Female Artists Confront Social Injustice Through Ballet

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Nashville Ballet is excited to bring world-renowned Choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and London-based Director Nancy Meckler's beguiling performance of A Streetcar Named Desire to the heart of the South in November 2019.

For the first time ever, Tennessee Williams' legendary tale will be performed by a United States-based ballet company on one of the South's premier stages. Considered Williams' greatest work, A Streetcar Named Desire dramatizes the life of Blanche DuBois, an aging Southern belle who is forced to leave her aristocratic life and flee to a dilapidated New Orleans tenement after facing a series of tragic losses.

"This ballet represents the perseverance of women who have felt unheard," said Meckler. "People often assume that female-led performances are fairytales; however, A Streetcar Named Desire is a fictional representation of the challenging reality female artists face in making their voices heard. I hope it will show aspiring artists, particularly choreographers, that women have the right to come out of the shadows and find success - even in what used to be a male-dominated industry."

For the second time this year, Nashville Ballet will bring yet another boundary-pushing performance to Polk Theater. This adaptation is unique as the story will unfold through the singular perspective of Blanche DuBois. With Lopez Ochoa's masterful choreography, audiences can expect a new interpretation of Williams' work; one that humanizes the timeless tragedies of societal expectation and victimization, both of which still ring true for women today.

"Transforming this work into a ballet takes Williams' story to places it has never been before," said Lopez Ochoa. "By choreographing the narrative, we were able to tell a story of debauchery, heartbreak and strength from an entirely new perspective - a perspective that finally brings Blanche DuBois' character into the light."

Similar to Lucy Negro Redux - Artistic Director Paul Vasterling's time-bending performance of William Shakespeare's love life - A Streetcar Named Desire brings topics of social justice to the forefront of the ballet world. Returning to Williams' Southern roots, the story remains one of his most performed plays and has inspired many adaptations in other forms, including a critically acclaimed film that was released in 1951.

Nashville Ballet Company Artist Julia Eisen will take on the title role of Blanche DuBois. A veteran of the company, Eisen has spent the past nine years working under Vasterling's direction.

"It is a privilege for our company to perform this work as it exemplifies the unwavering strength of female performers," said Vasterling. "Once again, I am honored to work with a team of such powerful women, and I have no doubt that the caliber of Annabelle's choreography will inspire Julia to give a performance that deeply resonates with audiences of all backgrounds."

A Streetcar Named Desire will premiere in Nashville at TPAC's Polk Theater Friday, Nov. 1, through Sunday, Nov. 3. For more information on tickets and scheduling, please visit nashvilleballet.com/streetcar.

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 Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the Second Company, NB2 (a pre-professional training company), provide more than 55,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 to 70. To learn more about the Nashville Ballet, please visit nashvilleballet.com.

Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from local, regional and national institutional funders and community partners, as well as hundreds of generous individuals, provide ongoing support of Nashville Ballet's mission-critical programs.



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