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June 18, 2024

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Nashville Ballet to Celebrate Artistic Director

"New in Nashville" will highlight the company’s growth under Vasterling’s leadership with classical and contemporary works.

Nashville Ballet concludes their 2022-23 season April 21 – 23 at TPAC with New in Nashville. A celebration of long-time Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, who has been a part of the company for more than three decades, this unique sampling of music and movement will highlight the growth of the company under Vasterling’s leadership.

“Nashville Ballet is rapidly becoming one of the top artistic institutions in the country, and we owe a tremendous amount of that success to Paul,” shared CEO and incoming Artistic Director Nick Mullikin. “Over the last 34 years, he has built an organization that pushes boundaries, exceeds expectations, and inspires everyone to think bigger and do more. Because of him and his commitment to Nashville Ballet, we are going to be able to take this company to the next level. He has laid the foundation, and now we get to build upon it.”

About Paul Vasterling

Throughout his 30-plus years with Nashville Ballet, Vasterling has propelled the organization’s growth both physically and fiscally. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a troupe of 12 dancers to 32 full-time, professional artists from all over the world, toured to prestigious institutions both nationally and internationally, made regional and national broadcast television debuts, including on PBS’ Great Performances series, and has collaborated with artists such as Maren Morris, Rhiannon Giddens, Ben Folds, Twyla Tharp, Jennifer Archibald, and many more. Through this vast expansion of Nashville Ballet’s repertoire and national reputation, Vasterling has created a company that is both technically versatile, inherently collaborative, and rapidly becoming one of the top dance institutions in the country.

About New in Nashville

Aiming to celebrate these accomplishments, New in Nashville will highlight the company’s growth under Vasterling’s leadership with a variety of classical and contemporary works that showcase the multiplicity of their artists. The program will include two never-before-seen-in-Nashville works, including creative visionary Cathy Marston’s Snowblind, based on Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, and a world premiere by the Tony-nominated choreographer of The Color Purple, Donald Byrd. In addition, audiences will get to experience Matthew Neenan’s Hilos, and one of Vasterling’s most beloved ballets, Appalachian Spring, set to Aaron Copland’s iconic score performed live by the Nashville Symphony.

Following Vasterling’s official retirement, current CEO and Associate Artistic Director Nick Mullikin will step into the role of Artistic Director for the 2023-24 season. In honor of his achievements over the years, Nashville Ballet’s Board of Directors has voted to name Vasterling Artistic Director Emeritus upon his retirement.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit


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.