Paul Vasterling

Nashville Ballet Artistic Director

Paul Vasterling stepped into the role of Artistic Director of Nashville Ballet in 1998, ten years after he began his association with the company. He came as a company dancer and later served as a teacher, ballet master and choreographer. After several years of artistic turnover at the company, Vasterling applied for the job, a position he has held ever since.

A choreographer with a deep affinity for music, Vasterling has created more than 40 works, ranging from classical, full-length story ballets to more contemporary one-acts set to the music of local artists. Vasterling's penchant and particular gift is for storytelling, which he has done vividly in such ballets as DraculaRomeo and Juliet, and, most recently, A Midsummer Night's Dream. His ballets have been performed from South America to Asia, everywhere to great acclaim. Stateside, reviews have been equally glowing, with New York magazine Attitude writing of his work, "America has not lost its sense of value of elegant dancing as art." Beyond his own choreography, Vasterling has edited and updated classic productions of GiselleThe Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, and has expanded the company's repertoire to include works by Salvatore Aiello, George Balanchine, James Canfield, Lew Christensen and Twyla Tharp, among many others. He has also encouraged company dancers who have shown an interest in choreography, giving them the same opportunity to create that he received from artistic directors.

In 2004, Vasterling received a Fulbright Scholarship that enabled him to work with three different companies in Argentina, paving the way for Nashville Ballet's tour there a year later. In 2008, Vasterling raised the curtain on Nashville's Nutcracker, making a holiday tradition local and newly relevant. His 2009 premiere of Carmina Burana, a ballet he had long wanted to present, was a huge success with critics and audiences alike. Critic Pamela Gaye noted in her review for, "Choreographically, Carmina Burana challenges dancers... because of the call to intensify the dance and render it equal in power to the music. Few choreographers have been able to achieve this momentum, and it is at this task that Vasterling excelled."

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Loyola University, Vasterling has set a new standard for arts development. Under his leadership, the company's resources have grown by close to 300 percent and Nashville Ballet became the first local performing arts organization to purchase its own building. He has transformed a troupe of 12 professional dancers into a company of 25, and his commitment to developing the dancers of tomorrow inspired him to establish a second pre-professional company of 25 dancers. Vasterling has shaped Nashville Ballet into a company high on artistry and dramatic power as well as commanding technical ability and virtuosity.


Nick Mullikin

Nashville Ballet Associate Artistic Director

Nick Mullikin began his training at the Wisconsin Dance Ensemble in Madison, Wisconsin under the direction of JoJean Retrum. He continued at the Virginia School of the Arts, and Houston Ballet Academy, training with Petrus Bosman, David Keener, Steve Brule, Clara Cravey, and Claudio Munoz. Upon his completion of training with Houston Ballet Academy, he was invited to join Houston Ballet with Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, and subsequently joined Ballet West under the direction of Jonas Kage. During that time he performed works by William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Anthony Tudor, Bruce Marks, David Parsons, Ronald Hynd, Dominic Walsh, Timothy O’Keefe, Glen Tetley, and Trey McIntyre. He has toured nationally and internationally including at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2004 as well as performing as a guest artist for Ballet Arizona, and regional companies throughout the country.

During his time at Ballet West, as an artist, he was an elected union representative for the American Guild of Musical Artists before joining the administrative staff as the Company/Tour Manager & Assistant to the Artistic Director in 2006. In addition, to handling all collective bargaining, and regional touring for the company, he oversaw and managed the company’s return to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the inaugural Ballet Across America series.

Since that time he has worked as Company Manager for The Washington Ballet and as assistant manager at the Dance Institute in Austin, Texas. Mr. Mullikin has guest taught at summer programs and schools across the country, coached students for competition at the Youth America Grand Prix, taught in after school programs in the Washington D.C. area, and consulted on the creation and setup of Honolulu Classical Ballet in Honolulu, Hawaii. Currently, with his responsibilities at Nashville Ballet, he acts as a consultant to the Kansas City Dance Festival.

In 2012, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Government, minoring in Communications, while completing the Business Foundations Program at the McCombs School of Business.

Jared Redick

Assistant Dean at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Jared Redick was raised in Reston, Virginia where he began his ballet training with his mother Julia Redick at Conservatory Ballet. He studied at (University of) North Carolina School of the Arts, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s School of Classical Ballet (ABT) and the School of American Ballet.

Currently, Mr. Redick is Assistant Dean at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the director of Dean Susan Jaffe. His work with UNCSA includes serving as Artistic Director of The Nutcracker, Director of the Festival of North Carolina Dance, and as ballet master for Raymonda, Sweet Fields, Metallurgy, and The Sleeping Beauty Act III. In 2015, he served as ballet master for Houston Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet as well as guest company teacher for Nashville Ballet. Mr. Redick is also a juror for the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP).

