Nashville Ballet reprises Johnny Cash ballet

Johnny Cash ballet tributeNashville Ballet’s smash-hit Johnny Cash ballet returns by popular demand this Valentine’s Day with Sugar + The Hi-Lows to pay tribute to The Man in Black’s iconic life and legacy. The Johnny Cash piece joins the lineup for Nashville Ballet’s annual contemporary Attitude series February 9-12, 2017, at TPAC’s Polk Theater.


Created by Nashville Ballet dancer and choreographer Christopher Stuart, the performance is set to popular Cash tunes, including Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line and God’s Gonna Cut You Down. Nashville-based Sugar + The-Hi Lows (fronted by singer/songwriters Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup) will perform Cash hits with their own signature rockabilly twist, as well as a few original songs. The ballet, entitled Under the Lights, returns following its 2014 premiere.


“I discovered Johnny’s music when I moved to Nashville from Connecticut in 2002,” Stuart said. “Watching the video for Hurt was a defining moment for me, and I was instantly hooked to his unparalleled abilities as a musician, storyteller and artist. What better way to pay tribute to his legacy than by capturing the spirit of his music through dance?”


Attitude, Nashville Ballet’s annual winter series celebrating Music City’s creative community, will be rounded out by world-renowned choreographer Christopher Bruce’s Sergeant Early’s Dream. Featuring a live six-piece band, Sergeant Early’s Dream depicts the immigration experience from Europe to America in the 19th century through dance set to early Irish, English and American folk music.


“This year’s Attitude follows the evolution of country music,” said Nashville Ballet Artistic Director and CEO Paul Vasterling. “You can feel the origins of Johnny Cash’s music in the lyrics and folk instrumentation in Sergeant Early’s Dream. It’s a fascinating complement to Under the Lights and its homage to one of country music’s biggest icons.”


Attitude is presented by SunTrust, with support from Susan Underwood Physical Therapy and Nashville Scene. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC Box Office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at A complete performance schedule and more information can be found online.



Photo: Nashville Ballet in Under the Lights. Photo by Heather Thorne.