dance theatre of tennessee, dance, nashville, ballet, 12th and broad, Meagan Rhodes, Codie Gentry, press, media

Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s Press & Media

This week Nashville’s press and media have overwhelmed us with support helping us spread the word about our Spring series this weekend May 3rd – 4th at Father Ryan Auditorium.

dance theatre of tennessee, dance, nashville, ballet, 12th and broad, Meagan Rhodes, Codie Gentry, press, media

We were featured in Nashville Arts Magazine’s May issue and on their blog, were chosen as the “Critic’s Pick” in the Nashville Scene, featured on 12th and Broad’s blog and in their weekend itinerary, in Sunday’s Tennessean and in NowPlayingNashville.com’s weekly newsletter!

dance theatre of tennessee, dance, nashville, ballet, 12th and broad, Meagan Rhodes, Codie Gentry, press, media

We are so appreciative of this wonderful press and can’t wait for the show to begin!

We hope to see you at our Spring show “Paquita” and “Hansel and Gretel” May 3rd – 4th at Father Ryan Auditorium! Click here to purchase your tickets today for priority seating.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 40,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years.

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, costumes

Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s “Hansel & Gretel” Costume Preview

While most people this Spring are sporting jeans, tees and tennis shoes, Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s dancers are showing off this season’s finest feathers, tutus and lederhosen!

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, costumes

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, costumes

These little boys and girls are saved from becoming gingerbreads forever!

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, costumes

The Doe, Dew Fairy and The Bluebird are Hansel and Gretel’s newest friends in the forest! 

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, costumes

Hansel and his mom spot the Butterfly!

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, costumes

We hope to see you at our Spring show “Paquita” and “Hansel and Gretel” May 3rd – 4th at Father Ryan Auditorium! Click here to purchase your tickets today for priority seating.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 40,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years.

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, instagram

Dance Theatre of Tennessee on Instagram

Did you know we were on Instagram? We post new photos everyday of rehearsals, our dancers and more! Follow us at http://instagram.com/dancetheatretn.

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, instagram

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, instagram

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, instagram

dance theatre of tennessee, ballet, nashville, dancers, instagram

We hope to see you at our Spring show “Paquita” and “Hansel and Gretel” May 3rd – 4th at Father Ryan Auditorium! Click here to purchase your tickets online for priority seating.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 40,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years.

 

dance theatre of tennessee hansel and gretel spring series nashville ballet witch make up how to chrisopher mohnani

Hansel & Gretel: 7 Steps To Becoming A Witch

Dance Theatre of Tennessee brings the magic of the ballet to the stage through our dancers, choreography, costumes and makeup. Months and weeks before the show, we are carefully transforming dancers into characters to present the best show we possibly can to our audience.

dance theatre of tennessee hansel and gretel spring series nashville ballet witch make up how to chrisopher mohnani

Our upcoming Spring series on May 3rd-4th features “Hansel and Gretel” and we will turn a handsome man into an ugly witch in 7 easy steps! Check out the step-by-step process below on how to transform a face with our makeup tips.

http://www.dancetheatretn.org/blog/dance-theatre-of-tennessee-presents-hansel-and-gretel-spring-series/

1. First start with a clean face (fresh shaven for men) and apply a generous amount of eyebrow wax to the eyebrows to create a clean surface before makeup application.

2. Next, from your hair line to collar bone cover your skin with a basic green foundation with an added touch of green sparkle covering the entire face, neck and ears.

http://www.dancetheatretn.org/blog/dance-theatre-of-tennessee-presents-hansel-and-gretel-spring-series/

3.  Now that the wax is set on the eyebrows, fill in the eyebrows with an eyeliner pen creating a bold brow line. Next, highlight the brow underneath.

4. Using the same eyeliner pen, draw on “age” marks all across the face and neck, highlighting marks underneath. Add on a couple extra moles too!

5. Next, glue on fake eyelashes before adding any eye makeup. Then, create a dark eye with black eye shadow underneath the eye and highlight the upper lid with a copper eye shadow and a little highlighting underneath.

6. Apply the black lipstick.

7. Last, apply the wig and the look is complete!

http://www.dancetheatretn.org/blog/dance-theatre-of-tennessee-presents-hansel-and-gretel-spring-series/

We hope to see you at the show May 3rd – 4th at Father Ryan Auditorium! Click here to purchase your tickets online for priority seating.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 40,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years.

dance theatre of tennessee christopher mohnani nashville ballet

Behind the Scenes at Dance Theatre of Tennessee

Have you ever wondered how our productions all come together? Here’s a behind the scenes look into our rehearsals for “Hansel & Gretel” and “Paquita” at Dance Theatre of Tennessee!

dance theatre of tennessee christopher mohnani nashville ballet

dance theatre of tennessee christopher mohnani nashville ballet

 

dance theatre of tennessee christopher mohnani nashville ballet

We hope to see you at the show May 3rd – 4th at Father Ryan Auditorium! Click here to purchase your tickets online for priority seating.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 40,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years.

