Find fun things to doin the Atlanta, GA area
Posted: 11:56 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 2013
By Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Atlanta Ballet Presents ‘Dracula’”
8 p.m. Feb. 8, 2 and 8 p.m. Feb 9, 2 p.m. Feb. 10, 8 p.m. Feb. 14-16 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Tickets, $20-$120. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 404-817-8700, www.atlantaballet.com.
Meet John Welker
Born: Columbus, Ohio
Wife: Christine Winkler, like Welker, an Atlanta Ballet company member for 18 seasons. Married 13 years.
Professional experience: Apprentice member, BalletMet, in Columbus at age 17; company member, Ballet West, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1994-95; company artist, Atlanta Ballet, 1995-96 to present.
Favorite hobby: Cooking, especially Italian.
Collects: “I like to read and I like to eat, so cookbooks are a natural for me.” Favorites include “Recipes From a French Country Kitchen,” Mario Batali’s “Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking” “Bread Alone: Bold Fresh Loaves From Your Own Hands,” “The French Laundry Cookbook.”
Favorite Atlanta restaurants: Woodfire Grill, Abattoir, Sotto Sotto
Workout routine: Gardener in his Decatur yard, eternally trying to tame bamboo planted by previous homeowner. Also tends a winter vegetable garden. “My God, dirt weighs a lot!”
Favorite music: “We just love music, listen to everything.”
Current playlist: Anthony Hamilton, Gotye, Adele
Favorite recent movie: “As a dance geek, one I loved was ‘Pina,’” Wim Wenders’ 2011 documentary about contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch.
Major classical ballet roles include: Prince Siegfried in “Swan Lake,” Prince Florimund in “Sleeping Beauty,” Albrect in “Giselle,” Basilio in “Don Quixote,” Cavalier in “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker,” and Romeo in “Romeo & Juliet.” More contemporary roles include Dracula in Michael Pink’s “Dracula” and the principal males in John McFall’s “Firebird” and James Kudelka’s “The Four Seasons.”
Favorite role: The title role of “Dracula.” “It’s such a character role, you really get in deep into the moment. You forget who you are as John Welker and you feel like you’re that person. Everything is emotionally motivated, and for every step, there’s a reason. It’s not just a technical showcase.”
Favorite dancer: “As a younger dancer, I admired Nureyev. Now I just enjoy observing the dancers around me in (Atlanta Ballet), especially the younger ones, like Heath Gill (the 24-year-old in his third season). He’s someone I look to for inspiration.”