The faces of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre (from left) Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark. Photo: Felipe Barral/ArtsATL

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre makes its company debut this weekend with Exstasis, a modern ballet inspired by the search for ecstatic moments.

This is no small feat.

If you follow dance in Atlanta at all, you know the names of the company’s five founders — Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker — all longtime Atlanta Ballet principal dancers.

Late last season they decided to leave Atlanta Ballet, which was adopting a more classical approach under new artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin. Their goal: Create a company dedicated to expanding the boundaries of ballet through contemporary movement and nontraditional approaches.

That’s very much the ethos they danced under with John McFall, who led Atlanta Ballet for 22 years before retiring at the end of the 2016 season. It was also a driving force behind Wabi Sabi, the Welker-led Atlanta Ballet offshoot that performed modern works by up-and-coming choreographers at unusual places — festivals, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Woodruff Arts Center plaza, Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills, etc.

Over the summer, Terminus secured nonprofit status and partnerships with the Westside Cultural Arts Center and the Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture and the Environment.

Now comes its premiere.

Exstasis, a theatrical dance work choreographed by Lee, uses music ranging from classical to R&B and jazz to explore the human desire to be superhuman.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that tickets for the four scheduled performances — 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday — sold so quickly that there’s now a waiting list. The dancers did add a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, and those tickets are still available. You’d be wise to act now. Get tickets ($25) or join a waiting list HERE or at 470.733.8274.

Terminus returns Nov. 17-18 with Lore, a world premiere choreographed by Gill and being performed at Serenbe at Deer Hollow, 8455 Atlanta Newnan Road, Palmetto. Tickets ($25 + $50) HERE or at 470.733.8274.

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About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s editor, 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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich