For Immediate Release
Nashville Ballet Announces Most Ambitious Performance Season for 2013-2014
Ben Folds Partnership, Peter Pan World Premiere Highlight Season Roster
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 6, 2013) – Nashville Ballet announced its upcoming performance season today, which includes a new partnership with pop musician extraordinaire Ben Folds and a world premiere of a new production of Peter Pan.
“This season might be our most ambitious yet,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said. “There are so many aspects of this performance season that I am excited about. Mostly, I see all of these new productions and partnerships as a way to push the envelope of classical ballet and introduce new audiences to the power and artistry of dance and music.”
Nashville Ballet’s 2013-2014 season will include:
Peter Pan, featuring The Nashville Symphony
In a brand new take on the classic fairytale, Nashville Ballet will tell the story of the boy who doesn’t want to grow up, in this world premiere. Complete with Lost Boys, Captain Hook, a man-eating crocodile and Tinkerbell, Peter Pan will debut with original choreography from Vasterling and custom sets and costumes from Campbell Baird, who also designed the costumes for Nashville’s Nutcracker.
“This is a tale that appeals to children and adults,” Vasterling said. “It appeals to children because it’s such a fantastic fairytale with magical characters on an epic adventure. It appeals to adults because it’s about our longing for childhood, a time that fills us with nostalgia but one we can never revisit.”
This grand-scale production will feature a youth cast of performers from the School of Nashville Ballet as fairies, sprites and mermaids who greet Peter and Wendy on their adventure.
Vasterling plans to complete the magic in this ambitious undertaking by incorporating on-stage flight for Peter, Wendy and other characters in the whimsical cast.
Nashville’s Nutcracker, featuring The Nashville Symphony
Nashville’s own version of this timeless holiday classic—set in Nashville with historic characters—will return to the stage for a record number of performances to tell the tale of Clara, a young girl who goes on a fantastic journey with the help of her magical uncle Drosselmeyer.
Almost 200 dancers perform in the ballet that introduces audiences to beloved characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and the Dancing Bear.
“Nashville’s Nutcracker has quickly taken its place among the area’s most treasured holiday traditions,” said The Tennessean’s 2012 review of the performance.
Attitude, featuring Sugar and the Hi Lows and ALIAS Chamber Ensemble
Attitude combines contemporary dance from three cutting-edge choreographers with live music from respected, local artists to create an evening of innovative art:
Currently a company dancer with Nashville Ballet, Christopher Stuart will perform the role of choreographer when he creates an original ballet set to music from Johnny Cash and from Nashville-based vintage-inspired rootsy musicians Sugar and the Hi Lows (comprised of Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup). The Americana-meets-soul duo will perform live and infuse their own neo-rockabilly sound into the classic works of The Man in Black and incorporate their own works into this daring combination of Nashville music with dance. Individual musicians who were involved in the local collaborative effort Ten out of Tenn, Dabbs and Stroup formed their band after the success of their duets featured on hit TV shows One Tree Hill, Parenthood and Grey’s Anatomy.
Named “Best Up and Coming Choreographer” by the Houston Press, Brian Enos premiered his piece And Legions Will Rise at Nashville Ballet’s 2012 Emergence performance. Set to music of the same name composed by recent Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts and performed live by ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, And Legions Will Rise features three couples that each represents one instrument in the musical composition.
Last performed by Nashville Ballet in February 2008, Time/Return/Memory is an adaption of the Greek myth about Orpheus and Eurydice, where Orpheus travels to the underworld to recover his dead wife, but does not follow the exact directions of the gods in extricating her and loses her forever. Using a solo piano score adapted from Philip Glass’ Orphée Suite, Vasterling’s choreography examines the concept of death, and how letting go of fears and self-doubt actually help us to live more freely. When it was performed as part of a mixed bill of contemporary dance in 2008, The Tennessean called Time/Return/Memory “best of show and testament to Vasterling's ability to turn a story into spectacular movement.”
Tennessee Jack and the Kudzu Vine
Nashville Ballet offers a local twist to the English folktale, Jack and the Beanstalk, featuring a 10-foot puppet as the giant. Following the original story, Tennessee Jack is swindled into selling his cow for a handful of magic beans. But in this Nashville version, the beans grow a stalk of kudzu straight into the sky, which leads to a land of giants portrayed by enormous marionettes and an adventure Jack will not soon forget.
Truly a Nashville-sourced production, Tennessee Jack and the Kudzu Vine features music from composer and Belmont University School of Music Professor Deen Entsminger, a narrative from master puppeteer Brian Hull, a 10-foot tall puppet created by Centerville-based Wood and Strings Puppet Theater and costumes from former Nashville Ballet company dancer and School of Nashville Ballet faculty member Eric Harris.
