Nashville Ballet to premiere groundbreaking Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project

Staff Reports • Jan 19, 2018 at 8:21 PM

NASHVILLE – Nashville Ballet will premiere Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project, an internationally acclaimed contemporary ballet that journeys through one of history’s darkest hours to ultimately shine a spotlight on the triumph of the human spirit, in February. 

Presented as part of Nashville Ballet’s annual Attitude series, Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project will come to Nashville on Feb. 9-11 from Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mills at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Polk Theater.

Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project unfolds as Naomi Warren, a real-life Holocaust survivor, reflects on her life. Following one person’s journey through the catastrophic events of the Holocaust, the work aims to spread a message of resiliency, courage and, most importantly, hope. Created and choreographed by Mills, Light has traveled to cities all around the world since its premiere in Austin in 2005. The ballet is set to a contemporary score by renowned composers Philip Glass, Evelyn Glennie, Michael Gordon, Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich.

“Light is a timely reminder of the fragility of human rights,” said Nashville Ballet artistic director and CEO Paul Vasterling. “What’s unique about art is its ability to spark meaningful conversation, teach important lessons and leave lasting impressions that have the power to lead to change. Light is an especially poignant example of that as we not only reflect on the past, but also consider the present and our personal responsibility when we see acts of injustice today.”

Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project is a unique multi-disciplinary community partnership that promotes the protection of human rights against bigotry and hate through arts, education and public dialogue. Through a partnership with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, Nashville Ballet will play host to a series of community conversations and events leading up to Light to reflect on historical and contemporary issues of social injustice to promote understanding.

Nashville Ballet community calendar:

• through Feb. 28, the free exhibit, Living On: Portraits of Survivors and Liberators in Tennessee at Nashville Ballet. 

• Jan. 23 through Feb. 1, Inside the Ballet with Mitchell Korn: Light – The Holocaust & Humanity Project at Nashville Ballet.

• Jan 24, a lunch and learn will feature a free screening of Producing Light at Belcourt Theatre.

• Jan. 27, Nashville Ballet’s performance of Frank at Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park.

• Feb. 3, The Art of Tolerance, a free community panel discussion at Fisk University.

• Feb. 9, Nashville Ballet’s First Call at Headlines Nashville at Hotel Indigo.

• Feb. 9-11, Attitude: Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project at TPAC’s Polk Theater.

Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project and its associated events are a part of a citywide initiative during 2018 to help area residents reflect on their roles and contributions to social justice in Nashville and around the world. The community initiative is anchored by the Nashville Symphony’s Violins of Hope, an exhibit of and performance with musical instruments played in concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Attitude: Light – The Holocaust and Humanity Project will be presented by Sea Salt Nashville with additional support from SunTrust and Susan Underwood Physical Therapy and funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets start at $35 and may be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at 615-782-4040 or at nashvilleballet.com. A complete performance schedule and more information may be found at nashvilleballet.com/light.

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