Dance offerings in Nashville may be fewer than those in classical music or theater, but they are most certainly noteworthy, thanks to the shrewd, inventive and assiduous leadership of Nashville Ballet’s artistic director Paul Vasterling and thanks to Vanderbilt’s Great Performances series, which brings first-rate dance groups to town every year.
Joe Goode Performance Group, Folk, Feb. 14 at Ingram Center
Jane Comfort and Company, Asphalt, Feb. 27 at Langford Auditorium
The Great Performances series remains our town’s most important outlet for modern dance, and the Cunningham concert at Ingram Center will be followed shortly thereafter by the Joe Goode Performance Group, a contemporary ensemble of performance artists whose work blurs the line between theater and modern dance. Two weeks later, in Langford Auditorium, Jane Comfort and Company will present Asphalt, a hip, urban dance-opera in which a DJ discovers his past and his self.
Nashville Ballet, “Bluebird Cafe at the Ballet,” Feb. 13-15 at Polk Theater, TPAC
Nashville Ballet hosts a Valentine’s party at which local songwriters Trisha Walker, Ashley Cleveland and Karen Staley will perform their music live, as dancers execute choreography by Julia Adam from San Francisco Ballet. It’s the kind of only-in-Nashville collaboration that the ballet (like Nashville Chamber Orchestra) is becoming known for. The bill also features “Raymonda Variations,” a lively set of classical dances with Hungarian flair, and “Senza Fretta,” an audience-pleasing duet for two men by Salvatore Aiello, choreographer of last season’s “Satto.” The program rounds out with “Red Roses,” a romantic but humorous ballet performed to the vocals of Edith Piaf.
Nashville Ballet, Romeo and Juliet, April 30 and May 2 at Jackson Hall, TPAC
A full-story version of the Romeo and Juliet fable using Sergei Prokofiev’s music, as choreographed by company artistic director Paul Vasterling. Those who know Vasterling’s Dracula and Robin Hood will look forward to this next premiere.
Marcel Smith and Martin Brady
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