Nashville Ballet Goes Country with Johnny Cash, Performances from Local Musicians

Celebrate your love of Nashville this Valentine’s Day, as Nashville Ballet’s Attitude marries two very uniquely Nashville past times: live music and dance. Nashville Ballet presents Attitude at TPAC’s Polk Theater February 14-16, sponsored by SunTrust Bank and Nashville Scene. This special presentation of innovative art combines contemporary dance from three cutting-edge choreographers with live music from various local artists. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at

his one-of-a-kind presentation begins with choreography by Nashville Ballet company dancer, Christopher Stuart, set to the iconic music of Johnny Cash. Nashville-based band Sugar and the Hi Lows (comprised of singer-songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup) will perform their renditions of classic Cash songs such as “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” “Ring of Fire” and “I Walk the Line.” The duo will infuse their neo-rockabilly sound into the classic works of The Man in Black, and will also perform some of their own songs in this daring combination of Nashville music and dance.

“Johnny Cash’s music speaks to me. It’s straight, true and honest, but he took risks,” Stuart said. “He didn’t let anyone tell him who he should or shouldn’t be and I aspire to do that with my choreography - to challenge myself to do new things and not just what society expects of me. I want to push the envelope. I want people to be affected by my work. And I think that choreographing to Cash’s iconic music is the perfect way to accomplish that.”

Choreographer Brian Enos, who was recently named “Best Up and Coming Choreographer” by the Houston Press, will revive his piece And Legions Will Rise, which originally premiered at Nashville Ballet’s 2012 Emergence performance. ALIAS Chamber Ensemble will perform the music, composed by recent Pulitzer Prize winning composer Kevin Puts.

The final piece of the production comes from Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling. Last performed by Nashville Ballet in February 2008, Time/Return/Memory is inspired by the Greek myth about Orpheus and Eurydice. Using a solo piano score adapted from Philip Glass’ Orphée Suite, Vasterling’s choreography examines the concept of death, and the letting go of fears and self-doubt, allowing people to live more freely. When it was performed as part of a mixed bill of contemporary dance in 2008, The Tennessean called Time/Return/Memory “best of show and testament to Vasterling's ability to turn a story into spectacular movement.”

“The really exciting thing about Attitude is that it features all live music and represents a variety of different dance styles, culminating in something quintessentially Nashville,Vasterling said. “Expect the unexpected, because this year’s Attitude is going to impress.”

For more information and a complete schedule of Nashville Ballet performances, please visit

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) serve nearly 60,000 adults and children annually through performances and our outreach and community engagement programming. Curriculum-based outreach programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries and public elementary, middle and high schools across the state. The School of Nashville Ballet provides world-class instruction in ballet and other forms of dance for dancers of all ages.

Nashville Ballet is funded in part by Ingram Charitable Trust, Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund, The Shubert Foundation, Caterpillar Financial, ELAN Hair and Skin, The Memorial Foundation, Publix Super Market Charities, The HCA Foundation, The Mall at Green Hills and thousands of individuals who contribute to our annual operating fund.