Who Else Gets to Take an “Usie” with the Nashville Ballet?!
Building from a relationship introduced to me by the National Museum of African-American Music, I was invited back to view Seven Deadly Sins‘ choreographed by Chris Stuart featuring the musical collaboration of Top Tenn and Nashville Symphony, the which ran this past weekend at TPAC. Let me tell you, I was tickled pink to be invited to interview, preview a rehearsal, and attend and review another event with the Nashville Ballet. I am in awe by the dancers’ muscle definition, their dedication, and their accuracy. When I say I’m drawn to passionate people, the dancers at the Nashville Ballet are definitely people operating in their passion. Read on for the behind the scenes scoop!
At the rehearsal, I got to see snippets of the performance. It is super neat to see the behind the scenes. I literally walked into a sea of Flashdance. There were perfectly chiseled, elongated legs and arms en pointe everywhere. I observed some stretches that I would be fearful of. The dancers chatted and went over their steps and soon the rehearsal assembled. As the main characters practiced their steps to Chris Stuart calling out the beat “5-6-7-8” the understudies, ready to take the lead on a moments notice, mirrored them feet steps behind.
Prior to watching the rehearsal, I was able to sit down and interview 20 year veteran of Nashville ballet Chris Stuart to talk about his inspiration for the dance style in Seven Deadly Sins.
That 5-minute solo dance for Gluttony at the end of the interview above, I actually got to see in rehearsal and in the media preview and true to word, it definitely is a memorable dance with hints of contemporary dare I say hip hop dance styles even. A big role that was completely mastered by the skills of Augusto Cezar.
I was excited to learn her that I would be able to bring guests to the media review of seven deadly sins on Thursday night at TPAC. Who knew that I would be on the media team? Super excited and proud. Inside of Jackson Hall, we were part of a group of fewer than 100 people who were are designated media, we were able to view the full performance of Seven Deadly Sins’ with The Nashville Symphony and Top Tenn — music and costumes and all. I decided to bring my clients and blogger friends, and my best friend to enjoy the exclusive.
My favorite part of Seven Deadly Sins was how you could literally determine from the different details of each dance, which “Sin” was being performed. My favorite one was Lust, which was so clearly depicted with two ladies and a guy routine, paired with passionate red lighting. And I can’t forget to mention “Seven Deadly Sins featured modern costumes by Nashville-based fashion designer Maria “Poni” Silver. The owner ofBlack by Maria Silver, the Dominican-American designer specializes in contemporary streetwear that combines urban nonchalance with easy glamor.”
If you’ve seen a commercial, movie or TV show in the past decade, you’ve undoubtedly heard the work of a TOT alum. Take for example Amy Stroup whose songs have been used by E-Harmony, Walmart and on Parenthood. One of the original members, Tyler James, graduated from TOT and went on to play keys for Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and then formed his own band, Escondido and Kyle Andrews, another former alum, has had his song, “You Always Make Me Smile” featured on Microsoft and Holiday Inn commercials. Surely you heard Gabe Dixon’s “Find My Way” opening Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds’ 2009 film, The Proposal. And then there’s Katie Herzig, whose work has been featured on Sex and the City, in the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks, and Target and Carnival Cruise commercials. Renowned artists such as Joy Williams (of The Civil Wars), Mikky Ekko and Ashley Monroe all had their footing as former Ten Out Of Tenn artists. And the thing is, this list goes on and on.
Moral of the story? Work your passion and the opportunity will come!
And yall, for the finale, there was a dance duet with water streaming from the ceiling in an effort to cleanse the main character from his experience in the ‘Sins.’ I told ya (FLASHDANCE). The water added another element of depth to the performance (as well as the intense edge of seat attention grabbing, as the combination of dancing with water is something we have all been taught NOT to do).
So there you have it! Next up is Sleeping Beauty in September, and I can’t wait! Get your tickets for a great date night option in Nashville with the Nashville Ballet. For a full list of performances for the 2017-2018 click here.
Have you ever been to the ballet? Did you take ballet when you were younger? Talk to me in the comments.