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Nashville’s Nutcracker Brings Holiday Dreams Back to Stage


For Immediate Release


Ballet Stages Traditional Story with New Tricks, Dancers


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 25, 2011) – One of Nashville’s newest holiday traditions, Nashville’s Nutcracker, will return to TPAC’s Jackson Hall December 9-18 with additional performances and new surprises to accompany its beloved characters and story.

“So many Nashvillians make Nashville’s Nutcracker part of their annual holiday tradition, so we incorporate original elements every year to offer audiences something new,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said.

Vasterling introduces new magic tricks from the beloved Uncle Drosselmeyer character this year, designed by nationally regarded illusionist Drew Thomas. He will bring his experience creating magic for Universal Studios and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to Drosselmeyer’s bag of tricks by adding fresh elements to existing tricks and introducing new magic to the recently redesigned holiday classic.

Vasterling’s updated version debuted with original concept and choreography as Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2008. The production celebrates Nashville’s rich history and personality, complete with characters inspired by well-known local residents, such as President Andrew Jackson, former Vanderbilt University Chancellor James Kirkland and the actress Lucille La Verne, a Nashville native who provided the voice of the witch in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Along with 22 members of the professional company and 25 members of the second company, the performance will include 150 young dancers from the School of Nashville Ballet and the community at large. 

“Dancing in a version of the Nutcracker is the first professional performance experience for most dancers, so our goal is to extend that opportunity to as many aspiring dancers as possible,” Director of Artistic Operations Sharyn Mahoney said. “Even those who have been dancing for years remember the excitement of their first Nutcracker performance.”

Members of the youth cast come from 11 Middle Tennessee counties including Davidson, Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, Bedford, Maury, Williamson, Dickson, Cheatham, Montgomery and Robertson, as well as Kentucky.

Two casts of young dancers will alternate performances to tell the story of young Clara’s magical journey, which starts at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville where she meets an exotic cast of characters from far-away lands displaying their native wares. It is there that her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer promises her a very special gift—a wooden Nutcracker.

After Clara receives her special gift, she falls asleep and the Nutcracker comes to life to guide her through a fantastic dream. They visit a series of magical worlds and encounter an array of diverse characters she previously saw at the Centennial Exposition, in addition to the Snow Queen and King and the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Nashville’s Nutcracker will be held at TPAC’s Jackson Hall for 10 performances:

Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Friday, December 16 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Nashville’s NutcrackerFootnotes Presentation -- TPAC’s Tier Level Lobby
Ticket holders are invited to attend a storytime event 30 minutes before the performance that will help them understand all the unique elements of the ballet. Get a list of exciting and important details to look for during the performance and learn a little about the history of the ballet that is unique to Nashville and the holiday season.

Ticket Information
Season tickets for Nashville Ballet’s 2011-2012 performance season are on sale at www.nashvilleballet.com. For season ticket information, contact Heather Cramsie at (615) 297-2966 x23. Groups of 10 or more can receive a discount by calling (615) 297-2966 x10.

About Nashville Ballet
Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, including original works by Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company NB2 (a pre-professional training company) serve nearly 70,000 adults and children annually through performances and our outreach and community engagement programming. Curriculum-based outreach programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. The School of Nashville Ballet provides world-class instruction in ballet and other forms of dance for dancers of all ages.

Nashville Ballet is funded in part from grants made available through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Funding from the Ingram Charitable Fund supports the presentation of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for most performances.  Additional funding is also provided by The Shubert Foundation, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, HCA Tri-Star, Sun Trust, ELAN Hair / ELAN Skin, Caterpillar Financial, The Memorial Foundation and Publix Super Market Charities.  

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