Atlanta Ballet’s “Camino Real” transforms Tennessee Williams dialogue into dance

Helen Pickett is no stranger to turning challenging theatrical works into choreography
Photograph by Charlie McCullers
Photograph by Charlie McCullers

When Tennessee Williams’s surreal “Camino Real” opened on Broadway in 1953, critics hated it, and audiences fled for the exit. Could the play about an American traveler straddling two worlds work better as dance than as dialogue? That’s the thinking behind Helen Pickett’s Atlanta Ballet adaptation, her first full-length show for the company since she became its resident choreographer in 2012. It’s not Pickett’s first time transforming challenging theatrical works into dance; “The Exiled,” her rendition of Sartre’s “No Exit,” successfully premiered here last year. Her homage to Williams embraces both WWII iconography and a fantastical Spanish town.

On the calendar On March 20–22, the Atlanta Ballet premieres “Camino Real,” a new work based on the Tennessee Williams play, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

This article originally appeared in our March 2015 issue.