Nashville Ballet to Debut New Collaboration with Ben Folds & Nashville Symphony in May

Nashville Ballet combines two 20th century masterpieces - Serenade and Petite Mort - with a world premiere from multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Ben Folds and the Nashville Symphony to create The Ben Folds Project, May 2-4 at TPAC's Jackson Hall. Folds debuted the music from his piano concerto with the Nashville Symphony March 13-15, but will combine it with original choreography from Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling in this world premiere. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at

"This entire project is about collaboration and displaying the talents of Music City," Vasterling said. "Through this partnership, we're able to highlight the city's depth and breadth of local artistic talent - Nashville Ballet dancers, the Nashville Symphony musicians and Ben Folds. This new co-commission combined with two ballet masterworks is a true showcase of what Nashville has to offer."

The evening begins with Serenade, the essence of neo-classical ballet by renowned choreographer George Balanchine set to Pyotr Tchaikovsky's classic score. Serenade highlights the female dancer and celebrates the beauty, strength and grace of the female form, showcasing the depth of female talent across Nashville Ballet's main company and second company dancers.

This performance also marks the company's debut of Petite Mort, the modern-day masterwork from famed Czech/Dutch choreographer Ji?í Kylián. The athletic but sensual work for six couples imbues contemporary movement with a classical sensibility and a bold, modern elegance.

The final piece of the evening, The Ben Folds Project, comes from Folds as he performs his new piano concerto live with the Nashville Symphony, along with original choreography from Vasterling. Folds created the new work as part of a co-commission between the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. He is currently on a tour throughout the US sponsored by Acura/ELS Premium Audio where he is performing his piano concerto along with some of his pop songs arranged for orchestra. He also plans to tour in Australia and in Europe this year. Folds' piano concerto is only being put to dance by the Nashville Ballet.

"Paul Vasterling and Nashville Ballet are incredible artists who have visually brought this concerto to life in a way that captures its very essence," said Folds. "It's a joy to see them dance and I'm looking forward to sharing the stage with them in May."

For more information and a complete schedule of Nashville Ballet performances, please visit

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