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Culture notes: Atlanta Ballet offers free ‘Healthy Living’ event Sunday; Atlanta Opera leader’s statement on his departure

Atlanta Ballet steps up ‘Healthy Living’

The Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education will host its inaugural “‘What Moves You’ Healthy Living Day” Sept. 9 at its headquarters, the Michael C. Carlos Dance Centre in Midtown.

The day-long community event, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., is free to the public and will include dance classes for kids and adults, health screenings and assessments. Registered dietitian and former Atlanta Ballet dancer Emily Cook Harrison will lead food demonstrations and seminars on healthy living and nutrition.

Participants will also be treated to performances by the Atlanta Ballet modern dance ensemble Wabi Sabi, 32 students from the ballet’s community ensemble, the African drumming group Giwayen Mata and Attoungblan: Ivory Coast Dance Theatre.

The event is part of a larger initiative by the ballet to play a role in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles and showing the connection between physical activity and nutrition. The Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Nutrition is the first program of its kind among U.S. dance companies.

Registration is not required but classes will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

1695 Marietta Blvd. N.W., Atlanta. Information: or contact community programs director Carla Cuba, at 404-873-5811. GRACIE BONDS STAPLES

Hanthorn’s statement on his resignation

When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported early last month that Atlanta Opera’s general director Dennis Hanthorn had resigned, an opera spokesperson said that its former leader would not be available to discuss his unexpected departure.

William E. Tucker, the opera company’s board chairman who spoke about the split, characterized it simply as “time for different paths.”

With the dust having settled a little, the newspaper recently asked Hanthorn for an interview. Via e-mail he offered this short statement and politely declined further elaboration:

“After eight seasons, it is time for a change in leadership at the Atlanta Opera and for me to explore new opportunities.

“The move to the Cobb Energy [Performing Arts] Centre, growth in the Atlanta Opera endowment, recently completed strategic plan and quality productions will provide the Atlanta Opera with the foundation to build well into the future. Without the board, staff, patrons and community, we could not have enjoyed such success.

“The company and I celebrate the victories and challenges of the past eight seasons, and in these turbulent economic times are proud that the Atlanta Opera is alive and well.

“My family and I appreciate all the opportunities given to us over the past eight years and wish the organization much success in the future. I look forward to my next challenge and working with many of my friends and colleagues from the past 30 years.” HOWARD POUSNER

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