Nashville Ballet's Christopher Stuart Wins NYCI Grant

Christopher Stuart - photo by David Bailey

Nashville Ballet and company principal/choreographer Christopher Stuart have been awarded a Fellowship Initiative grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, to support the development of new choreography in a studio setting.

"The Fellowship is meant to help ballet companies to create an environment in which a choreographer can develop ideas without the pressure of stage production," says Peter Martins, founder and artistic director of the Institute. "The Institute is committed to classical choreographers who will be creating works for the future."

Originally from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Stuart graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts in 2002 and joined Nashville Ballet's second company the same year. Since joining Nashville Ballet's professional company in 2003, he has been a featured soloist in numerous roles. His vast experiences as a dancer and performer helped him articulate his choreographic voice, which he first began introducing to audiences in 2012. His talents as a choreographer have led him to create pieces for Nashville Ballet, Nashville Ballet's second company, Quixotic Fusion and Ballet Arkansas.

Stuart's choreographed pieces for Nashville Ballet include American Dreams during 2012's Emergence, Under the Lights during 2014's Attitude and Genesing during 2015'sEmergence. For the past four years, Stuart has created pieces for Nashville Ballet's annual Ballet Ball with music performed by Holly Williams, Kellie Pickler, Clare Bowen, John Oates, Jana Kramer and Tia Sillers.

Stuart will play a larger choreographic role than ever in Nashville Ballet's upcoming 2016-17 season: His critically acclaimed Under the Lights, a full-length work to the music of Johnny Cash performed by Sugar + The Hi Lows, will return for February's Attitude series. The season will also include Stuart's second main stage ballet of his career, Seven Deadly Sins, in May 2017. He will team up with Nashville singer/songwriter collective Ten Out of Tenn to uncover the imperfect side of human nature.

Stuart's other achievements include being a finalist in Ballet Arkansas' 2014 Visions Choreographic Competition and a finalist in the 17th annual Choreography Festival held at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, Calif. He was also awarded the 2010 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship.

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 & CEO Paul Vasterling. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2 (a pre-professional training company), provide more than 75,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Outreach & Education programming. Curriculum-based outreach 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.

photo of Christopher Stuart's Genesing (2015) by Karyn Photography

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