Paul Vasterling (CBA ’17) was appointed CEO of Nashville Ballet in 2010, twelve years after becoming its artistic director, and 22 years after joining the company as a dancer. Vasterling has created numerous works ranging from classical, full-length story ballets to contemporary one-acts set to music by internationally renowned composers and songwriters. A magna cum laude graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans, Vasterling was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship enabling him to work extensively in South America, paving the way for a tour there by Nashville Ballet in 2005. Under his leadership, Nashville Ballet has transformed from a troupe of 12 professional dancers into a company of 24 with a second company of more than 20 dancers.
Creating New Narrative Ballets
At the Center for Ballet and the Arts, Vasterling will research the progression/evolution of narrative in ballet over time, and work with a filmmaker to experiment with different avenues for telling stories in ballet. Both of these components would inform the ultimate work: creating scenarios for new ballets. The first ballet would be based on Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, which is of particular interest to Vasterling because of the relevant dialogue about gender roles and the time periods through which the work travels. The second story Vasterling hopes to explore is Caroline Randall Williams’ Lucy Negro, Redux, which is based upon Shakespeare’s Dark Lady sonnets and juxtaposes a mixed-race relationship in two radically different time periods.