Nashville’s Nutcracker celebrates the magic of the season

Nashville Ballet brings one of the city’s most beloved holiday traditions, Nashville’s Nutcracker, to TPAC’s Jackson Hall December 5-23, 2015, with the Nashville Symphony. Nashville’s version of the timeless holiday classic returns for the eighth consecutive year, with more than 200 dancers per performance taking audiences on a fantastic journey through a dreamland filled with beloved characters for 13 performances.

Visit magical lands with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, the Dancing Bear and many historic characters from Nashville’s past. Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling’s original concept and choreography incorporates local landmarks like the Parthenon, Shelby Bottoms and Belle Meade Mansion as Clara journeys into her holiday dream, complete with all of the magical characters you know and love. Beginning at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville, the tale weaves together the city’s historic landmarks and characters with the world’s most popular ballet, with music composed by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, to deliver a unique Nashville holiday tradition.

Kayla Rowser

Kayla Rowser

“I gave this production a Nashville twist because this city is such a fantastic hub of creativity, and I wanted this version of the Nutcracker to reflect and infuse that creativity,” Vasterling said. “Not only does the story pay homage to Nashville’s rich history, but the entire production is locally produced, including the dancers, music, costumes and scenery.”

Among the dancers are Kayla Rowser, Augusto Cezar, and Gerald Watson.

Kayla Rowser, from Conyers, Ga., joined Nashville Ballet’s second company, NB2, in 2007, and joined the main company as an apprentice in 2009. Promoted to company member in 2010, Kayla has performed as Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in Nashville’s Nutcracker. She was featured as the title role in Nashville Ballet’s 2012 performance of Firebird, as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, and Tinkerbell in Vasterling’s Peter Pan.

Augusto Cezar

Augusto Cezar

An accomplished performer in his native Brazil, Augusto Cezar brings an impressive resume of international training to his position at Nashville Ballet, representing Brazil at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition, finishing as a semi-finalist. At Nashville Ballet, Augusto has performed as the Jester in Cinderella, Blue Bird in The Sleeping Beauty, was featured in Dominic Walsh’s The Whistling, as the clever Bonvolio in Paul Vasterling’s Romeo & Juliet and most recently performed the title role in Vasterling’s world premiere production of Peter Pan.

Gerald Watson

Gerald Watson

Apprentice Gerald Watson graduated in 2012 from the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Contemporary Dance. In 2012, Gerald joined Nashville Ballet’s second company, NB2. The 2015-2016 season is Gerald’s second as an apprentice with Nashville Ballet. He is currently on faculty with School of Nashville Ballet’s Children’s Program. Outside of the studio, Gerald, a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, is a budding chef, musician, HVAC technician and painter.

Nashville’s Nutcracker tickets start at $28 and can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or online.