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Nashville Ballet Displays Sounds of Music City in World Premiere

Nashville Ballet displays its Attitude Feb. 15 – 17 when it presents three works from some of the country’s most dynamic, cutting-edge choreographers for a performance full of compelling and inspiring contemporary dance.

In Attitude, Nashville Ballet offers Ploughing the Dark from Sarah SlipperThe Whistling from Dominic Walsh and a brand new yet-to-be-named world premiere from Gina Patterson, set to live music from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones with visual art produced on stage by Emily Leonard.

“Presenting new forms of art like this and collaborating with talented artists across genres illustrates how passionate Nashville Ballet is about creating innovative art of all kinds,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director and CEO Paul Vasterling said. “When our dancers can strengthen their creative muscles and expand their artistic horizons, they can inspire others to think creatively and innovate within their own artistic genres.”

Ploughing the Dark

A hauntingly romantic duet, Ploughing the Dark is inspired by the life of Anton Chekhov and his wife Olga Knipper, who lived in different cities pursuing their individual careers during the last six years of Chekhov’s life. Their relationship remained alive through love letters, which inspired Slipper’s intensely passionate choreography, set to music by American composer Michael Kurek, who currently serves on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as Associate Professor of Composition. Nashville Ballet last performed Ploughing the Dark in 2007.

The Whistling

The Whistling, set to Cuban music from the 1940’s and 1950’s, was voted as the audience favorite at the American Idol-style 2010 New American Talent/Dance choreographic competition hosted by Ballet Austin. Choreographed by internationally in-demand choreographer Dominic Walsh, it calls on the spirit and joy of the people and their traditions from that era, while avoiding the obvious social dancing usually associated with the sounds.  

...And the Flowers Have Yet to Come
A World Premiere from Gina Patterson and Matthew Perryman Jones

An original member of the collaborative group of individual artists, Ten out of TennJones is one of the most sought-after songwriters in Nashville. With music featured on favorite TV programs One Tree Hill, Bones and Grey’s Anatomy, Jones’ popularity has fueled the success of his literary-inspired album Land of the Living released in June, 2012. 

Jones will collaborate with frequent Nashville Ballet guest choreographer Patterson to create an original dance work titled …And the Flowers Have Yet to Come set mostly to music from Land of the Living, plus his break-out hit “Save You” from the 2008 album Swallow the Sea. Jones will perform his music live at Attitude and during a preview of the work on Feb. 1, 2013, at Nashville Ballet’s annual fundraiser gala Ballet Ball.

“More than a story, I want to create a canvas of movement, imagery, and emotional touch points to which viewers can attach their own personal story and interpretation,” Patterson said about the work. “It reflects a journey in which we may not have all the answers but know we are moving in the right direction.”

Patterson’s credentials as a choreographer extend across the globe, including two recent collaborations with Nashville Ballet – Cryin’ Out set to the music of Gary Nicholson, and Anne Frank, part of the repertory of Outreach performances designed to expose young people to the art of ballet. 

Inspired by the music and dance from Jones and Patterson, Leonard will create one new large (7 ½ ft x 22 ½ ft) painting live during the three performances of Attitude. Leonard is currently represented by Rymer Gallery in Downtown Nashville, where she has several pieces on display currently.

NEA Grant for World Premiere

The world premiere piece of …And the Flowers Have Yet to Come created by Patterson, Jones and Leonard was funded in part by a $10,000 Arts Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Nashville Ballet was one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide, and only one of two organizations in Tennessee, to receive an NEA Art Works grant in 2012. 

“Because these awards are given based on our likelihood for success in the creation of a new work, this award is a strong vote of confidence from the NEA in the creative prowess and administrative capabilities of Nashville Ballet,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO said. “This grant will allow us to offer Nashville a new choreographed work inspired by the sounds of Music City.”

Ticket Information

Tickets to Attitude starting at $28 are currently on sale to the public. They can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or online. Season tickets that offer up to 25% discount for adults and 50% discount for children are available at www.nashvilleballet.com or by calling (615) 297-2966 x10. 

$5 Discount on Attitude Tickets – Through January

Through January, patrons can save $5 on each Attitude ticket purchase when using they visit www.nashvilleballet.com/whistling or use discount code WHISTLING when calling (615) 782-4040.

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) serve nearly 25,000 adults and children annually through performances and our outreach and community engagement programming. Curriculum-based outreach programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. The School of Nashville Ballet provides world-class instruction in ballet and other forms of dance for dancers of all ages. 

Nashville Ballet is funded in part from grants made available through the National Endowment for the Arts, Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Funding from the Ingram Charitable Trust supports the presentation of The Nashville Symphony at most performances. Additional funding is also provided by The Shubert Foundation, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, SunTrust, ELAN Hair / ELAN Skin, the National Endowment for the Arts, Caterpillar Financial, The Memorial Foundation and Publix Super Markets Charities.