Groundbreaking repertory celebrates the past, looks to the future

Nashville Ballet celebrates Paul Vasterling’s 20th anniversary as Artistic Director with a groundbreaking 2018-2019 performance season. Touting musical collaborations that embrace the multitude of talents in Music City, the upcoming season ushers in a new era of artistry in Middle Tennessee. With fresh takes on fan favorites and the world premiere of Vasterling’s Lucy Negro Redux, the 2018-2019 season promises to deliver. 

“As I enter into my 20th year as Artistic Director, I am in awe of the growth of our company and artists,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said. “This season is truly revolutionary in subject matter and artistry; my hope is that we’ll challenge both dancers and audiences in a way that affords progress and growth. With such a spectacular repertory, our goal is to take what’s next and turn it into what’s now.”

Nashville Ballet 2018-2019 season tickets go on sale to the public March 26 and can be purchased at or by calling (615) 297-2966 x710. Tickets to individual performances go on sale July 1.

Nashville Ballet’s 2018-2019 season will include:

Swan Lake
September 21-23, 2018
TPAC’s Jackson Hall

Choreography after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Additional choreography, editing and story treatment by Paul Vasterling
Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony
Music by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky

A cherished favorite for ballet connoisseurs and an instant hit for novices, Swan Lake returns to Nashville Ballet to open the season with a dazzling fresh take on the classical masterpiece. Featuring choreographic updates from Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling and striking new costumes, this enchanting romance attempts to answer the timeless question – can true love conquer all?

Swan Lake is undoubtedly a favorite among ballet audiences…one of the most physically demanding of its dancers in the classical ballet world, and Nashville Ballet’s company members deliver a pristine performance start to finish.” – Chad Young, Nashville Parent (2014)

Seven Deadly Sins with Superstitions
October 18-20, 2018
TPAC’s Polk Theater

Seven Deadly Sins concept and choreography by Christopher Stuart
Music written and performed live by k.s. Rhoads and Ten Out of Tenn

Superstitions choreography by Jennifer Archibald  
Music composed and performed live by Cristina Spinei 

Back by popular demand, Christopher Stuart’s exhilarating collaboration with Nashville singer-songwriter collective Ten Out of Tenn exposes the most sinister side of society as the protagonist confronts his demons in a performance that will haunt viewers long after the curtain falls. Challenging the viewer’s perceptions of ballet, Jennifer Archibald’s Superstitions blends the precision, technicality and athleticism of tradition with contemporary dance styles as Christina Spinei’s composition mirrors the convergence of past and present.

“With his usual wit and intelligence, [Christopher] Stuart has created an imaginary setting...that gives his choreography the freedom to flourish and to grow beyond what is expected. His dancers respond beautifully to his vision, bringing it to life with a sense of urgency.” – Jeffrey Ellis, Broadway World (2017)

Artistic Director Paul Vasterling's 20th Anniversary Gala
Featuring the Nashville Symphony 
December 13, 2018 
TPAC's Jackson Hall

Honor Nashville Ballet’s extraordinary past, exceptional present and groundbreaking future. Join Nashville Ballet for the ultimate evening of celebration commemorating Paul Vasterling’s 20th anniversary as Artistic Director. Curating a collection of classical and contemporary works never before seen at Nashville Ballet with a few familiar favorites, Vasterling sets the tone for the company’s next 20 years of athleticism, artistry, imagination and innovation—all culminating in a truly grand finale featuring a procession of Nashville Ballet artists from School of Nashville Ballet students to the professional company.

Nashville's Nutcracker
December 1-23, 2018
TPAC’s Jackson Hall

Concept, story treatment and choreography by Paul Vasterling
Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Nashville’s Nutcracker heralds the return of the holiday season in Music City as young Clara takes audiences on a journey through a spectacular dreamland with her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer. Weaving the awe-inspiring wonder of the classic tale with the city’s glittering past, Nashville’s Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition guaranteed to delight the young and young-at-heart.

“A joyous celebration from start to finish, Nashville’s Nutcracker captures all the wonder of the holiday season. Don’t miss it!” – Amy Stumpfl, Tennessean (2017)

Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux
February 8-10, 2019
TPAC’s Polk Theater

Choreography, adaptation and direction by Paul Vasterling
Music composed and performed live by Rhiannon Giddens
Spoken word performed live by Caroline Randall Williams

A world premiere by Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling, Lucy Negro Redux explores the mysterious love life of literary great William Shakespeare through the perspective of the illustrious “Dark Lady” for whom many of his famed sonnets were written. Based on the book by Nashville poet Caroline Randall Williams, the contemporary ballet explores themes of love, otherness, equality and beauty as the narrator embarks on a journey to discover her own power and worth. Featuring an original score by Grammy Award-winning artist and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Rhiannon Giddens with spoken word performed by Williams, Lucy is an imaginative drama brimming with wit and relevancy.

Family Day at the Ballet
March 31, 2019
The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet

Degas & the Little Dancer choreography by Paul Vasterling
Based on the book by Laurence Anholt
Music by Dr. David M. Bridges

Dragons Love Tacos choreography by Paul Vasterling
Based on the book by Adam Rubin

At Nashville Ballet, every day is full of magic! Family Day at the Ballet invites the entire family to spend an engaging afternoon in Nashville Ballet’s extraordinary world. Enjoy wildly entertaining performances inspired by children’s book favorites Dragons Love Tacos and Degas and the Little Dancer. Interactive movement activities give little ones a chance to show off their moves, while arts and crafts allow kiddos to unleash their creative side. Experience everything that Nashville Ballet has to offer with just one ticket.

Modern Masters with Ben Folds
April 26-28, 2019
TPAC's Jackson Hall

The Ben Folds Project choreography by Paul Vasterling
Music by Ben Folds
Live music performed by Ben Folds and the Nashville Symphony

Duo Concertant choreography by George Balanchine
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony

The Lottery choreography by Val Caniparoli
Music by Robert Moran
Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony

Bloom choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Music by Philip Glass
Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony

Highlighting innovation and artistry, this season’s Modern Masters showcases choreographers that have challenged the bounds of the art form through big ideas and intriguing collaborations. The Ben Folds Project makes its triumphant homecoming after Nashville Ballet’s critically acclaimed Kennedy Center debut in 2017. George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant delivers a rare look at the breadth of the father of American ballet’s magnificent repertory, while Val Caniparoli’s The Lottery, based on Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and presented by special arrangement with the children of Shirley Jackson and literary media, keeps audiences and dancers both on edge with the promise of a thrilling climax—the ballet’s final soloist will be selected by a real lottery live on stage. Inspired by the beauty of Eastern rituals, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Bloom rounds out the program.

“[In The Ben Folds Project] the company moves as one with absolute precision through complicated formations, weaving between the principal dancers. It’s a true display of virtuosity.” – Hannah Landsberger, Broadway World (2017)

“Throughout Ballet Across America, the greatest moments were the simplest. It was lovely to encounter [Kayla] Rowser in Nashville Ballet’s [The Ben Folds Project], created by Paul Vasterling, the artistic director. Rowser was the standout…with her calm, ease of movement and understated charm.” – Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post (2017)

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), provide more than 75,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 to 70.

Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional private support provided by Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, Caterpillar Financial, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, The HCA Foundation, Ingram Charitable Fund, Inc., The Mall at Green Hills, The Memorial Foundation, New York Choreographic Institute, Publix Super Market Charities, The Shubert Foundation, SunTrust Bank, other community partners and hundreds of generous individuals who provide ongoing annual support.

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AuthorNashville Ballet