Nashville Ballet’s CEO & Artistic Director, Paul Vasterling on Working with ALIAS

Q: In February, ALIAS will perform “Attitude” with the Nashville Ballet. What are the most exciting elements about this production?

Paul VasterlingPaul: Along with the brand new work from Paul Moravec, we’re looking forward to the original choreography that will accompany the new music and having the opportunity to premiere it with ALIAS. One of the most exciting things for me, personally, is just being a part of the creative process and watching it all come together. Being involved from the beginning and getting to see the creative process – both of the creation of the music and the choreography – and working through all of those “growing pains,” then to experience the end product… it’s always a thrill.

Q: In the May “Emergence” production – The dancers will be performing with live musicians and vocalists. What are the biggest challenges combining these elements together?

Paul: Since we will perform in Nashville Ballet’s home studio theater, the biggest challenge is really where to put everyone! Stage space is limited, so we are forced to be creative when it comes to featuring the chorus and music. It can be tricky, but it offers a unique, intimate experience for the audience that isn’t available anywhere else.

Q: What other elements make this “Emergence” series so special?

Paul: The new music definitely helps make Emergence special, along with the guest choreographers working on this production: Gina Patterson, Banning Bolton and James Gregg.

Gina Patterson is a very established choreographer we have had the opportunity to work with several times already. Her intense artistry and feminine perspective brings something new to our stage every time.

Banning Bolton was a student with Nashville Ballet and I’ve known her since she was a little girl. It’s a delight to welcome her back as a regular choreographer, having watched her grow through School of Nashville Ballet and our program, and now getting to watch from afar as she continues to have a very successful dance career, both nationally and internationally.

Finally, James Gregg is one of the hottest names in choreography right now; his work is being featured all over and it’s an honor to have him as a part of the Nashville Ballet family.

The musicians and dancers are already impressive as individuals, but when you put it all together, you get this amazing final product. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

Q: How did this artistic relationship develop between the Nashville Ballet, Portara and ALIAS?

ALIAS Artistic Director, Zeneba Bowers, suggested Portara one day when we were kicking around ideas for a third collaborator. It seemed like a natural fit for a unique performance, and the rest all just fell into place!