Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling has been selected as one of the Fellows in residence for the 2017-2018 academic year at The Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA) at New York University, the first international institute devoted to the creation and academic study of ballet.

Entering its fourth year, the CBA Fellows program invites scholars and artists from the field of ballet and its related arts and sciences to work at the Center on their own scholarly and artistic projects. The program provides fellows with a stipend, access to studio and office space, an apartment in some cases and time away from daily life to focus on their specified project—a ballet, book, film, digital lecture series or other work of their imagining related in some way to ballet. It exists to inspire new ideas and ballets, to expand the understanding of ballet and to bring new vitality to its history, practice and performance in the 21st century.

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Audience Receives First Look at New Works and Opportunity to Interact with Artists

Nashville Ballet will close its 2016-2017 performance season with its popular experimental ballet series Emergence June 1-3, 2017, at Nashville Ballet’s Studio A. This season’s edition will feature the debut of three all-new Nashville Ballet collaborations only weeks in the making and the opportunity to interact with the artists to learn about the creative process.

Emergence was introduced to give artists the opportunity to create with less pressure and expectations,” Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO, said. “When curating the lineup, I look specifically for choreographers and musicians of different genres of movement and sound that can challenge how we think about ballet.”

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Program Opens with Fresh Take on Classic Appalachian Spring

Nashville Ballet will explore two contemporary dance styles in one performance—a ballet set to brand-new music by acclaimed singer-songwriter collective Ten Out of Tenn and another featuring an iconic Aaron Copland score—at the world premiere of Seven Deadly Sins with Appalachian Spring May 5-7, 2017, at TPAC’s Jackson Hall.

The latest production from Nashville Ballet company dancer Christopher Stuart, who recently choreographed the smash-hit Johnny Cash ballet during February’s AttitudeSeven Deadly Sins follows one man’s journey as he is tempted by corrupt forces on his path to redemption. The performance will feature a genre-bending musical collaboration between Ten Out of Tenn and the Nashville Symphony.

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Two World Premieres, Four Debuts from World-Renowned Choreographers and 10 Years of Nashville’s Nutcracker

Nashville Ballet steps into its future with a bold 2017-2018 performance season that showcases the full spectrum of the art, from the pinnacle of classical ballet to fearless contemporary works. The upcoming season will be rounded out by the return of highly anticipated fan favorites and the 10th year of Nashville’s Nutcracker.

“Each year I’m continually reminded of the remarkable growth of our company and artists as I watch our dancers on stage,” Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO, said. “My goal with each season is to curate a lineup that not only reflects that growth, but also challenges our dancers and audiences so we’re continually moving forward. That’s exactly what I see in this season—the next step for Nashville Ballet.”

Nashville Ballet 2017-2018 season tickets and tickets for groups of 10 or more go on sale to the public May 1 and can be purchased at www.nashvilleballet.com or by calling (615) 297-2966 x710. Tickets to individual performances go on sale July 1.

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Public Invited to Open House to Watch The Ben Folds Project Rehearsal on April 6

Nashville Ballet will make its debut appearance at the famed John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. to perform The Ben Folds Project April 17-23, 2017, as a part of the Ballet Across America series. Illustrating the most exciting, innovative dance happening across America today, the program is curated by major stars of the ballet world: American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck.

The Ben Folds Project, which premiered to Nashville audiences in May 2014, showcases Folds’ original piano concerto (co-commissioned by Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra) to original choreography by Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Folds' concerto, featured on his So There album, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Classical and Classical Crossover charts.

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Annual Gala Features Live Music and Original Dance

In its ongoing effort to profile how dance pairs with every style of music, Nashville Ballet will pay homage to the diverse musical genres that earned Nashville the title of “Music City,” at its premier fundraising event Ballet Ball, held on March 4, 2017, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Partially inspired by the Jefferson Street music scene of the mid-20th century and Nashville’s resulting TV show “Night Train,” Ballet Ball will feature entertainment curated in creative collaboration with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM): world-renowned choir the Fisk Jubilee Singers®, blues-rock duo Muddy Magnolias and GRAMMY/Dove/Emmy award-winning producer Shannon Sanders.

