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Nashville Ballet Goes Country with Johnny Cash, Performances from Local Musicians

2014-01-13

Celebrate your love of Nashville this Valentine’s Day, as Nashville Ballet’s Attitude marries two very uniquely Nashville past times: live music and dance. Nashville Ballet presents Attitude at TPAC’s Polk Theater February 14-16, sponsored by SunTrust Bank and Nashville Scene. This special presentation of innovative art combines contemporary dance from three cutting-edge choreographers with live music from various local artists. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at www.NashvilleBallet.com.

This one-of-a-kind presentation begins with choreography by Nashville Ballet company dancer, Christopher Stuart, set to the iconic music of Johnny Cash. Nashville-based band Sugar and the Hi Lows (comprised of singer-songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup) will perform their renditions of classic Cash songs such as “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” “Ring of Fire” and “I Walk the Line.” The duo will infuse their neo-rockabilly sound into the classic works of The Man in Black, and will also perform some of their own songs in this daring combination of Nashville music and dance.

“Johnny Cash’s music speaks to me. It’s straight, true and honest, but he took risks,” Stuart said. “He didn’t let anyone tell him who he should or shouldn’t be and I aspire to do that with my choreography - to challenge myself to do new things and not just what society expects of me. I want to push the envelope. I want people to be affected by my work. And I think that choreographing to Cash’s iconic music is the perfect way to accomplish that.”

Choreographer Brian Enos, who was recently named “Best Up and Coming Choreographer” by the Houston Press, will revive his piece And Legions Will Rise, which originally premiered at Nashville Ballet’s 2012 Emergence performance. ALIAS Chamber Ensemble will perform the music, composed by recent Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts.

The final piece of the production comes from Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Last performed by Nashville Ballet in February 2008, Time/Return/Memory is inspired by the Greek myth about Orpheus and Eurydice. Using a solo piano score adapted from Philip Glass’ Orphée Suite, Vasterling’s choreography examines the concept of death, and the letting go of fears and self-doubt, allowing people 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.”

“The really exciting thing about Attitude is that it features all live music and represents a variety of different dance styles, culminating in something quintessentially Nashville,Vasterling said. “Expect the unexpected, because this year’s Attitude is going to impress.”

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