanta Ballet on August 1, following its 2015-16 season and will be one of three former SF Ballet principal dancers who currently lead a major ballet company in the United States, including Mikko Nissinen at Boston Ballet and Ashley Wheater at Joffrey Ballet.

SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson said, “Gennadi is an incredibly talented dancer who—after 19 years with the company—is still performing at a very high level and I am very proud of him. I have no doubt that his professionalism, coupled with his passion and respect for the art form will make him a wonderful leader for Atlanta Ballet.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Gennadi to Atlanta Ballet,” said Allen W. Nelson, chair of Atlanta Ballet’s board of trustees. “This is a pivotal time for our organization, and we are confident that Gennadi will be a leader that can build on the rich legacies of John McFall, Robert Barnett, and Ms. Dorothy Alexander, but also carve out his own legacy within our organization.”

From Rostov, Russia, Nedvigin trained at the Bolshoi School and performed with Le Jeune Ballet de France and Moscow Renaissance Ballet before joining SF Ballet as a soloist in 1997. In 1999, he won the Erik Bruhn Prize at the 5th International Competition after performing the grand pas de deux from Tomasson’s Nutcracker and Two Bits alongside SF Ballet Principal Dancer Vanessa Zahorian, who won the prize in the women’s category. Nedvigin became a principal dancer in 2000, and since then he has performed numerous lead roles with the Company. His roles include Albrecht in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker Prince in Tomasson’s Nutcracker, Mercutio in Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, Prince Desiré and Blue Bird in Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty, Basilio in Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote, Franz in Balanchine’s Coppélia, Lensky in Cranko’s Onegin, and Aminta in Morris’ Sylvia, among others. He also created principal roles in Adam’s Angelo and A rose by any other name; Morris’ Beaux and Joyride; Page’s Guide to Strange Places; Possokhov’s Fusion and Magrittomania; Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands; Scarlett’s Hummingbird and Fearful Symmetries; Tomasson’s Trio; Wheeldon’s Number Nine; and Zanella’s Underskin, among others. Nedvigin’s accolades include an Isadora Duncan Award for Best Ensemble Performance in William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and an Isadora Duncan Award nomination for Best Ensemble Performance in Possokhov’s Classical Symphony. In addition to his illustrious performance career, Nedvigin has been a guest teacher for Company class, staged Possokhov works at Atlanta Ballet and Romanian National Ballet, and served as ballet master for Possokhov’s Classical Symphony for SF Ballet’s international tours.

San Francisco Ballet
As America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. San Francisco Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States. Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, Willam and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance” and in 2006, it was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. In 2008, the Company marked its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives including an ambitious New Works Festival. In October 2013, the Company performed at New York’s David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where the New York Times declared SF Ballet “a national treasure.” 2015 marked the 30th anniversary of Helgi Tomasson’s tenure as artistic director of San Francisco Ballet.

Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 87 years, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit

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