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Nashville Ballet to Present Ballet Highlighting Stories of Music City's Past

Performances run February 10–12 at TPAC’s Polk Theater.

Nashville Ballet to Present Ballet Highlighting Stories of Music City's Past

As part of his final season as Artistic Director of Nashville Ballet, Paul Vasterling will debut his newest work, Anthology, February 10-12 at TPAC's Polk Theater. A poignant exploration of Nashville's rich cultural tapestry, Anthology will blend music and movement to tell stories of Music City's past.

Inspired by and set in the historic Nashville City Cemetery, Anthology is an homage to the Nashvillians, known and unknown, who have shaped the city we know today. Opened on January 1, 1822, The Nashville City Cemetery is the oldest continuously operated public cemetery in Nashville. By 1850, it was the final resting place for more than 11,000 people of every race, religion, and economic status. The ballet follows a young person as they explore the 200-year-old grounds and encounter the spirits of those buried there.

"I've always had a deep passion for community, and ours is so rich with people and stories that often get overlooked," shared Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. "All of them are pertinent pieces to the life we live today, yet most of us are completely unaware. We often have the most to learn from those of which we know the least, and that's exactly what Anthology explores."

The ballet will feature stories of the first peoples of Middle Tennessee, formerly enslaved philanthropist Lucinda Bedford, the first women on the Nashville Police Force, and Albertine Maxwell, widely regarded as Nashville's founder of ballet.

Known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations, Vasterling has enlisted a variety of choreographers, musicians, and composers to contribute to the project, including Nashville local and longtime teaching artist Shabaz Ujima, newly appointed Resident Choreographer Mollie Sansone, Windship Boyd, multi-award winner Sidra Bell, MORGXN, Jordan Lehning, Larissa Maestro, and more. Similar in kaleidoscopic style to his nationally-acclaimed ballet Lucy Negro Redux which recently premiered on PBS' Great Performances series as Black Lucy and the Bard, Anthology will highlight a variety of art forms on stage in addition to dance, including original songs, musical scores, and live projection.

Anthology is sponsored in part by Vanderbilt University and will make its world premiere at TPAC's Polk Theater February 10-12, 2023. To learn more about Nashville Ballet, upcoming performances, or to purchase tickets, please visit nashvilleballet.com.


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