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Paul Vasterling Pushes Boundaries

Retiring Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Integral Part of Dance Company For Three Decades

Nashville Ballet company members concluded the 2022-23 Season during April at TPAC with "New in Nashville," a celebration of long-time artistic director Paul Vasterling.

“Nashville Ballet is becoming one of the top artistic institutions in the country, and we owe a tremendous amount of that success to Paul,” shares CEO/incoming artistic director Nick Mullikin. “Over the last 34 years, Paul built an organization that pushes boundaries, exceeds expectations, and inspires everyone to think bigger and do more. Because of his commitment to Nashville Ballet, we're able to take this company to the next level. He laid the foundation; now we get to build upon it.”

Under Paul's leadership, the troupe grew from 12 dancers to 32 full-time, professional global artists; toured to prestigious institutions; made regional and national broadcast television debuts; and collaborated with well-known artists. 

In honor of Paul's achievements, Nashville Ballet’s board of directors voted to name him 'Artistic Director Emeritus' upon his retirement.

Effective Aug. 26, Nick will head up the group's 2023-24 season. Since joining the Nashville Ballet in 2015, and being named associate artistic director in 2018, Nick's been integral to programming choices. He's a former professional dancer with Houston Ballet and Ballet West.

Nick says, “Our 2023-24 season highlights where we came from, where we are, and where we're going. We're moving forward with ideas that make us one of the most unique ballet companies. Audiences will have chances to see things they can easily recognize, but also what the evolution of ballet looks like. We're maintaining who we are by creating eight world premieres, and fostering creativity by giving our own artists a place to create.” 

“I couldn't be leaving the organization in better hands,” Paul confirms. “This transition is a natural next step and will allow for the fulfillment of Nashville Ballet’s collective vision. I've the utmost respect for Nick as a leader and an artist, and I'm looking forward to supporting him and the organization.”

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