Mr. Redick began his performance career with San Francisco Ballet and danced with Texas Ballet Theater, Miami City Ballet, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, before joining Boston Ballet where he danced as a soloist. With Boston Ballet, Mr. Redick was featured in works including John Cranko’s Romeo & Juliet, Onegin, and The Taming of the Shrew, Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Rubies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Duo Concertant, Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty, Jorma Elo’s Plan to B, Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee, and Anthony Tudor’s Dark Elegies.

Following his retirement in 2009, Redick continued his work with Boston Ballet as Principal of Boston Ballet School’s South Shore studio in Norwell, MA. Mr. Redick has extensive teaching experience with Royal Danish Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, Houston Ballet School, Orlando Ballet School, Yale University, Syracuse University Summer Dance Intensive, and Susan Farrell’s Cedar Island Program. In 2012, Mr. Redick was appointed Associate Fellow of Pierson College at Yale University and he is also the recipient of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts award for exceptional artistic achievement. 


Maniya Barredo

Director of Metropolitan Ballet Theatre

Maniya Barredo received one of the highest titles possible in dance in 1978 after a performance of Giselle with a company in the Philippines. Included in the audience were President and First Lady Marcos, and one of this century’s most-loved ballerinas, Dame Margot Fonteyn. At a reception following the performance, Dame Margot presented Maniya with a bouquet of flowers, and in front of all assembled proclaimed Maniya Barredo had earned the title Prima Ballerina.

“The title was given to me because of my work and I’ve never changed the way I work from the time I started to today.” That work began at age 4 for Honey (her real name). Driven to succeed, Honey left her native Philippines at age 18 to travel to New York where she joined the Joffrey School on scholarship.

Robert Joffrey, founder of the school and the ballet company carrying his name, noticed Honey had that "Something Special," and – after giving Honey her worst memory – took her aside a year later and told her he had erred in mentioning that she should give up dancing for nursing. Joffery wanted her to dance for him. And, as he did with special dancers, Joffrey gave his offer more weight by renaming Honey after the largest city in her native Philippines, Manila.

Thus, the newly named Maniya Barredo forged on and earned a spot with with Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens. In 1976 she was chosen by Alicia Alonzo to represent Canada in the International Ballet Festival held in Cuba. When she finished her performance, the requisite flowers were placed in her arms as the audience applauded their approval. Twenty times Maniya came from behind the curtain to receive the tribute of her adorers.

In the ensuing years since applause rocked the Ballet Festival, Maniya has danced with the incomparable Mikhail Baryshnikov, has been the only dancer outside of New York and Europe invited to tour with the Stars of the World Ballet, received the Gawad CCP Para Sining Award of Excellence from Filipino president Fidel Ramos, become the official Prima Ballerina of the Philippines and danced for 20 years with the Atlanta Ballet as Prima Ballerina before her retirement.

Feeling deeply for those who are just joining the merry-go-round of ballet when there’s a decline in dance companies and the arts in general, Maniya notes “the sad fate would be that doors would close all over the country. The threat to the arts threatens all of us. We need to be tenacious as artists, keep pushing those boundaries, get people fired up and not diminish the product. We need to educate people. Art needs to be part of education, and we need dance that’s challenging to the audiences.”

Taking that message to the people is what Maniya planned to do upon retirement. She was an Artistic Consultant to Ballethnic in Atlanta, the Cultural Attache for the Philippines, and was Artistic Director of the ASB Performing Ensemble, and now director of Metropolitan Ballet Theatre. Maniya Barredo makes good on her plans as she trains the next generation of dancers and takes dance to Atlanta and the world.


R. Colby Damon


Colby Damon was born and raised in Richmond, VA, and received his early training at the Richmond Ballet. At age 15 he left to home to attend the Virginia School of the Arts under the direction of Petrus Bosman, and spent summers training at the Boston Ballet. Upon graduation at age 18, Colby joined the Sacramento Ballet, where for 5 years he performed soloist and principal roles in numerous classical and contemporary pieces, including works by George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Helen Pickett, Septime Webre, Stephen Mills, Dwight Rhoden, John Selya, and Ron Cunningham. In 2007, Colby moved to Brooklyn to pursue a career as a freelance artist, and worked with such companies as Mark Morris Dance Group, Northwest Dance Project, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Most recently, Colby Danced for BalletX in Philadelphia, where he took part in the creation of over 20 original works, working with such choreographers as Alex Ketley, Jodi Gates, and Matthew Neenan.

After an injury curtailed his dancing career, in 2014 Colby began to focus mostly on teaching and choreography. He has taught dance students of all ages, from beginner to professional level, for institutions ranging from the Philadelphia and New York City Public School Systems, to Bryn Mawr College and the University of the Arts, as well to such professional companies as Body Traffic, Ballet Hispanico, BalletX, Pennsylvania Ballet, and City Ballet of São Paolo. He has additionally choreographed on a number of noted companies, including Pennsylvania Ballet II, Charlottesville Ballet, and BalletX, and his work has been presented in festivals in the USA, Mexico, and Brazil.

Colby's teaching style is an eclectic mix, with a focus on fluidity, broad movement, clean arms, and precise footwork.