About the Book
Lucy Negro, Redux, uses the lens of Shakespeare's "Dark Lady" sonnets to explore the way questions about and desire for the black female body have evolved over time, from Elizabethan England to the Jim Crow South to the present day. Equally interested in the sensual and the serious, the erotic and the academic, this collection experiments with form, dialect, persona, and voice. Ultimately a hybrid document, Lucy Negro Redux harnesses blues poetry, deconstructed sonnets, historical documents and lyric essays to tell the challenging, many-faceted story of the Dark Lady, her Shakespeare, and their real and imagined milieu. Inspired by the book, The Nashville Ballet will premiere “Lucy Negro Redux,” an original ballet conceived and choreographed by Artistic Director & CEO, Paul Vasterling, in February 2019.
About the Book
Lucy Negro, Redux, uses the lens of Shakespeare's "Dark Lady" sonnets to explore the way questions about and desire for the black female body have evolved over time.
Caroline Randall Williams is a multi-genre writer and and educator in Nashville Tennessee. She is co-author of the Phyllis Wheatley Award-winning young adult novel The Diary of B.B. Bright, and the NAACP Image Award-winning cookbook Soul Food Love. Named by Southern Living as “One of the 50 People changing the South,” the Cave Canem fellow has been published in multiple journals, essay collections and news outlets, including The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, CherryBombe and the New York Times. Her debut collection of poetry, Lucy Negro, Redux: The Bard, a Book, and a Ballet (Third Man Books, Spring 2019) is currently being turned into a ballet.Paul Vasterling’s artistic career began at age 10 when he started studying piano, then expanded at age 16 when he started dancing. From this start, Vasterling landed at Nashville Ballet where he became a company dancer, teacher, ballet master and choreographer. He stepped into the role of Artistic Director of Nashville Ballet in 1998, ten years after he began his association with the organization. A choreographer with a deep affinity for music, Vasterling has created over 40 works, ranging from classical, full-length story ballets to contemporary one-acts. With a special focus on highlighting the wealth of artistry and rich history of Nashville, Vasterling's connection to music and passion for community have led to collaborations with numerous nationally and internationally renowned musicians and institutions including The Bluebird Cafe, Ben Folds, Rhiannon Giddens and more; Nashville Ballet has commissioned 22 original scores for brand-new ballets under his direction. Vasterling is also a gifted storyteller with a penchant for creating vivid narratives such as Peter Pan, Layla and the Majnun, Lizzie Borden, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Nashville's favorite holiday tradition, Nashville's Nutcracker. Vasterling's choreographic credits extend beyond ballet to the recent Nashville Children's Theatre production Dragons Love Tacos. Beyond his own choreography, Mr. Vasterling has expanded the company’s repertoire to include works by Salvatore Aiello, George Balanchine, James Canfield, Lew Christensen, Jirí Kylián, Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon, among many others. He has also edited and updated the classic productions Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake and has grown the company from a troupe of 12 to 25 professional dancers. With a commitment to cultivating an organization high on artistry and dramatic power, Vasterling has taken Nashville Ballet across the country and beyond—Nashville Ballet's company made its Kennedy Center debut in 2017 and has toured throughout the U.S. including performances in St. Louis, Charleston and an upcoming debut at the Chautauqua Institution in August 2018. The company has also toured internationally in South America and Europe, and many of Vasterling's original works have been staged by companies nationally and internationally. Vasterling graduated Magna Cum Laude from Loyola University. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has been awarded many prestigious fellowships—Vasterling is a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellow, and was selected as one of the Fellows in residence for the 2017-18 academic year at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.
The Harlem Book Fair Phyllis Wheatley Award for Best Young Adult Fiction
NAACP Image Award for Best Young Adult Fiction