Nashville Ballet to present ‘Modern Masters’

Nashville BalletFeaturing a carefully curated lineup of Nashville premieres and a dynamic musical selection, Nashville Ballet will present Modern Masters this weekend, May 4-6, at TPAC’s Jackson Hall. 


Modern Masters is a new initiative designed to deliver the spectacular works of the world’s leading choreographers to Middle Tennessee residents and visitors each season. Highlighting the distinctly delightful styles of three internationally renowned choreographic geniuses, this year’s program features dance icon Jiří Kylián’s Six Dances, Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s Ghosts and Western Symphony by George Balanchine, commonly known as the father of American ballet. 


“Bringing in works from artists of this caliber is always impressive, but to give audiences these three impeccable ballets in one evening is typically something you’d only find in the largest ballet markets in the country,” Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said. “Nashville Ballet is dedicated to providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like Modern Masters for viewers to witness such a grand level of artistry, as well as a wide array of subject matter and style.”


Set to Mozart’s Six German Dances, Kylián’s Six Dances is a theatrical and satirical take on the formality of the era in which Mozart and his contemporaries emerged. A rare gem only previously performed by San Francisco Ballet, Wheeldon’s Ghosts transports audiences to an ethereal realm of otherworldly apparitions, drawing inspiration from a classical score by Grammy-nominated composer and Nashville resident C.F. Kip Winger of the 80s hair metal band Winger. Balanchine’s Western Symphony closes the program with spirited steps from an enormous cast of cowboys and dancehall girls set to American folk tunes arranged by Hershey Kay.


While Modern Masters offers Nashville audiences a performance unlike any they’ve previously seen, the spectacular repertory also holds great significance for Nashville Ballet’s dancers and the city’s arts scene at large.


“As artists, it’s important that we’re constantly pushing ourselves to grow and improve. Bringing in works by such renowned choreographers and current innovators helps to continuously challenge Nashville Ballet’s company members,” Vasterling said. “This performance is truly a testament to the depth of talent at Nashville Ballet and an expression of how far so many of our dancers have come in their tenure here. Bringing these works to Nashville has acted as something of a catalyst, driving each dancer to be their absolute best, and I hope it will act to similarly elevate our city’s status as an even more competitive market for top performing artists and arts organizations.”


Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased online, by phone at 615-782-4040 or in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville. Visit for more information on Modern Masters.


Photo: Nashville Ballet Company Members Judson Veach and Keenan McLaren Hartman for Modern Masters. Photo courtesy of Nashville Ballet.