Ben Folds and The Civil Wars will collaborate with Nashville Ballet artistic director/CEO Paul Vasterling on a pair of original dances to be performed by the company's dancers during the upcoming Ballet Ball to be held Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Vasterling announced the collaborations during a press conference held today at Nashville Ballet headquarters. Nashville Ballet's annual fundraising gala, The Ballet Ball (co-chaired this year by Jay Joyner, Ronnie Scott and Mary Jo Shankle) will feature musical performances from alternative rock visionary Fold and the chart-topping songwriters The Civil Wars. The pairing of the musicians and Nashville Ballet represent yet another example of the creative symbiosis that exemplifies Nashville's growing arts community.
Ben Folds and The Civil Wars will perform some of their most well-known songs alongside Nashville Ballet dancers as the company performs in original works choreographed Vasterling at this one-time only appearance.
The newly choreographed works, which Vasterling said he eagerly anticipates creating for his dancers, will be performed "one time and one time only," he said.
"Collaborating with musicians of this caliber for innovative productions lIke Ballet Ball illustrates the versatility and talent of Nashville Ballet," Vasterling said. "Putting ballet dancers, The Civil Wars and Ben Folds on the same stage shows that Nashville Ballet is where fine art meets southern culture."
Recently nominated for two Grammys for Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance, The Civil Wars will perform their breakout hits "Barton Hallow" and "Poison and Wine." The band's appearance at Ballet Ball comes just after their U.S. tour ends on February 4 in Florida and just before the star of their their European tour, which kicks off March 13 in the United Kingdom.
Known for his work as a solo artist, front man of Ben Folds Five and judge on NBC reality program The Sing-Off, Folds will perform two of his many landmark songs "Zak and Sara" and "Selfless, Cold and Composed." Folds is a recent member of the board of directors of The Nashville Symphony and has been instrumental in elevating the status of all the arts in Nashville. Folds will reunite with the other members of the Ben Folds Five for the creation of new music.
"I'm honored to join The Civil Wars in taking the stage for this important cause," Folds said. "I'm especially thrilled to help support the Ballet's incredible education outreach initiative that introduces young people and people of all ages to the arts. It's been said that the truest expression of a people is in its dance and its music, and we in Music City are blessed to have the best in both."
Event co-chairs Joyner, Scott and Shankle co-chair the event, to be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville. Ballet Ball will host 400 of Nashville's most generous arts supporters, who will enjoy a cocktail reception featuring an elaborate silent auction followed by a gourmet seated dinner.
Younger arts patrons will also have the privilege of attending the performances by purchasing a ticket to the Ballet Ball Late Party. A limited number of Late Party tickets will be available for purchase by the public for $95, beginning February 1 at 8 a.m. through Nashville Ballet's website. Late Party attendees will enjoy drinks and light hors d'oeuvres before attending the performance. After the performance, Late Party attendees will take to the dance floor for a lively evening of dancing to the music of the Pat Patrick Band.