Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project

FEBRUARY 9-11, 2018

Age Recommendation: Middle school and up; families bringing children are encouraged to have conversations about the Holocaust in preparation for the performance.

Run Time: 90 minutes with no intermission

Late Seating Policy: Late arrivals will be seated at the rear of the theater to avoid disturbing the performance. Please note that this performance is 90 minutes with no intermission.

Choreography by Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills
Music by Steve Reich, Evelyn Glennie, Michael Gordon, Arvo Pärt and Philip Glass

Pushing the boundaries of Nashville Ballet’s acclaimed Attitude series, Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project offers a groundbreaking exploration of devastating loss, resiliency and, ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit. Following Holocaust survivor Naomi Warren's story as told through music and dance, Light offers a unique opportunity that only art can—to feel, better understand and reflect upon a piece of history that defies comprehension. The ballet illuminates the past to promote compassion, understanding and hope to issues relevant in today's society.

Stay after the performance for a talkback with Ballet Austin Artistic Director/Choreographer Stephen Mills, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling and Tennessee Human Rights Commission Executive Director Beverly Watts.

Additional community programming will accompany this Nashville Ballet premiere. Please see the Calendar of Community Events below for ways to participate.

Attitude: Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project will be at TPAC's Polk Theater for three (3) performances:

  • Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 2 p.m.

UPCOMING Community Events

Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project is a full-length contemporary ballet and Holocaust education partnership from Ballet Austin that promotes tolerance and the protection of human rights against bigotry and hate through art, education and public dialogue. Performances will be accompanied by additional programming that provides opportunities for the community to participate in a variety of ways, but always asking:

  • How are the issues of the Holocaust relevant in our community today?
  • What is our responsibility when confronted with acts of bigotry and hate?
  • What actions will we take to promote understanding in our community?

We hope you will join us in a public dialogue as we reflect on the Holocaust and consider our personal responsibility to injustice in the world today.


Violins of Hope

Continue the conversation by engaging with more community events like Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project.

Nashville Ballet is a partner of Violins of Hope, a community-wide Holocaust and human rights education initiative. The Violins of Hope are a collection of instruments played by musicians interned in concentration camps during the Holocaust. The Nashville Symphony is bringing these instruments to Nashville to facilitate a citywide dialogue about music, art, social justice and free expression.

The sound, presence and stories of these instruments will drive the creation of new music, visual art, live performances, public conversation and interfaith dialogue, reading and educational activities throughout Middle Tennessee.


 Naomi Warren

Naomi Warren


Performance Program (PDF)
View the performance program in advance.

Light YouTube Playlist
Watch educational videos and performance clips.

Ballet Austin's Education Guide (PDF)
Read Ballet Austin's Footnotes for Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project. Created for the ballet's 2005 premiere, this comprehensive guide provides a brief history of the Holocaust, an overview of the creation of Light and suggestions for talking about these issues with children.

Naomi Warren's Testimony (PDF)
Holocaust survivor Naomi Warren (1920-2016) served as the inspiration behind the story of survival and triumph of the human spirit in Ballet Austin's Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project. Read her testimony, courtesy of the Holocaust Museum Houston.

Ballet Austin's Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project
Visit Ballet Austin's website for more information on Light and its mission.

Community Partners

Nashville Ballet's presentation of Light / The Holocaust & Humanity Project is the culmination of weeks of educational community programming. We would like to thank our community partners for making these efforts possible.

Lead Partner:
Tennessee Human Rights Commission

Community Partners:
Belcourt Theatre
Fisk University
Nashville Symphony
Tennessee Holocaust Commission
Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park

Presenting sponsor:

Supporting sponsors:

Media sponsor:

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.