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July 19, 2024

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Photo by Lydia McRae Photography

Nashville Ballet To Host Dance Festival at Belmont

The inaugural event features artists from the Nationally Acclaimed Dance Theatre of Harlem, Nashville Ballet and more.

Always keeping Nashville on its toes, Nashville Ballet kicks off its 2023-24 Season with the inaugural Nashville Dance Festival on Friday, July 21 at Belmont Universityโ€™s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.

This celebration showcases classical and contemporary pieces performed by renowned guest artists from Dance Theatre of Harlem, Collage Dance Collective, Nashville Ballet company dancers, NB2, Nashville Balletโ€™s official second company and Nashville Balletโ€™s Summer Intensive students.

According to Nashville Ballet’s new artistic director Nick Mullikin, this festival is a step in the right direction toward establishing Nashville as a destination for dance.

โ€œThe Nashville Dance Festival is a celebration of creativity in Nashville and the dance community,โ€ said Mullikin. โ€œFestival attendees have an opportunity to witness the festivalโ€™s inception and growth into an essential event. It was important to demonstrate the national reach of our collaborators, and to show the city of Nashville new work by some of todayโ€™s leading artists. Our objective is to promote more interaction and provide a wider perspective of Nashville Ballet to the community. The return of Alexandra Hutchinson, former NB2 dancer and current Dance Theatre of Harlem company artist, highlights how the NB2 program is providing opportunities for growth. We are fusing the classical foundation of ballet with new contemporary concepts in this production that is sure to captivate audiences.โ€

About the Nashville Dance Festival

The inaugural celebration kicks off the 2023-24 season with performances from a grand slate of talented artists. Witness the skills of the nationally acclaimed Dance Theatre of Harlem and Collage Dance Collective. Led by Artistic Director Robert Garland, Dance Theatre of Harlem, based in New York City, is known for promoting excellence, innovation and creativity through inclusivity. The institution boasts a history of star ballet prodigies such as co-founder Arthur Miller. Memphis-based Collage Dance Collective, known for its diversity, advocacy and evocative performances, is led by Artistic Director Kevin Thomas.

In addition, festival visitors will experience:

  • a preview of Nashville Balletโ€™s upcoming 2023-24 Season through the performances on stage
  • a pre-performance conversation with Artistic Director Nick Mullikin
  • a stunning display of costumes and accessories in the lobby (Nashville Ballet Company Dancers Jamie Kopit and Nicolas Scheuer will showcase the Romeo and Juliet Balcony Pas De Deux choreographed by Artistic Director Emeritus Paul Vasterling, set to return in full to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in April 2024)
  • performances by members of NB2, preprofessional dancers from the prestigious School of Nashville Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program

The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 21. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased here. To reserve seats or to learn more, 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.