Preview: Aerial artist Meaghan Muller joins with Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi for “Prelude to too”

Megan (Photo by Charlie McCullers)
Megan (Photo by Charlie McCullers)
Megan (Photo by Charlie McCullers)
Former Cirque du Soleil performer Meaghan Muller in the “NoNet” show at the Goat Farm Arts Center. (Photo by Charlie McCullers)

A strong Atlanta Ballet season has just come to an end, but dance fans needn’t fret. The season for Wabi Sabi, the Atlanta Ballet’s contemporary chamber performance group, is ready to get under way.

First up is Prelude to too, an hour-long performance blending elements of dance, theatre and circus which runs May 29-30 at the historic Rhodes Theatre in Midtown. Prelude promises an intriguing collaboration between the dancers of Wabi Sabi, the circus artists of the Atlanta-based performance organization Backside of the Tent and the actors of the improv comedy troupe Dad’s Garage.

The show also previews a full performance titled too, which will take place at the same venue in August.

“Each Backside of the Tent production is uniquely created with particular focus on who suits our show concept,” says Meaghan Muller, a former Cirque du Soleil performer who founded Backside of the Tent in 2013. 

The company’s first show, NoNet, was performed by former members of Cirque du Soleil and other aerial artists at the Goat Farm Arts Center. “When exploring integrating more dance into our work, Wabi Sabi was on the top of our list,” says Muller. “With Wabi Sabi’s mission of pushing ballet boundaries and challenging old and new audiences, we knew that their talented dancers would easily segue into a production that not only brings a multitude of art forms — some that even levitate you off the ground — but also creates the show around the audience’s perspective.” 

Wabi Sabi’s Brandon Nguyen and Kiara Felder. (Photo by Jonah Hooper)
Wabi Sabi’s Brandon Nguyen and Kiara Felder. (Photo by Jonah Hooper)

Part of Backside of the Tent’s mission is to bring audiences for circus arts into more intimate and unusual spaces, which makes the Rhodes Theatre an appropriate setting for the performances for Prelude to too. A single-screen movie house that originally opened in 1938, it shut its doors in 1985 and has remained empty since. 

The raw, evocative space has recently been used for dance including performances by glo in 2013 and for the company’s Tanz Farm series of performances in March 2015 with new works by Erik Thurmond and Malcolm Low. 

Prelude to too will run for three performances Friday, May 29, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 30 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The Wabi Sabi season continues with performances at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on June 18. Full performances of too take place at the Rhodes Theatre from August 14-15, followed by free performances at the High Museum on August 21 and at Serenbe on August 23.

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