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NATIONAL VIEW.

Enflamed by the torch songs of local nightclub chanteuse Jonell Mosser, Nashville Ballet soared to new heights with the April 23 world premiere of Pop! Choreographed by artistic director Paul Vasterling as a sexy, humorous tribute to icons of pop culture, this contemporary series expanded Nashville's ballet aesthetic, creating a performance that was part MTV, part five stage show, and part pure joy in motion.

Accompanied by her band, Enough Rope, which played on a raised platform, the throaty-voiced Mosser sometimes left her perch as black-clad dancers leapt and pirouetted around her. In "Slaying Dragons," dancer Kathryn Beasley fought back against ubiquitous television images. Playing the archetypal ladies' man, a shirtless Alexei Khimenko flirted with the office steno pool in the hilarious "Even If You Go." With Aretha-like soul, Mosser belted out "(Don't Miss Your) Water," then switched to soft jazz in the ballroom ballet, "Ordinary Splendor," as Anna Djouloukhadze selected a lover from an ensemble of men. Finally, Alisha Murray starred as a victorious bride in the dazzling full-company celebration, "What You Did to Me Last Night."

With Pop!, Vasterling has mined Nashville songwriting talent to showcase his dancers, and to enthrall a newly cross-pollinated audience.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:DuBois, Lisa A.
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Jul 1, 1999
Words:197
Previous Article:DANCERS & MUSICIANS OF BALI.
Next Article:DANSA VALENCIA.
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