One of the major highlights of the 2019 arts calendar was the outstanding Nashville Ballet presentation of Lucy Negro Redux, featuring performances by the incredible Kayla Rowser. With music performed by Rhiannon Giddens, along with Louis York, and a compelling story magnificently choreographed by Paul Vasterling, based on the book by the gifted and talented Caroline Randall Williams, who served as narrator, infusing the text with powerful emotion, it was truly spellbinding and memorable. This year, a nationwide tour of Lucy Negro Redux kicks off in Nashville March 18-26, 2022 at TPAC.
Who was the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets? For poet Caroline Randall Williams, she is a black woman, the muse who inspired the Bard to write “Then will I swear beauty herself is black.” It’s the idea that inspired poet Williams to write her book Lucy Negro, Redux — and inspired Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling to create a ballet. The enchantment of the story is further enhanced by an entrancing score performed live by Rhiannon Giddens. Experience this critically acclaimed new work that defies categorization.
This season the dancers to watch are Imani Sailers and Claudia Monja. Sailers, from Chicago, Illinois, graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in 2017 with a B.S. in Ballet, and with an Outside Field in Political Science and a Philosophy minor. Sailers joined NB2 in 2017 and was promoted to company apprentice after one year. After one season as a company apprentice, Sailers was promoted to company dancer in 2019, the year she was named one of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine’s “25 Most Beautiful People”. Claudia Monja, from Havana, Cuba, has been with Nashville Ballet since 2021. Previously, Monja was with the Cuban National Ballet; Ballet de Camagüey, where she was a soloist for six years; and Joburg Ballet in South Africa, where she became a Principal Dancer in 2012.
After debuting in 2019 with three sold-out performances, this groundbreaking work explores the mysterious love life of William Shakespeare and his illustrious muses, the “Dark Lady” and the “Fair Youth.” A cross-disciplinary tour de force, Lucy Negro Redux is narrated live by Nashville poet Caroline Randall Williams and features an original score by GRAMMY Award-winning artist and MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient Rhiannon Giddens.
Lucy Negro Redux will be at TPAC’s Polk Theater for five performances: Friday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.; Friday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Each presentation will be followed by a Post Performance talk back, moderated by former Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission, Beverly Watts, featuring the creatives behind the work.
Nashville Ballet’s production of Lucy Negro Redux contains sexually explicit language and references. While children under the age of 18 are not prohibited from attending this performance, it is important that parents and guardians be aware of the nature of the work prior to attending. It is strongly encouraged that anyone under the age of 18 be accompanied by a parent and/or guardian.
If you would like to purchase tickets through the Nashville Ballet Box Office, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-297-2966 x710 for assistance. Please note, the Nashville Ballet Box Office is currently closed to walk up, in person ticket purchases. If you would like to schedule a time to visit the Nashville Ballet Box Office in person to purchase tickets, please email email@example.com. Please note, artists, performances, and dates are subject to change.
Following the Nashville engagement, the National Tour commences on Tuesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in The Newman Center, Denver, CO 80210. Then on Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in The Lensic Center in Santa Fe, NM and Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kaufmann Center, Kansas City, MO 64108; and on Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in The Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA 23510.