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STAGE TUBE: Nashville Ballet's 2011-12 Season Photo Shoot

Nashville Ballet today announces its 2011-2012 season line-up, expanding its offerings to include more performances than in previous years, thus showcasing a variety of artistic styles that exemplify the city's diverse dance and musical talents.

"This season offers classical ballets, local favorites and new productions that showcase the talent of our dancers and Nashville's artistic community as a whole," says Paul Vasterling, Nashville Ballet artistic director and CEO. "With such a diverse range of performances, we can bring an appreciation of dance to new audiences while challenging the traditional perceptions of ballet."

Nashville Ballet's 2011-2012 season will include:

Cinderella: With a classic score from Sergei Prokofiev performed live by The Nashville Symphony Orchestra and original choreography from Vasterling, Nashville Ballet will present the classical fairy tale ballet Cinderella. Nashville Ballet company members, apprentices, Second Company and a youth cast will dance in this large-scale production. A handsome prince, two evil stepsisters (played by men dancing in pointe shoes) and a corps of fairies come together to tell the story of a poor, lonely girl who finds a new life with the help of a little magic and a glass slipper. This newly created production includes 18th Century period costumes in contemporary color palettes and impressionist sets never before seen in Nashville.

Cinderella will be presented at TPAC's Polk Theater for three performances Friday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 30 at 2 p.m.

Nashville's Nutcracker: One of Nashville's newest holiday traditions, Nashville's Nutcracker, will return to TPAC's Jackson Hall stage December 9-18, with new surprises to accompany its beloved characters and story set in 1897 Nashville at the Centennial Exposition. Young Clara meets an exotic cast of characters from far-away lands after receiving a special gift from her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer.

Featuring The Nashville Symphony Orchestra performing familiar songs by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,Nashville's Nutcracker will be danced by Nashville Ballet company members, Second Company and 150 young dancers from dance schools throughout the community.

Nashville's Nutcracker will be held at TPAC's Jackson Hall for 10 performances: Friday, December 9 at 7 pm.; Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Friday, December 16 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Salsa Dreams, with Billy the Kid and Cryin' Out: The new season's winter production includes three dances selected by Vasterling for their popularity and contribution to American culture. The performance will include Salsa Dreams, where ballet and salsa meet on stage, fueled by the music of a live salsa band. Previously performed in 2005, the infectious music inspired audience members to dance in the aisles and their seats.

Also featured during the performance is Cryin' Out with choreography by Gina Patterson and music from genre-busting songwriter Gary Nicholson, whose songs have been recorded by rock and country legends alike, including Bonnie Raitt, Vince Gill and the Dixie Chicks.

Vasterling will also revive Billy the Kid, a quintessential American work choreographed by Eugene Loring in 1938. Based on the life of the infamous Western outlaw of the same name, Billy the Kidtells the story of a typical 19th Century boy whose life takes a turn for the illegal after his mother dies. Billy's escapades helped to perpetuate the image of the Wild West as a dangerous, lawless territory and inspired this ballet that celebrates American culture and artists.

Salsa Dreams, with Billy the Kid and Cryin' Out will be held at TPAC's Polk Theater for three performances: Friday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m.

Peter and the Wolf: After performing  Peter and the Wolf to a sold-out crowd in February 2011, Nashville Ballet will present the beloved fable to an all-ages crowd again during the upcoming season. In the classic tale, brave young Peter mistakenly leaves his grandfather's garden gate open, allowing the duck to escape and unleashing an adventure to remember with several other animal characters.

The one-time engagement will be onstage at TPAC's Polk Theater Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.

Rite of Spring and Firebird: With an Igor Stravinsky score double-bill, Nashville Ballet will present Rite of Spring and Firebird together for the first time with live music from The Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Stravinsky's own vision of a pagan ritual sacrifice inspired his composition, and its original choreography incited riots in 1913 Paris because of the dance's shocking depiction of primitive fertility rites. Salvatore Aiello revised the choreography in 1995, providing the choreography that Nashville Ballet will apply to the classic score.

Vasterling's own original choreography will accompany Stravinsky's memorable music in Firebird. The Firebird, an other-worldly being whose origin is left to interpretation, meets a human man and teaches him about love in all of its forms. This redesigned production will incorporate new sets and costumes into this tale about the power of love and desire.

Rite of Spring and Firebird will be presented at TPAC's Jackson Hall for three performances: Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m.

Emergence: Formerly a biennial tradition event to showcase new and emerging talent across artistic genres, Emergence will increase its frequency this year to become an annual performance at the intimate studios of The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet. The 2012 presentation ofEmergence will bring together Nashville Ballet dancers with ALIAS Chamber Ensemble and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film to present original dances set to music, film and other interactive elements. Nashville Ballet company dancer Christopher Stuart will debut his own original choreography at Emergence.

Emergence will be held at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet for four performances: May 17 at 7:30 p.m.; May 18 at 7:30 p.m.; and May 19 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Princesses and Frogs: As part of its Family Series performance offerings, Nashville Ballet will present an hour-long children's ballet inspired by Sleeping Beauty and the popular children's book Jump, Frog, Jump by Robert Kalan. After the performance, children will have an opportunity to participate in an interactive activity and learn some of the dances presented on stage.

Princesses and Frogs will be pjresented at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet for two performances: Saturday, May 19 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m.

Ticket Information: Season tickets for Nashville Ballet's 2011-2012 performance season will be available June 1 at For season ticket information, contact Logan Heinsch at (615) 297-2966 x10. Tickets to individual performances will be available for sale July 4 in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040, online at or at the new TPAC Box Office at the Green Hills Mall concierge desk.

Nashville Ballet is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. As the second largest producing arts organization in the Middle Tennessee area, 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) serve nearly 70,000 adults and children annually through performances and our outreach and community engagement programming.

Nashville Balletl's curriculum-based outreach program brings dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries, eight resident schools, and public elementary and middle schools over a 15-county region throughout Middle Tennessee. The School of Nashville Ballet provides world-class instruction in ballet for the dancers of tomorrow.

Nashville Ballet is funded in part from grants made available through the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Ingram Charitable Trust. Additional funding is also provided by HCA Tri-Star, The Martin Foundation, Regions Bank, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, and the Andrew Woodfin Miller Foundation.

photos of Nashville Ballet company artists by Martin E. O'Connor


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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis