BWW Review: Nashville Ballet Brings SEVEN DEADLY SINS To Life at TPAC
Always finding unique ways to tell the stories of the world, the Nashville Ballet offered the SEVEN DEADLY SINS for the second year in a row, artistically exploring the darkest depths of our souls. Using dance and music as a way to bring the famous sinful temptations to life - wrath, sloth, pride, greed, envy, lust and gluttony - the Nashville Ballet paired with singer-songwriter troupe, Ten Out of Tenn (Butterfly Boucher, Trent Dabbs, Gabe Dixon, Katie Herzig, Jeremy Lister, Erin McCarley, K.S. Rhoads, Matthew Perryman Jones, Amy Stroup), to create awe-inspiring songs alongside Christopher's Stuart's impeccable choreography.
Over the course of seven compelling routines and original music to match, the Nashville Ballet takes the viewer on an engaging journey through their inner psyche. In a video introducing the show, Jon Upleger, who portrayed the protagonist, shared that the choreography highlights each of the dancers' strengths and is inspired by the music and creative talents of Nashville, an observation that was carried throughout the production where each dancer brought personality to their roles, collectively capturing the spirits of the seven deadly sins.
Throughout the show, the dancers provided context clues as to which sin they were portraying, simply with their masterful movements. This applies to the "Sloth" sequence, as the dancers represented the qualities of the sin by moving in slow motion while the haunting cello on Erin McCarley and K.S. Rhoads' "I Feel It Too Much" added a stirring effect to the layered choreography. Brett Sjoblom contributed character and agility to his interpretation of "Gluttony," while Julia Eisen and Julia Mitchell offered a standout performance during "Lust," depicting the intimate, yet fiery sin while Rhoads and Matthew Perryman Jones set the perfect backdrop with "All That I Want."
While the dancers exuded finesse across all seven numbers, Nicolas Scheuer, Logan Hillman, Sarah Pierce, Linnea Swarting and Benjamin Wetzel brought exceptional elegance to "Greed," as did Imani Sailers and Lily Saito with "Envy." Upleger and Agatho Mollie Sansone helped bring the show to an inspiring close, performing beautiful choreography as water fell down on them like rain during "Redemption" before being joined by the entire cast for a stunning finish.
SEVEN DEADLY SINS was preluded by the mesmerizing SUPERSTITIONS, choreographed by Jennifer Archibald, where the dancers combined integrity, rigor and poise for a praiseworthy opening performance.
The Nashville Ballet consistently offers striking productions, and SEVEN DEADLY SINS is among its best. Along with the graceful choreography, the component of live music added another dose of energy and excitement to the stage. The music of Ten Out of Tenn is exquisite, along with the admirable artists who created it, blowing the audience away with their exceptional vocal and musical talents. SEVEN DEADLY SINS showcased not only the impeccable talents of the Nashville Ballet and some of our town's best songwriters, but proved the power of when these two facets of the artistic community come together, creating an incredible show that only Nashville could offer.