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Local Collaborations Take Center Stage In Nashville Ballet’s Emergence

2014-05-05

New Music From Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer Paul Moravec

Nashville Ballet’s cutting-edge Emergence series returns May 29-31 with another showcase of innovative, emerging talent, featuring music from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec. This year’s production includes an original composition by Moravec called Amorisms, made possible by a co-commission between Nashville Ballet and two other local arts organizations – ALIAS Chamber Ensemble and Portara Ensemble. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased in person at the Nashville Ballet offices, by phone at (615) 297-2966 x10 or at www.NashvilleBallet.com.

Emergence is always fun for us because it allows us to experiment, expand our understanding of dance and to celebrate the creative process,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said. “This year’s program is extraordinary because it’s the third time we will collaborate with ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, we are welcoming Portara into the Nashville Ballet family, and we are presenting brand new music from the talented Mr. Moravec! Collaborating with all of these accomplished artists is such an inspiration to me, to our dancers and, I hope, to Nashville.”

The three organizations will perform together for the new Moravec piece, called Amorisms, a work for string quartet, clarinet and five voices. The new composition will premiere on May 7 as part of the ALIAS Spring Concert. ALIAS and Portara will then perform with Nashville Ballet, with the premiere of original choreography for Amorisms from regular Nashville Ballet guest choreographer, Gina Patterson. Patterson most recently choreographed with Nashville Ballet for her 2012 piece with Nashville singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones, …but the flowers have yet to come.

“I am proud of this collaboration,” ALIAS Artistic Director Zeneba Bowers said.  “Our three organizations understand the value of creating and performing new works for the Nashville community. We collaborated, then introduced even more talent when we commissioned this work from Paul Moravec, one of the most exciting composers of our time.  I don’t know many performing arts groups that would come together in this way.”

Two other pieces in the program will showcase various selections of music by Moravec. Nashville native Banning Bouldin, a regular Nashville Ballet guest teacher and choreographer, will provide choreography to Moravec’s piece Tempest Fantasy, while newcomer James Gregg will choreograph to Sacred Love Songs. Gregg, who recently won Austin Ballet’s 2014 New American Talent Choreographic Competition, will be choreographing for Nashville Ballet for the first time.

For more information and a complete schedule of Nashville Ballet performances, please visit www.NashvilleBallet.com

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 60,000 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 by Ingram Charitable Trust, Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, The Shubert Foundation, Caterpillar Financial, ELAN Hair and Skin, The Memorial Foundation, Publix Super Market Charities, The HCA Foundation, The Mall at Green Hills and thousands of individuals who contribute to our annual operating fund.

About ALIAS Chamber Ensemble
Founded in 2002, ALIAS is a chamber ensemble dedicated to innovative repertoire, artistic excellence, and a desire to give back to the community. Comprised of 13 professional musicians in Nashville, its wide-ranging repertoire brings audiences a mix of chamber music that cannot be heard anywhere else in the region.  To date, ALIAS has premiered 16 new works and recorded two CDs—one of which (Naxos: Gabriela Lena Frank, Hilos) was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2012 for Best Small Ensemble Performance.  As part of its mission, ALIAS also adopts three nonprofit partners each season and gives 100 percent of its ticket proceeds to these partners. For more information about ALIAS, visit: www.aliasmusic.org

About Portara Ensemble
Portara Ensemble has quickly become a creative force in the music scene of Middle Tennessee.  Their innovative programming and artist collaborations have crossed the boundaries of visual and performing arts, and brought exciting new music to their audiences.  Led by founder/director Shreyas Patel, Portara Ensemble’s thought-provoking thematic choral programs explore a wide variety of music from around the globe sung by professional, semi-professional, and amateur volunteer singers. 2012 brought the release of Portara’s first CD Recording, Choral Hymns of the Christian Faith.  This collection, which delves into the deep tradition of hymn singing in the Christian church, has been lauded “something to celebrate—and to keep close by.” (ClassicsToday.com). For more information about Portara Ensemble, visit www.portaraensemble.com.

About Paul Moravec
Moravec has composed numerous chamber works in his career, and ballet adaptation is not a new idea for him either: The Carolina Ballet (Robert Weiss, director) has choreographed ballets to two major works of his in recent years: “Tempest Fantasy” and “The Time Gallery”.

Currently University Professor at Adelphi University (a position unique in the institution), Moravec also recently served as Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.  He attended Harvard College and then Columbia University and has taught at Dartmouth, Columbia, Hunter College, and Mannes.

He has received numerous honors throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize in Music (2004) , the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (1984), three awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1986, 1991, 2011), as well as fellowships from the NEA (1989) and the Guggenheim Foundation (2013). In 2010, he was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society. Moravec's discography includes four albums on Naxos American Classics and an orchestral album on BMOP Sound, and works on numerous other CDs.

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