Nashville Ballet unveils 2023-24 season, will feature classics, world premieres

Nashville Ballet unveils 2023-24 season, will feature classics, world premieres

Nashville Ballet’s 2023-24 season will signify the end of an era as the organization’s long-time Artistic Director Paul Vasterling steps away after 25 years and the ballet welcomes its new Artistic Director Nick Mullikin.

Nashville Ballet fans are in for some stellar performances as the 2023-24 season consists of some classics as well as eight world premieres, including Mullikin’s first as artistic director.

“This season highlights where we came from, where we are and where we are going,” Mullikin said. He added that Nashville Ballet is growing alongside the city and is no longer considered just a regional dance company.

“When this city looks at where this company is going, they are going to find something exciting, dynamic and with artists that are some of the best at what they do,” Mullikin told The Tennessean. “Our new era for dance in Music City is going to be one that helps us not only be known as a music city, but as a dance city, a place where you can come to the ballet and see something you can’t see anywhere else in this country. This was possible because of Paul (Vasterling), and we are going to just keep charting the course in the direction he pointed us.”

One season highlight this fall is “Year of the Rabbit,” a piece by Tony Award winner and acclaimed choreographer of Steven Spielberg’s 2021 “West Side Story,” Justin Peck, who will be making his Nashville Ballet debut.

Peck is a resident choreographer with the New York City Ballet and his “Year of the Rabbit” is a collaboration with singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens and features a song cycle based on the popular Chinese zodiac. Described as “thrilling,” “poetic,” and “brilliant” by The New York Times, “Year of the Rabbit” blends the athleticism of classical ballet with boundary-breaking movement.

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Peck’s piece will be joined by Artistic Director Emeritus’ Paul Vasterling’s “Firebird,” set to Stravinsky’s full-length score, and Jirí Kylián’s “Un Ballo.”

Along with these new works, Nashville Ballet will also present its classic take on the Christmas favorite “Nashville’s Nutcracker” and “Romeo and Juliet.” Other highlights include the return of the twice-sold-out Live in Studio A and the annual Attitude production featuring world premieres by multi-award winner Jermaine Spivey, resident choreographer Mollie Sansone, and former Alvin Ailey dancer Yusha-Marie Sorzano.

“With eight world premieres, we are giving voice to our artists from Nashville Ballet, and to internationally-known artists as well,” Mullikin said. “It mirrors our ambition to be a place where creativity is born, cultivated and celebrated.”

Here is Nashville Ballet’s 2023-24 season:

September 22–24, 2023“Firebird” “Year of the Rabbit”/ “Un Ballo”Choreography by Paul Vasterling, Justin Peck and Jirí KyliánTPAC’s Polk Theater

December 8–24, 2023“Nashville’s Nutcracker”TPAC’s Jackson Hall

February 9–11, 2024“Attitude”Featuring new works by Mollie Sansone, Yusha-Marie Sorzano, and Jermaine SpiveyTPAC’s Polk Theater

April 19–21, 2024“Romeo and Juliet”TPAC’s Jackson Hall

May 17–23, 2023“Live in Studio A”Featuring Nick Mullikin’s first world premiere as artistic directorThe Martin Center for Nashville Ballet, Studio A

Season tickets for the 2023-24 season go on sale in March. To learn more about Nashville Ballet and upcoming performances, visit

Melonee Hurt covers growth and development at The Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network — Tennessee. Reach Melonee at