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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

Bristol Ballet presents "Unbroken Circle, Bristol's Music In Motion'

Bristol Ballet's
Bristol Ballet's "Unbroken Circle, Bristol's Music in Motion" is a blend of classical ballet and the music of the Bristol Sessions. The Empty Bottle String Band performs sets throughout the production.

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | March 01, 2016

Back by popular demand, "Unbroken Circle Bristol's Music in Motion" challenges the imagination through the poetry of our region's music and the beauty of classical dance. The combination of ballet, the music of the Bristol Sessions, and beyond, honors Bristol's music legacy with innovation and originality by marrying two forms of creative expression in an unexpected way.

Both recorded and live music selections have been chosen for the performances including "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "Pretty Polly," "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow Tree," "The Longest Train I Ever Saw," "Sally Ann," Muleskinner Blues" and "Old Joe Clark." There will be a dance to "Sixteen Tons" and a worship section featuring a medley of "Moonlight Sonata/Amazing Grace/Bound for the Promised Land" and "Down to the River to Pray."

The Empty Bottle String Band, composed of former and current members of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music studies, perform several sets throughout the production, and have dancers performing with them during "Coat of Many Colors" and the finale, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

"Our goal at Bristol Ballet is to broaden the horizons of balletomanes and country music fans," said Michele Plescia, artistic director. "We would love to see both of these audiences come together for this production and develop an appreciation for each art form."

Sponsored in part by Mountain Lakes Community Federal Credit Union and by Tennessee Arts Commission and Virginia Commission for the Arts, this production was heralded as greatly entertaining by audience members last year. "Everyone who saw this production last year absolutely loved it, including a member of the Tennessee Arts Commission," said Plescia. "We were asked several times to perform it again this year. People who weren't necessarily dedicated old-time music fans came and were amazed at how much they enjoyed all of it. And music fans who attended were mesmerized by the dances and the performers. It definitely is different, and worth attending. I'm convinced you'll enjoy it, if you come."

Performances are March 13 at 3 p.m., at the Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, Tenn., and March 19 at 7 p.m., at Heritage Hall Theater, Mountain City, Tenn.