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Dance Theatre of Tennessee announces its fourth season

dttnutcrackerNashville’s city-wide celebration of the arts will get an early start this fall, thanks to Dance Theatre of Tennessee.

DTT Will open its 2013-14 season with an expanded version of its “Ballet in the Park” series, this time performing for two weekends instead of just one. “Some people were disappointed last year because we performed just one weekend and had some rain days,” says Christopher Mohnani, DTT’s artistic director. “This season people will have more opportunities to see our shows.”

The company’s first production of the year, held in partnership with Metro Parks, will feature the classic ballet Giselle, which tells the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with a prince. Performances run Sept. 20-29 with a special Artober show on Sept. 30. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Park Bandshell, with pre-concert entertainment beginning at 6:30 p.m. A kid’s tent, concessions and merchandise boutique as well as food trucks will be available on site.

DTT’s popular touring Nutcracker returns again this season with performances in five Middle Tennessee counties. These traditional and delightful productions take place November 22 and 23 at Smyrna’s Lamplighters Theater; November 29, 30 and December 1 at Nashville’s Father Ryan Auditorium; December 6 – 8 at Clarksville Clement Auditorium, APSU; December 13 – 15 at Murfreesboro’s Tucker Theatre, MTSU; and December 20 – 22 at Smithville Dekalb Community Arts Center. The company announced Aug. 1 that plans to perform in Dickson County have been canceled.

Mohnani got his start in ballet in his native Philippines, so it’s not surprising that he’s devoting his winter performance to a program called “East Meets West.” The performance will showcase the work of noted Asian choreographers. The line-up will include Hazel Gower’s Green, an ode to Mother Nature; Manuel Molina’s Romance, which, as the title suggests, is an exploration of love; Alden Lugnasin’s Flippers, a wacky interpretation of synchronized swimming; and Gener Caringal’s Vinta, a celebration of water and majestic sailboats. Performances are Feb. 22 and 23 at Father Ryan auditorium.

The season concludes with the Nashville premiere of Alan Hineline’s Hansel and Gretel, which is part of the company’s Story Book Series. Those shows are May 3 and 4 at Father Ryan Auditorium.

For more information and tickets, go to www.dancetheatretn.org and ticketsnashville.com.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), ArtNowNashville.com and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.