Nashville Ballet dances in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

June 21, 2024

Nashville Ballet and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum collaborated to celebrate the centennial of the late American musician Chet Atkins with an original dance film, set to Atkins’ recording of Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz,” choreographed and co-directed by Nashville Ballet artistic director Nick Mullikin, and set in the museum’s Hall of Fame rotunda.

The film brings two characters to life from Thomas Hart Benton’s mural The Sources of Country Music, which depicts the diverse musicians who have shaped country music. Nashville Ballet’s Shaiya Donohue and Cassandra Thoms wear costumes similar to two dancers in the painting as they glide through the rotunda. Their pas de deux culminates in a poignant moment facing Atkins’s plaque, surrounded by his 1954 Standel 25L15 amplifier and a prototype of the Gretsch Chet Atkins Hollow Body 6120 model electric guitar.