Ben Folds and the Nashville Ballet perform together in Nashville

 

While Ben Folds is mostly known for his alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, it is no secret that the North Carolina musician’s talent goes beyond rock. Ben Folds has successfully crossed-over to classical music and jazz. He was even named the first Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra. 

 In 2014, Folds was commissioned by the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Symphony Association, and the Minnesota Orchestra to write a concerto to which he responded with the 21-minute-long Concerto for Piano and Orchestra which is divided into three movements. This piece was first premiered by Folds and the Nashville Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. 

 In April of 2019, Ben Folds did a three-night residency for Ben Folds with Nashville Ballet which is part of a series called Modern Masters and was the first time Folds and the Nashville Ballet performed that piece together in Nashville. The Ben Folds Project: Concerto was the protagonist and first piece of the event. This piece was choreographed by Paul Vasterling, the Artistic Director for the Nashville Ballet. The choreography did not feature a linear story, instead, it was based on Vasterling’s personal reactions to the concerto. The highlight of this piece was seeing Folds playing piano on the same stage as the dancers. 

The event also consisted of three other pieces including Bloom Pas De Deux with the music of Philip Glass, Duo Concertant which consisted of a piece by Stravinsky performed on piano and violin on stage, and The Lottery. The Lottery was the last performance of the evening and it was an adaptation from a book of the same name written by Shirley Jackson. It was the only piece where the dancers were wearing a costume and used props to aid the storyline about the ritualized violence in the United States.

Ben Folds with NB 1080x1080.jpg

Though ballet can be somewhat intimidating for people that have never been exposed to it, the Modern Masters series from the Nashville Ballet provide a great introduction to this fine art while it is being accompanied by more contemporary pieces of music in which some of the musicians perform on the same stage as the dancers creating the perfect juxtaposition.   Ben Folds and the Nashville Ballet perform together in Nashville 

While Ben Folds is mostly known for his alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, it is no secret that the North Carolina musician’s talent goes beyond rock. Ben Folds has successfully crossed-over to classical music and jazz. He was even named the first Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra. 

In 2014, Folds was commissioned by the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Symphony Association, and the Minnesota Orchestra to write a concerto to which he responded with the 21-minute-long Concerto for Piano and Orchestra which is divided into three movements. This piece was first premiered by Folds and the Nashville Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. 

In April of 2019, Ben Folds did a three-night residency for Ben Folds with Nashville Ballet which is part of a series called Modern Masters and was the first time Folds and the Nashville Ballet performed that piece together in Nashville. The Ben Folds Project: Concerto was the protagonist and first piece of the event. This piece was choreographed by Paul Vasterling, the Artistic Director for the Nashville Ballet. The choreography did not feature a linear story, instead, it was based on Vasterling’s personal reactions to the concerto. The highlight of this piece was seeing Folds playing piano on the same stage as the dancers. 

The event also consisted of three other pieces including Bloom Pas De Deux with the music of Philip Glass, Duo Concertant which consisted of a piece by Stravinsky performed on piano and violin on stage, and The Lottery. The Lottery was the last performance of the evening and it was an adaptation from a book of the same name written by Shirley Jackson. It was the only piece where the dancers were wearing a costume and used props to aid the storyline about the ritualized violence in the United States. 

Though ballet can be somewhat intimidating for people that have never been exposed to it, the Modern Masters series from the Nashville Ballet provide a great introduction to this fine art while it is being accompanied by more contemporary pieces of music in which some of the musicians perform on the same stage as the dancers creating the perfect juxtaposition.

Coverage by Jorge Sierra

Images may not be used, modified, or cropped without permission from Jorge Sierra or SoundBite Magazine. Please contact SoundBite Magazine for use of photography.

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