Nashville Ballet Makes Debut Appearance at Historic Kennedy Center with The Ben Folds Project
Public Invited to Open House to Watch The Ben Folds Project Rehearsal on April 6
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 23, 2017) – Nashville Ballet will make its debut appearance at the famed John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. to perform The Ben Folds Project April 17-23, 2017, as a part of the Ballet Across America series. Illustrating the most exciting, innovative dance happening across America today, the program is curated by major stars of the ballet world: American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck.
The Ben Folds Project, which premiered to Nashville audiences in May 2014, showcases Folds’ original piano concerto (co-commissioned by Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra) to original choreography by Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Folds' concerto, featured on his So There album, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Classical and Classical Crossover charts.
“The Ben Folds Project seamlessly showcases the creative collaboration and talent that’s coming out of Music City every day,” Vasterling said. “The more that people are exposed to Nashville’s artistic community, the more that people will see us for who we really are—an extremely creative city that reflects the diverse group of people who now call it home. Having the opportunity to present this particular work at our nation’s performing arts center speaks to the overall strength of our artistic community.”
Multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Folds will join Nashville Ballet to perform the music live during the opening night celebration on Monday, April 17. Hand-selected by Copeland, Nashville Ballet will perform The Ben Folds Project three additional times during her curated section of the program Wednesday, April 19, Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21 with pianist Joel Ayau.
"I'm proud to be collaborating on stage once again with Nashville Ballet," Folds said. "These dancers are so incredibly talented, and their interpretation of my piano concerto delivers such a stunning visual performance element that truly enhances the music."
The public is invited to an open house to watch The Ben Folds Project rehearsal at Nashville Ballet (3630 Redmon Street Nashville, TN 37209) on Thursday, April 6 from 3-6 p.m. to show its support before the company leaves for D.C.
First presented in 2008 and last seen in 2013, Ballet Across America places artists at the center of the conversation as never before and explores new directions in the art. For the 2017 edition, Copeland and Peck will offer their unique perspective and insight into the thrill, challenge and future of dance. Central to the Kennedy Center’s celebration of the JFK Centennial, guest curators will present works that explore themes of courage, freedom, justice and service on top of the series-wide exploration of innovation in American ballet. Nashville Ballet will join Abraham.In.Motion, The Black Iris Project, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and L.A. Dance Project for this year’s program.
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), provide more than 75,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students age 2 to 70.
Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional private support provided by Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, Caterpillar Financial, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, The HCA Foundation, Ingram Charitable Fund, Inc., The Mall at Green Hills, The Memorial Foundation, New York Choreographic Institute, Publix Super Market Charities, The Shubert Foundation, SunTrust Bank, other community partners and hundreds of generous individuals who provide ongoing annual support.