Dance Theatre of Tennessee dances its way across the world


Fresh from a successful third season, Dance Theatre of Tennessee (DTT) is poised to add another milestone in its young and exciting history.

DTT has been invited to participate in two prestigious dance festivals this spring and summer – one in St. Louis, Missouri and one in Manila, Philippines.

“We are very excited about all the opportunities coming our way,” Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani said. “The quality of our programming and the commitment and passion of our artists are starting to show.”

And community interest in the local ballet company is also growing.  DTT has been recently ranked first by a competitive, citizen-reviewed process through the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and has consistently been named as one of Nashville’s Top 15 Performing Arts organizations based on performance quality, overall business acumen and audience reach touching over 20,000 people through its performances and more than 10,000 students through its outreach programs the past two years.

DTT is the only ballet company from Tennessee that will join Dance St. Louis when it presents its annual “Spring to Dance Festival” May 23 – 25.  The three night dance showcase will be held at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center.

“Spring to Dance’ has been an audience favorite since we launched it six years ago. Dance companies around the country are always looking forward in participating as it opens them up to new audience as well as gives them an opportunity to showcase their very best alongside their peers,” explains Dance St. Louis Director Michael Uthoff. “This year, we are welcoming some new companies who have been trailblazing in their own respective works.

We are excited to welcome Dance Theatre of Tennessee as the only ballet company from Tennessee this year. From what we have seen and heard, they are going to be a fantastic addition.”

DTT will be presenting Darrell Grand Moultrie’s “Point of Interest “ that they premiered during their production of “Muses” last winter. DTT will open the festival and will be performing alongside 30 other companies that include Grand Rapids Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre.

On June 1, DTT will be participating as one of the few United States based companies in the International Dance Gala to be held in Manila, Philippines.

Launched last year, the International Dance Gala is being presented by International Prima Ballerina and former Marinsky (Kirov) Ballet ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. Aimed at showcasing the best of the ballet world to Asian audience, the International Dance Gala highlights different companies around the world in an exciting one-night only event.

Dancers from American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet and Marinsky (Kirov) Ballet participated in the inaugural event last year and this year’s participants will include dancers from Joffrey Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, and Barcelona Ballet among others.

“It is my goal to expose the audience on this side of the globe to the very best ballet performers and choreographies and this festival not only showcases it but also allows them to see the variety and diversity of movements, styles and artists out there,” shares Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. “Dance Theatre of Tennessee is certainly going to add a special element with their own brand of signature and style developed from its strong classical foundation as evidenced in Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani’s own body of work throughout his career.”

DTT will be represented by company artist Jennifer Drake and will be performing excerpts from George Balanchine’s “Who Cares” premiered during DTT’s winter production of “Muses”.

“The momentum is certainly on the up-swing for us at DTT,” Mohnani said. “The goal is to get DTT seen by other companies, choreographers and directors and hopefully invite them back to share their art and work with us and the community. It truly is a win and win and we could not be more grateful for all of the opportunities.”

For more information on DTT, 'like' their Facebook page and visit their website.