Metro audiences may already be familiar with the work of choreographer Helen Pickett, whose world premieres “Petal” and “Prayer of Touch” were seen with the Atlanta Ballet in March 2011 and May 2012, respectively.

We’ll be seeing much more of her soon. Atlanta Ballet has named Pickett its resident choreographer, with a three-year commitment for new works and an annual, weeklong “Choreographic Essentials” workshop. She’s expected to create a world premiere for the company in 2014.

The Brooklyn-based Pickett first worked with Atlanta Ballet on “Petal,” which was commissioned by artistic director John McFall, and described by critics as “a lushly hued, musically driving, sensually inventive and tactilely expressive look at human relationships.”

Atlanta Ballet Executive Director Arturo Jacobus has described her work as “innovative and fresh.”

Pickett was born in San Diego and studied dance at the San Francisco Ballet. For more than a decade she danced with the avant-garde Ballett Frankfurt in Germany.

In 2007, Dance Magazine named her one of “25 to Watch” — and she hasn’t disappointed.  She has choreographed for the Boston, Washington, Aspen Santa Fe and Louisville ballets, as well as Ballet X in Philadelphia, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Ballet West in Salt Lake City. In Europe, she has choreographed for the Royal Ballet of Flanders.

Her 2012-13 commissions include work with Semper Oper/Dresden Ballet, Vienna State Opera, Scottish Ballet and Smuin Ballet in addition to the Atlanta company. She holds a master of fine arts degree in dance from Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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