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Nashville Ballet coming to Knoxville with Rhiannon Giddens for special performance

  Rhiannon Giddens
Rhiannon Giddens

Due to an overwhelming response, the Big Ears Festival will offer a special opportunity to experience the Nashville Ballet’s performance of “Lucy Negro Redux” with Rhiannon Giddens on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at the Tennessee Theatre.

The special performance will be available to the public and will not require a Big Ears Festival pass. As a reminder, those who purchase Big Ears weekend passes or Thursday daily passes will already have access to the March 21, 2019, performance of “Lucy Negro Redux.” The two performances in Knoxville will be the first opportunity to experience the ballet after its world premiere in Nashville at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in February.

“The Big Ears Festival’s vision continues to evolve and expand, and we’re thrilled to have the Nashville Ballet bring the first major dance performances to the festival,” Big Ears Festival Founder Ashley Capps said. “This is a powerful, unique, visionary collaboration, and we have chosen to add this performance on Wednesday – the night before the Big Ears Festival officially opens – to give as many people as possible the opportunity to experience this extraordinary work. It’s not to be missed.”

A mesmerizing fusion of music, dance and spoken word poetry, “Lucy Negro Redux” explores the mysterious love life of William Shakespeare through the imagined perspective of the illustrious “Dark Lady,” for whom many of Shakespeare’s famed sonnets were written.

This contemporary ballet is set to an original score written and performed by Giddens, a Grammy award-winning artist and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, along with her collaborator, Francesco Turrisi, a Dublin, Ireland-based frame drummer and multi-instrumentalist.

Based on the book by Tennessee poet Caroline Randall Williams, “Lucy Negro Redux” explores themes of love, otherness, equality and beauty as the narrator embarks on a journey to discover her own power and worth.

Kayla Rowser will be the featured dancer from the Nashville Ballet, rounding out a powerhouse cast of diverse artists exploring connections through music, literature and dance.

This performance explores mature themes and may not be suitable for young audiences.

For tickets, please visit

The Big Ears Festival will be held March 21-24, 2019, at venues in downtown Knoxville.

Published February 2, 2019

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