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July 12, 2024

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Nashville Ballet & Symphony Partner for Ballet Extravaganza

Be transported to a world of saloons, cowboys and Wild West adventure with Copland’s exuberant "Billy the Kid."

Following their previous sellout collaborations, Nashville Ballet and Nashville Symphony are joining forces once again for Ballet Extravaganza, May 19 – 22 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Under the direction of Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, the four-show run will feature company dancers performing the Emmy Award-winning choreographer’s unique take on Igor Stravinsky’s musical fairy tale The Firebird and Aaron Copland’s Wild West tale Billy the Kid.

While the dancers take the Schermerhorn stage, the musicians of the Nashville Symphony will perform the scores live, under the direction of Grammy Award-winning Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. As with the Symphony’s previous collaboration with the Ballet on Carmina Burana, the Schermerhorn will transform the floor of the concert hall into a modified orchestra pit.

Inspired by Stravinsky’s iconic score, Vasterling’s Firebird is a contemporary and modern spin on the classic Russian folktale. Audiences will have the rare opportunity to experience Firebird in its entirety, as the piece is often performed in pieces or as shorter works. Joining Firebird will be a shortened, but equally exuberant suite of Copland’s well-known, American West-inspired favorite Billy the Kid. The wildly popular tale portrays Vasterling’s uniquely fresh and modernized take on what it means to be a cowboy.

Known for his theatrical designs and captivating choreography, Vasterling has worked alongside award-winning international costume designer Holly Hynes and conductor Guerrero to bring his stunning vision for each iconic piece to life.

“These performances are quite literally years in the making,” Vasterling shares. “Giancarlo and I have been dreaming of collaborating on these iconic works, and seeing them come to life onstage how they were meant to be experienced, with a full-length score, full company of dancers, and full orchestra is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only for us but for Nashville audiences as well.”

“This will be a celebration of the arts to bring people together and transport us from the everyday into a world of magic and adventure, adds Guerrero.”

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.