Robert Barnett and his wife, Virginia, came to Atlanta in 1958 at the invitation of Dorothy Moses Alexander, who founded the Atlanta Bullet in 1929.
Upon Ms. Alexander's retirement in 1962 Mr. Barnett became artistic director and now marks his 31 st season.
He began his serious study in dance with Bronislava Nijinska in 1946 in Los Angeles, and after less than two years, was invited by David Luchine to join the Original Ballet Russe, then performing throughout Europe.
He continued his studies in Paris whit Lobov Igorova, and in 1949, returned to New York City, where he was asked to/aim the New York City Ballet. Within two years he was made a soloist and during the following six years had roles created for him by such noted choreographers as New York City Ballet company director and founder, Geroge Balanchine, Jerome Rohhins, and the Royal Ballet of England's Frederick Ashton.
Mr. Barnett is often called upon to guest leach and coach by many companies and schools in the United Slates and abroad. He served as head coach for the American delegation at the International Ballet Competitions in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1980 and again in Moscow in 1981. He has served on I he panel for the Georgia Council of the Arts and the National Board for Regional Ballet. He now serves on advisory committees for the International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi, International Dance Alliance, Ltd. and Regional Dance America.
He is the proud recipient ofthe 1987 Governor's Award in the Arts. Mr. Barnett and his wife, who is a principal dancer and associate director of the Carl Ratcliff Dance Theater, have two sons, Robert Jr. and David.