 

CPYB- Hansel & Gretel

Dance Theatre of Tennessee Presents “Hansel and Gretel” Spring Series

Dance Theatre of Tennessee is proud to present the premiere of Alan Hineline’s “Hansel & Gretel” at Father Ryan HS Auditorium.

Hansel and Gretel Dance Theatre of Tennessee Christopher Mohnani

Families and children of Middle Tennessee will delight in the classic fairy tale adventures of Hansel and Gretel with performances on Saturday, May 3rd at 2 PM and 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 4th at 2 PM.

Hansel and Gretel Nashville Dance Theatre of Tennessee Christopher Mohnani

“Hungry and lost in the forest, they stumble upon a house made of delicious confections and find themselves welcomed by a witch whose keen interest in them has a sinister motive.”

Dance Theatre of Tennessee is excited to present “Hansel and Gretel” with all new sets by New York City-based designer Lewis Folden, lighting by Josh Monroe and costumes by Betty Smith. When the costumes were delivered to the studio last month, DTT dancers couldn’t wait to play dress up!

Hansel and Gretel Nashville Dance Theatre of Tennessee Christopher Mohnani 2

The ballet, however, won’t be exactly how children and adults may remember the tale. While the original tale had about five characters in the story, Hineline choreographed a ballet with plenty of additional roles.

“I took creative license with it,” Hineline said. “When Hansel and Gretel go into the woods, they fall asleep at night. I created a scene where there is a lot of dancing in it. There are creatures in there – birds and butterflies and fairies. It’s a scene from the opera, which I adapted into the ballet.”

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Opening the program for the evening is “Paquita Grand Pas Classique,” restaged by Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani after Petipa. With Spanish flair and bravura, this technically demanding piece is a major cornerstone of the traditional ballet repertory and has been staged by ballet companies throughout the world.

General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children. Tickets are available online at www.ticketsnashville.com or at the door. Tickets purchased online have priority seating in the first five rows of the theatre. Any tickets purchased at the door will be seated first come-first served basis.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get a behind the scenes look as we prepare for our Spring Series throughout the month!

The goal of DTT is to encourage and increase access, participation and appreciation of classical dance and theater. What better way to start said goal by presenting familiar storylines that everybody can appreciate.” Mohnani is quick to note, “Though our main focus is access, we strive to bring high quality productions, internationally known choreographers and world-class artists throughout our season. We are educating the community that the fine arts can be appreciated and experienced by all citizens of Nashville, regardless of age, race, creed, or socio-economic status.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 40,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s Spring series is presented in part by the Metro Arts Commission.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee Presents “Holiday Magic” in Murfreesboro, TN

Dance Theatre of Tennessee is very excited to announce a partnership with   Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation in presenting “Holiday Magic” during it’s Rutherford county leg of it’s touring production of “The Nutcracker.”

On Pointe

Dance Theatre of Tennessee brings this endearing holiday classic to Murfreesboro for the 4th year in a row. Highlighted by Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score, the irresistible story of young Clara, a special gift and her fanciful dream to a world of sugary confections has charmed generations. “Holiday Magic” is a special opportunity where the under-served youth in our community are given the chance to experience this timeless holiday classic for FREE!

ArabianTrue to it’s mission of bringing the beauty of dance and magic of ballet to the people, Dance Theatre of Tennessee is committed in exposing as much of our community to live performing classical dance.

“What better way to have the under-served children in the community to experience live classical ballet than a free performance of The Nutcracker,” shares DTT Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani.  “We are very grateful to Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation for making it possible for these children to have this experience,” Mohnani further states.

“MTEMC is committed in furthering the lives of the people in the community we serve especially those of our children,” explains Cathy Mitchell, Director of Community Relations at MTEMC. “By giving them the opportunity to experience and create their own holiday tradition by attending a world class performance by Dance Theatre of Tennessee, we are helping them shape their lives, develop and grow – values we strive to further at MTEMC.”

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 All social service agencies that service the under-served community are encouraged to take advantage of this special opportunity and secure tickets for their constituents by calling Dance Theatre of Tennessee at 615-391-5500 or send an email with the subject line: Holiday Magic Ticket Request to [email protected]. Tickets are limited and will be given first come-first serve.

“These children will more than likely not going to be able to experience this opportunity and attending a ballet performance will definitely be a once in a lifetime experience,” adds Mohnani.

Performances are happening on December 14, Saturday at 7:00pm and December 15, Sunday at 2:00pm at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre. Public tickets are available for sale and can be purchased at   www.ticketsnashville.com.  For more information, visit our website at   www.dancetheatretn.org or call us at 615-391-5500.

