Dance Theatre of Tennessee's CARMEN Launches Ballet in the Park

Dance Theatre of Tennessee launches its Ballet in the Park performance series September 28-October 1, with performances of Carmen at the Centennial Park Bandshell, in partnership with Metro Parks and Recreation.

“After a well-received performance during the pre-show for Shakespeare in the Park last year, we were encouraged to look into the possibility of presenting classical dance as a full performance series,” explains Christopher Mohnani, DTT artistic director. “The responses we got were great and the support we received from Metro Parks and Nashville Shakespeare Festival was tremendous.”

For the first Ballet in the Park, DTT will present Carmen— based on the famous opera of the same title. Seville’s vibrant beauty serves as the background for this tragic story of a fiery gypsy girl whose seduction of a naïve officer leads to rejection, jealousy, and ultimately death.

“Ballets that have strong narratives like Carmen provide the perfect experience at the ballet,” shares Mohnani. “It allows audience members to enjoy dance as a much more relatable theatrical experience. It also gives the dancers the challenge of carrying a story without compromising the technical demands of their dancing. It is extremely difficult to be able to act and dance at the same time, but when done right, the feeling for both the performer and the audience is exhilarating!

“Our wonderful artists have the perfect balance of drama and technique. I am very excited to be able to show The company to the community. I believe Nashville will be surprised and impressed with the caliber and level of technique and artistry these dancers have to offer and this program shows that very well.”

Carmen stays true to the story line and dramatic liturgy of the Opera. Condensed in one act – be immersed in this intriguing world of seduction, betrayal and death as we follow Carmen and her naïve officer Don Jose in their journey of passion, distrust, rejection and murder.

“I want the audience to leave the performance empathizing with the lead characters rather than hating them and know that love truly is a rebellious bird that no one can tame. Carmen is just like watching reality TV but this time it is live and up-close.” Mohnani adds.

Opening the program is Ecole de Ballet, an exhilarating journey of a ballet dancer from a young eager dancer to a confident artist. Ballet in the Park is scheduled to run from September 28-30, with a special performance on October 1, as DTT’s way of launching ARTOBER—Nashville’s city-wide and month long celebration of art in the city. The performances are free to the public. A suggested donation of $10 is encouraged and appreciated. A special Patron tent is available for a $50 donation/seat.

Performances of Carmen begin at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-show entertainment at 6:30 p.m. Food trucks will be onsite to provide several dining options. All performances are at the Centennial Park Bandshell.

“We hope Ballet in the Park offers the community another outlet to experience and enjoy classical dance. We believe that this is a win-win for all. It provides maximum exposure of a classical art form and allows the community especially the youth to experience live performing arts up-close and personal,” says Mohnani.

Performance information including special patron tickets can be found at For more information, please visit at or call (615) 391-5500.

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis

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