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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Nashville Ballet to Celebrate Retirement of Long-Time Artistic Director with New in Nashville

Featuring classical and contemporary works set to live music by the Nashville Symphony

Courtesy of Nashville Ballet

Nashville Ballet will be concluding their 2022-23 Season April 21–23 at TPAC with New in Nashville. A celebration of long-time Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, who has been a part of the company for more than three decades, this unique sampling of music and movement will highlight the growth of the company under Vasterling’s leadership.

“Nashville Ballet is rapidly becoming one of the top artistic institutions in the country, and we owe a tremendous amount of that success to Paul,” shared CEO and incoming Artistic Director Nick Mullikin. “Over the last 34 years, he has built an organization that pushes boundaries, exceeds expectations, and inspires everyone to think bigger and do more. Because of him and his commitment to Nashville Ballet, we are going to be able to take this company to the next level. He has laid the foundation, and now we get to build upon it.”

Throughout his 30-plus years with Nashville Ballet, Vasterling has propelled the organization’s growth both physically and fiscally. Under his leadership, the company has grown from a troupe of 12 dancers to 32 full-time, professional artists from all over the world, toured to prestigious institutions both nationally and internationally, made regional and national broadcast television debuts, including on PBS’ Great Performances series, and has collaborated with artists such as Maren Morris, Rhiannon Giddens, Ben Folds, Twyla Tharp, Jennifer Archibald, and many more. Through this vast expansion of Nashville Ballet’s repertoire and national reputation, Vasterling has created a company that is both technically versatile, inherently collaborative, and rapidly becoming one of the top dance institutions in the country.

Aiming to celebrate these accomplishments, New in Nashville will highlight the company's growth under Vasterling’s leadership with a variety of classical and contemporary works that showcase the multiplicity of their artists. The program will include two never-before-seen-in-Nashville works, including creative visionary Cathy Marston’s Snowblind, based on Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, and a world premiere by the Tony-nominated choreographer of The Color Purple, Donald Byrd. In addition, audiences will get to experience Matthew Neenan’s Hilos, and one of Vasterling’s most beloved ballets, Appalachian Spring, set to Aaron Copland’s iconic score performed live by the Nashville Symphony.

Following Vasterling’s official retirement, current CEO and Associate Artistic Director Nick Mullikin will step into the role of Artistic Director for the 2023-24 season. In honor of his achievements over the years, Nashville Ballet’s Board of Directors has voted to name Vasterling Artistic Director Emeritus upon his retirement.

New in Nashville: A Tribute to Artistic Director Paul Vasterling will take place for one weekend only at TPAC’s Jackson Hall. For more information or to purchase tickets, 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 Paul Vasterling, CEO and Associate Artistic Director Nick Mullikin, and Resident Choreographer Mollie Sansone. Nashville Ballet and the second company, NB2 (a pre-professional training company), provide more than 55,000 arts experiences to adults and children annually through virtual and in-person season performances and its Community Engagement programming. Curriculum-based Community Engagement programs bring dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries, and public elementary, middle, and high schools across the state. School of Nashville Ballet brings world-class dance instruction to students ages 2 and up. To learn more about Nashville Ballet, please visit

Nashville Ballet receives public funding from Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from local, regional, and national institutional funders and community partners, as well as hundreds of generous individuals, provide ongoing support of Nashville Ballet’s mission-critical programs.


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