Nashville Ballet brings Nashville’s Nutcracker and Gala Performance

Kayla Rowser as the Snow Queen. (photo by Karyn Photography)
Kayla Rowser as the Snow Queen.

By Cass Teague

Nashville’s Nutcracker heralds the return of the holiday season in Music City as young Clara takes audiences on a journey through a spectacular dreamland with her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer. Weaving the awe-inspiring wonder of the classic tale with the city’s glittering past, Nashville’s Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition guaranteed to delight the young and young-at-heart.

Presented by Nashville Ballet, and sponsored in part by PNC Bank, Nashville’s Nutcracker returns to delight audiences both young and young-at-heart. Music City’s favorite holiday tradition will take the stage Dec. 1-23, 2018 at TPAC’s Jackson Hall.

Nashville Ballet premiered Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2008 with a unique concept weaving the city’s glittering past with the awe-inspiring wonder of the classic tale. In its 11th season on stage, Nashville’s Nutcracker has cemented itself in the hearts of numerous patrons and young artists as a treasured holiday tradition.

Clara’s enchanted journey begins at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville. Along with her Uncle Drosselmeyer, Clara meets a colorful cast of characters from faraway lands. When she receives a magical wooden Nutcracker from Drosselmeyer on Christmas Eve, the toy comes to life to lead her on an unforgettable adventure. Clara encounters a captivating collection of fascinating friends including the delightful characters she met at the Exposition. When the curtain closes on Clara asleep on her couch, the audience is left to decide if it was real or not.

“Nashville’s Nutcracker was designed to be seen over and over again because you find little details in it each time that make it exciting and fresh,” Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director Paul Vasterling said. “The story itself is magical as it is, but the addition of Nashville’s iconic characters and landmarks into the production guarantee that you’ll discover something new every year.”

Vasterling’s original concept and choreography are complemented by an entirely locally produced production including the dancers, production crew, costumers and musicians. Along with 53 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional company and second company, Nashville’s Nutcracker includes a youth cast of a record-breaking 298 young dancers from School of Nashville Ballet and the community at large accompanied by 60 musicians from the Nashville Symphony.

The performances are appropriate for all ages, with a run time of 2 hours (including 1 intermission).

Nashville’s Nutcracker will be at TPAC’s Jackson Hall for fifteen (15) performances: Saturday, December 1, at 2 p.m.; Sunday, December 2, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, December 8, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, December 8, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 9, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, December 15, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, December 15, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 16, at 1 p.m.; Sunday, December 16, at 6:30 p.m.; Friday, December 21, at 2 p.m.; Friday, December 21, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 22, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, December 22, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 23, at 1 p.m.; and Sunday, December 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Advanced Sports Medicine and RJ Young are supporting sponsors for Nashville’s Nutcracker. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at www.nashvilleballet.com. A complete performance schedule and more information can be found at www.nashvilleballet.com/nashvilles-nutcracker.

Attend Paul Vasterling’s 20th anniversary Gala Performance on Thursday, December 13 Honor Nashville Ballet’s extraordinary past, exceptional present and groundbreaking future as the city celebrates Paul Vasterling’s 20th season as artistic director. Join Nashville Ballet for the ultimate evening of celebration commemorating Paul Vasterling’s 20th anniversary as Artistic Director. Curating a collection of classical and contemporary works never before seen at Nashville Ballet with a few familiar favorites, Vasterling sets the tone for the company’s next 20 years of athleticism, artistry, imagination and innovation—all culminating in a truly grand finale featuring a procession of Nashville Ballet artists from School of Nashville Ballet students to the professional company. Live music performed by the Nashville Symphony.

Here’s the lineup: Bloom pas de deux, choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Music by Philip Glass; Musica Universalis, choreography by Christopher Stuart, Music by Alex Baranowski; World Premiere: Together Clinging, choreography by Carlos Pons Guerra, Music by Amilcare Ponchielli; Ghosts © pas de deux, choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Music by C.F. Kip Winger; Tarantella, choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Louis Moreau Gottschalk,reconstructed & orchestrated by Hershy Kay; I Enjoy You, choreography by Darrell Moultrie, Music composed and performed live by Louis York; Romeo & Juliet pas de deux, choreography by Paul Vasterling, Music by Sergei Prokofiev; Firebird berceuse and finale, choreography by Paul Vasterling, Music by Igor Stravinsky; Grand Défilé, choreography by Nicole Koenig, Kate Crews Linsley, Nick Mullikin & Paul Vasterling, Music by Georges Bizet.

Lucy Negro Redux is coming in February Plan now and get your tickets early for Lucy Negro Redux in February. Based on the book by Caroline Randall Williams, with Music composed and performed live by Rhiannon Giddens; Spoken word performed live by Caroline Randall Williams; Choreography, adaptation and direction by Paul Vasterling; and Production design by Doug Fitch. This production is recommended for adults due to explicit language and mature themes. Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux will be at TPAC’s Polk Theater for three (3) performances: Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 2 p.m.

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride

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