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Sugar + The-Hi Lows Put Unique Twist on The Man in Black

Nashville Ballet’s smash-hit Johnny Cash ballet returns by popular demand this Valentine’s Day with Sugar + The Hi-Lows to pay tribute to The Man in Black’s iconic life and legacy. The Johnny Cash piece joins the lineup for Nashville Ballet’s annual contemporary Attitude series February 9-12, 2017, at TPAC’s Polk Theater.

Created by Nashville Ballet dancer and choreographer Christopher Stuart, the performance is set to popular Cash tunes, including Ring of FireI Walk the Line and God’s Gonna Cut You Down. Nashville-based Sugar + The-Hi Lows (fronted by singer/songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup) will perform Cash hits with their own signature rockabilly twist, as well as a few original songs. The ballet, entitled Under the Lights, returns following its 2014 premiere.

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AuthorNashville Ballet

Nashville Ballet Puts Local Twist on Classic Holiday Tale

Nashville Ballet returns with local holiday tradition, Nashville’s Nutcracker, for the ninth consecutive year with the Nashville Symphony December 3-23, 2016, at TPAC’s Jackson Hall. Nashville’s Nutcracker weaves together the city’s vibrant history with one of the most beloved tales of all time for a Nashville holiday tradition unlike any other.

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Experimental Take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth Explores Power, Fate & Who’s Really in Control

Nashville Ballet will unearth the sinister side of human nature with Something Wicked, an experimental adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, just in time for Halloween October 20-22, 2016, at TPAC’s Polk Theater. While the ballet explores the story’s classic themes of power and fate, Nashville Ballet’s version delves deeper into the role of the three witches.

“In Shakespeare’s tale, the witches predict Macbeth’s fate as King of Scotland, which spurs Macbeth and his wife to murderous actions to fulfill the prophecy,” Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO, said. “In our version, the witches don’t merely plant this seed in Macbeth’s head. Instead, they actively manipulate him as a pawn in their own greedy quest for power.”

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Men on Pointe Provide Comic Relief

Nashville Ballet brings the magical fairytale Cinderella to life September 16-18, 2016, at TPAC’s Polk Theater as the opening performance of its 2016-2017 season. The family friendly classical ballet features a Cinderella who’s not afraid to take fate into her own hands, two stepsisters hilariously played by men and an adorable youth cast of 5 to 7 year olds.

Cinderella exists in cultures all over the world, but the version we’re most familiar with in America is a leading lady who’s a victim of her circumstance,” Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO, said. “In other interpretations, Cinderella is a more proactive participant in her fate. I’m more interested in telling this story—of an empowered Cinderella who knows her own intelligence and worth.”

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National Dance Day Marks Nashville Launch of DANCEFIX

At its sixth consecutive year celebrating National Dance Day with a free day of dance on Saturday, July 30, Nashville Ballet will offer a preview of its new fall adult class DANCEFIX, a high-energy, adult dance workout class.

Founded by Heather Britt, a professional dancer and choreographer from Cincinnati, Ohio, DANCEFIX will only be available at Nashville Ballet outside of Cincinnati. Classes feature diverse choreography, including everything from hip hop and jazz to Latin and lyrical. Each hour-long session, designed for both new and experienced dancers, includes a short warm-up, a toning session and 45 minutes of original choreography.

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Young Men’s Scholarship Program Offers Comprehensive, Tuition-free Training for Ages 6-18

Nashville Ballet announces the launch of its Young Men’s Scholarship Program beginning August 2016, which will provide comprehensive ballet training for males age 6-18 of all experience levels. The program will offer students one full academic year of tuition-free training, followed by merit-based scholarships.

The program is spearheaded by Nashville Ballet company dancers Jon UplegerJudson Veach and Gerald Watson, who will serve as Principal Instructors for the classes. Upleger, Veach and Watson developed the program to create an accessible way for young men to become introduced to the athleticism and art of ballet.

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