Nashville Ballet to present winter series Feb. 10-12

Nashville Ballet’s winter series, Salsa Dreams, will include three dances selected by Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling for their popularity and contribution to American culture—Salsa Dreams, with Billy the Kid and Cryin’ Out. The performances will be held Feb. 10-12 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

In Salsa Dreams, the unlikely combination of ballet and salsa unite on stage, fueled by a live salsa band led by the lively and entertaining Lalo Davila y Amigos. These two genres meet when a classical ballerina daydreams about crossing paths with a group of salsa dancers who move in a way she’s never experienced. Salsa Dreams explores the irony of combining two apparently different forms of dance, and invites audience members to explore new forms of movement themselves. By the end of the performance, she has embraced this new, free-spirited style of movement.

“A performance like this that profiles a very different kind of ballet allows us to teach people that there is a style of music and dance for everyone. Even people who don’t think they can dance or don’t think they have any rhythm find themselves literally moving to this music,” Vasterling says. “It also allows us to profile the versatility of our company members who can master many different styles of dance—even in one performance.”

Previously performed in 2005, the infectious music inspired audience members to dance in the aisles and their seats. Also featured during the series is Cryin’ Out with choreography by Gina Patterson and music written and performed live on stage by genre-busting songwriter Gary Nicholson, whose songs have been recorded by rock and country legends alike, including Bonnie Raitt, Vince Gill and the Dixie Chicks. Nicholson will perform some of his most recognized songs, including "One More Last Chance," "More Love" and "Choose Love" for this mix of Americana music, contemporary dance and traditional ballet.

Vasterling will also revive Billy the Kid, a quintessential American work choreographed by Eugene Loring in 1938. Based on the life of the infamous Western outlaw of the same name, Billy the Kid illustrates how Billy’s reputation as both a criminal and a hero was an influential part of Wild West culture after the Civil War. Billy the Kid was one of the first ballets choreographed on American themes, created during the 1920’s surge of popular American art. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts for preserving important American works, Nashville Ballet’s premiere of Billy the Kid will revive this ballet from a 10-year American hiatus.

Salsa Dreams, with Billy the Kid and Cryin’ Out will be held at TPAC’s Polk Theater for three performances: Friday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. 

Season tickets for Nashville Ballet’s 2011-2012 performance season on sale now at For season ticket information, contact Logan Heinsch at (615) 297-2966 x10. Tickets to individual performances are available in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at 615- 782-4040 or online at

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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