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Dance Theatre of Tennessee has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 30,000 people through it’s performances and over 20,000 students through its outreach programs the past three years. 

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“The Nutcracker” Clarksville Performance Cancelled & Rescheduled

Our performance of “The Nutcracker” in Clarksville, TN is cancelled due to the city and county shut down due to weather.

Our Clarksville performance at Austin Peay State University is rescheduled for one night only on Friday, December 20, at 7:00 PM.

All tickets purchased online for both the 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM performance on Saturday, December 7th will be honored on that performance. Tickets to the December 20th performance are now available by visiting our website and clicking through the ticketing link.

Please make sure to check our website, Facebook and Twitter page for latest updates.

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Dance Theatre of Tennessee brings “The Nutcracker” to four Middle Tennessee counties

The sparkling magic of the season comes to life in Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s enchanting version of The Nutcracker. Highlighted by Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score, the irresistible story of young Clara, a special gift and her fanciful dream to a world of sugary confections has charmed generations. Dance Theatre of Tennessee brings this endearing holiday classic to a city near you! In line with its mission of bringing ballet to the people, Dance Theatre of Tennessee brings “The Nutcracker” to five cities in four Middle Tennessee counties – Davidson, Montgomery, Rutherford and DeKalb.

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Dance Theatre of Tennessee, is Middle Tennessee’s latest and most exciting professional dance organization. Led by Artistic Director/Founder and longtime Nashville Premier Principal Dancer Christopher Mohnani, the Nutcracker is a narrated version of the full-length ballet The Nutcracker. It provides an opportunity for the community to usher the holiday season in a more relatable, accessible and affordable way. It also provides the local youth in each county an opportunity to perform and participate and start a holiday tradition they can call their own. After a successful performance and premiere in several counties the last three years, where the buzz and response from the community were very overwhelming, DTT is bringing this production back to several cities as its way of offering the community their own holiday tradition.

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Back as well this year is the addition of four-footed performers in the production. Dance Theatre of Tennessee is partnering with several Middle Tennessee area dog agencies to present an adorable adoptable dog on stage in the opening scene of the Nutcracker.

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DTT’s touring Nutcracker will also have a surprise celebrity appearance in the role of the Mother Ginger in select performances. In addition, young audience members are invited to come and partake on a Nutcracker story time at the lobby during the afternoon performances and have their pictures taken with the Sugar Plum Fairy.

“Part of our mission in bringing the beauty of ballet and the magic of dance to the people is providing access to professional and high quality productions to cities and communities where they would otherwise not have the opportunity,” shares Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani.

DTT’s touring Nutcracker is presented in partnership with Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund and is presented in part by Metro Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Girl Sleeping

Tickets are available by visiting www.ticketsnashville.com. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children. Tickets purchased in advance online will be able to sit in the reserved section in the first five rows of the theatre. Any tickets purchased at the door will be seated first come-first served seating in the general admission area. For more information, please visit our website at www.dancetheatretn.org, www.facebook.com/dancetheatreoftennessee, or call us at 615-391-5500.

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Celebrating Artober, Maturity and More

As part of my own Artober celebration, I tried to take part or catch as much “art” as I  could. Exhibits, conference, visual and performing arts. The last couple of weeks had me seeing a few ballet productions. Each one different, each one offering some satisfying gifts.

I have always believed that maturity does not come with age. When an artist is secure and confident in his/her technique, their artistry naturally flows and the audience is rewarded with moments that are satisfying and heartfelt.

We saw the live stream of the Royal Ballet’s Don Q at our local cinema. I have always thought that Ballet in Cinema is a genius idea and a great way to capitalize and use available technology. Yes it doesn’t offer the full effect of watching it live, but for most people it would be the closest thing to experiencing one of the best companies in the world. They were less than 20 people in the room but all of us were in unison in appreciating the technical display in front of us. I expected a “mature” performance from Carlos Acosta (who is the choreographer as well) and Marinela Nunez. These are dancers that are on the top of their game and it showed. They went through the entire ballet with ease that it looked like it was just another day in the park. Marinela even had this smile on her, a giddy giggle, almost to say “I can do this about 3 more times tonight.” The ballet was nicely choreographed. It was slightly busy at times, but the effort to make the characters more relatable is a welcome treat. The effort of making it more relatable to the audience of today was obvious. Ratmansky did his version for Dutch National Ballet which I thought was slightly more successful but overall Acosta’s Don Q was a fun evening at the “theater.”

Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s Ballet in the Park presents Giselle was a big success this year. People flocked to Centennial Park to see a straight out, traditional staging of this tale of love, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption. This was a no frills ballet that relied heavily on the power of the story, the music, the setting and of course the dancing. The closest thing to a special effect was a fog/smoke machine and a handsome Great Dane. Still it proved to be a magical evening and it is largely due in part to Jennifer Drake and Brian Williamson. These two have been dancing together for only 3 1/2 years but you would think they have been partners for long. Giselle was not an easy ballet – the choreography demanding, the style specific, the characterization detailed and add the fact that they are doing this in an open air bandshell makes it even more tough. They rose to the challenge and led the company to do the same. The feedback and reviews especially of them are very well deserved. Jennifer imbued her Giselle with the right amount of vulnerability. Her transition from naive peasant girl to a spectral wili was made possible because of her complete commitment to the character and because she is on top of her technique. Brian on the other hand offered an assured partnership. He stayed true to the style and choreographic demands by giving a restrained performance making his Giselle “float” & the center of the action. It is very easy to hate his character but by the end of the ballet  you emphasized with his grief. I am so thankful to see these two display their maturity and professionalism. I might be biased but I can say that they offered the best rendition of Giselle based on style and technique seen in Nashville.

Nashville Ballet opened their series with Artistic Director Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan. I expected the ballet to be another visual feast as it is from the same team that brought Paul’s Nutcracker and Midsummer Nights Dream. As expected, it was a beautiful production – the sets were lush, costumes sparkly and of course the flying was fun. It was nice to see Sadie Harris and Jon Upleger on stage very much seasoned performers. Each time they came on stage as Mr. and Mrs. Darling, you kept your eyes on them. There was an easy and relaxed manner in their dancing. Their maturity and effortless presence were on display and very much appreciated. I feel that Mollie Sansone as Wendy offered the best dancing that evening. It is so gratifying to see an artist develop into her own and Mollie offered secure dancing and a committed character. She went through her passages confidently (they were some tricky en pointe combinations) each time maintaining her character. It is tough to take focus away from a flying character but she somehow managed.  I was out of town for their weekend run but basing it off the reaction from the audience during the final dress run, this is another success for Nashville Ballet.

Joffrey Ballet’s La Bayadere was very much a success and offered everything you would expect from a big ballet – inspired dancing, fast paced and fresh staging, intricate choreography, luscious sets and scenery, gorgeous costumes and  easy to follow narrative. This is classical ballet geared for this generation. The traditionalist in me missed some of the scenes and was surprised to see sequence and dance order interchanged but in the end you don’t mind  because it was excellently done. Kudos to Stanton Welch for a glorious ballet and for Joffrey Ballet for rising to the challenge. It seems that under Ashley Weather’s direction the company is changing it’s look that almost mirrors San Francisco Ballet. Dancers almost all have the same look and they are tackling big classical ballets and giving justice to it. At the center of it all is Christine Rocas as Nikiya and what a mature, nuanced and secure performance she gave! I have seen Christine’s debut in major ballets since she started at Joffrey. We were there during her debut as Giselle in Frederick Franklin’s Giselle. Saw her in Arpino’s Nutcracker. We had plans to see her debut as Kitri in Possokov’s Don Q but she got hurt and didn’t perform. Her Nikiya was beautifully restrained, perfectly in control. She knew when to push or hold back – just like the music (beautifully played by the Joffrey Orchestra) she made us go through the highs and lows and offered a dynamic performance. Christine has this quality that as soon as she steps on stage, your eyes are focused on her. Her lines extend to the heavens and her port be bras are so beautiful that when she gestures, it is coming from within and her entire body speaks. During her very 1st pas, she whipped out a double a la second turn to penchee like it was nothing! Her partnering with her Solor (A pyrotechnical Ogulcan) was strong and in control. The partnering choreography was intricate yet the two of them made it look easy. I was embarrassingly crying after the first 5 minutes of her dancing and I have 2 more hours to go! I was just so happy and proud to see Christine develop into this mature confident woman. Her characterization was clear and very musical. You can feel her love for Solor and her quiet rejection of the Brahmin in Act 1. Her scenes with Gamzatti (A buoyant and strong Anatascia) were believable and gripping. Her basket dance in Act 2 with a real snake was the dramatic highlight of the ballet. Then when Act 3 came, she became this ethereal being. Her bourees across the floor in her 1st entrance alone is worth the ticket price. Kingdom of the Shades was beautiful. Despite a few wobbles, the ladiesx gave a mesmerizing performance. Staying true to Petipa, the choreography for Shades offered the best of the evening and was crowned by Christine’s overall command. By the end of the ballet, complete with Samsonian collapse of the temple, the packed audience was ready to give everybody a much deserved applause. And when Christine came out last, she walked high and tall, took her time, and gestured across the room. Everybody stood up! Bravo!

I think that is the beauty of our art form – each one different and yet all have the ability to touch you. When the moment where performer and audience are connected – the feeling is magical and you are left fully satisfied yet wanting more. What a treat to see these performances!

Christopher Mohnani