The Ben Folds Project, with Petite Mort and Serenade, featuring The Nashville Symphony
In a daring combination of new art from Ben Folds and beloved 20th century ballets, Nashville Ballet will perform three works together to demonstrate the talents of Music City’s artistic community.
“This combination of music and dance will show the world just how talented Nashville artists are,” Vasterling said. “Nashville Ballet dancers will prove how strong they are when they perform two pieces of choreography highly regarded in the dance world, and Nashville culture will have a chance to shine in a brand new piano concerto from Ben Folds.”
Ben Folds Piano Concerto
Known for his work as a solo artist, front man of Ben Folds Five and judge on NBC reality program “The Sing-Off,” Folds will write an original piano concerto as part of a special commission arrangement amongst Nashville Ballet, The Nashville Symphonyand the Minnesota Orchestra. Folds and Vasterling will spin a poetic narrative in a classical style influenced by popular music when they combine music and choreography on stage for this brand new work. The Nashville Symphony will premiere the concerto in March 2014, Folds will perform the work with the Minnesota Orchestra, then Vasterling will create accompanying choreography for Nashville Ballet’s world premiere the following May.
Czech/Dutch choreographer Jiří Kylián’s most well-known ballet features six men, six women and six fencing swords, the combination of these elements sometimes seen to illustrate a ballet of the sexes. Set to Mozart Piano Concertos in A Major and C Major, Petite Mort is considered a modern-day masterwork for its coordinated group formations, strong duets and combined elements of contemporary and classical dance. Nashville Ballet will introduce local audiences to the work of the internationally renowned choreographer in this Nashville premiere of Petite Mort.
The essence of neo-classical ballet, Serenade introduces Nashville audiences to George Balanchine’s first ballet choreographed in America for American dancers. Not intended to be a story ballet, Serenade celebrates beautiful movement for movement’s sake set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C. Through its focus on the female performers, Serenade portrays the women in the piece as beautiful, strong, the anti-fairy tale heroine, even divine.
Carnival of the Animals
This engaging children’s ballet explores the value of diversity through the perspective of the lion. The king of the beasts cannot understand why everyone isn’t exactly like him, but a wise and patient bird takes the lion on a tour of the jungle to teach him that we are all unique, and it’s exactly those differences that make life interesting. Vasterling’s choreography is set to Camille Saint-Saëns’ most well-known composition of the same name.
Carnival of the Animals, presented by Nashville Parent,will be held at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet for four performances May 17 – June 1, 2014.
As part of its effort to profile new and emerging works from a diverse group of choreographers, Nashville Ballet will exhibit the work of three choreographers in Emergence, all set to music composed by American composer Paul Moravec and performed by ALIAS Chamber Ensemble in collaboration with Nashville’s newest choral group Portara Ensemble.
Specializing in contemporary dance and movement, Banning Bouldin will bring her specialty to Emergence when she juxtaposes her style of movement with classical music. A Nashville native and product of the School of Nashville Ballet, Bouldin currently choreographs and teaches contemporary dance technique and improvisation at the School of Nashville Ballet, Vanderbilt University and with her own burgeoning dance collective, New Dialect Formation.
A fulltime dancer with Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal and a choreographer for companies across the country, James Gregg creates art by combining classical ballet and contemporary movement of varying speed.
A frequent Nashville Ballet guest choreographer, Gina Patterson will create a new work based on Moravec’s The Tempest Fantasy, a busy, fast-paced composition inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest for which Moravec won a Pulitzer Price for Music. Patterson’s most recent work …but the flowers have yet to come set to music from Nashville singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones premiered in February 2013, to audience praise and critical acclaim.
Emergence, presented by Native, will be held at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet for four performances May 29 – 31, 2014.
Season tickets for Nashville Ballet’s 2013-2014 performance season go on sale to the public Monday, June 3, 2013, through www.nashvilleballet.com. Patrons attending Nashville Ballet’s performance of Romeo & Juliet April 26-28 will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase season tickets before they go on sale to the public. For season ticket information, contact Nashville Ballet at (615) 297-2966 x10 or visit the ticket information page at www.nashvilleballet.com. Tickets to individual performances go on sale Monday, July 1, 2013, and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 oronline at 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 25,000 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, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, 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, Cracker Barrel Foundation, Dollar General Corporation, Ryman Hospitality Properties, The HCA Foundation, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance and thousands of individuals who contribute to our annual operating fund.