Lucy Negro Redux

Lucy Negro Redux is an original ballet choreographed by Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director Paul Vasterling based on Caroline Randall Williams’s book of poetry of the same name. The piece explores the author’s thesis that the “Dark Lady” and the “Fair Youth”—the subjects and inspiration of hundreds of Shakespeare’s love sonnets—were undoubtedly a black woman and a young man, respectively.

A non-linear story of two present-day and three historical characters—the author/narrator, a professor, William Shakespeare, Lucy Negro and Fair Youth—is strung together by a score featuring original compositions by Rhiannon Giddens and spoken word from Williams’s book. The ballet explores themes of love, otherness, equality and beauty. As the piece alternates in time, Elizabethan and present day, we see through dance how relationship themes transcend time. The audience is privy to the exploration of Shakespeare’s romantic connection to both the male Fair Youth and the black Lucy Negro. Ultimately, in experiencing Lucy Negro, the narrator, and thus the audience, finds a powerful female voice.

Rhiannon Giddens (biography)
Caroline Randall Williams (biography)
Nasvhille Ballet (biography)
Inventive choreography, spoken word, and original music come together in a transcendent story of a strong Black woman...This is an impressive work to come out of Nashville Ballet, celebrating their community of artists in a cohesive performance that resonates with modern storytelling. - KC Studio Magazine
NY Times: What if Shakespeare’s Dark Lady Told Their Love Story?
NY Times: A Nashville Miracle
Santa Fe, NM
Norfolk, VA
Norfolk, VA