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Feb. 7, 2012 /FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / Photo attached
Media Contact: Chelsea de Jesus, 408-416-6555, chelsea.dejesus@gmail.com




WINSTON-SALEM – Winter Dance, the annual winter showcase of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Dance, will feature two world premiere pieces ‒ one choreographed by Maurya Kerr, winner of the 2011 choreographic competition sponsored by company-in-residence Hubbard Street 2 (HS2), and another by Brenda Daniels, interim dean. A duet by HS2 dancers, and UNCSA students performing Valse-Fantaisie by George Balanchine and Act III from Swan Lake will round out the diverse program of ballet and contemporary dance, to be performed Feb. 23-26 at the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem.

Kerr’s piece utilizes the talents of both UNCSA and HS2 dancers, and is created around themes of vulnerability, yearning and absence. While working on the choreography Kerr said she read “literature that deals with the complexities of how appearance often determines what others think we should feel.”

Winter Dance Rehearsal
Photo by Steve Davis

Trey Mauldwin and Madison Geoghegan in rehearsal for Swan Lake Act III.

With a musical backdrop provided by a J.S. Bach’s piano Partita, Daniels’ world premiere will utilize a vibrant color palette and will showcase the elegance and technical precision of UNCSA’s student dancers.

Also during Winter Dance, HS2 dancers will perform a duet by Alejandro Cerrudo, resident choreographer of HS2 parent company Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC).

HS2 was formed in 1997 by HSDC to prepare dancers ages 18-25 for the life of a professional dancer in a contemporary company. HS2 dancers are known for their athleticism and fearless dancing. The company is in residence at UNCSA during February through funding provided by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

“The School of Dance is thrilled to host Hubbard Street 2”, said Daniels. “Having this world-renowned group of young professional dancers working directly with our students is an inspiring and unforgettable learning experience.”

Winter Dance will include UNCSA students performing George Balanchine’s Valse- Fantaisie, a piece which highlights the iconic choreographer’s legendary attention to detail and musicality. Valse-Fantaisie will be restaged for UNCSA by Deborah Wingert, Artistic Advisor of Studio Maestro at Manhattan Youth Ballet.

The program will also include Act III from Swan Lake, a piece widely regarded as a major cornerstone of traditional classical ballet repertory. Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a curse. Notably, Act III features the Princesses Dances, the famous “Black Swan” variations, and a number of national dances which are integral to much of the classical ballet repertoire. Warren Conover, School of Dance assistant dean and faculty-artist, will restage the piece for UNCSA student dancers.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-25 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth St., downtown Winston-Salem. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. For more information or to order tickets, call the UNCSA Box Office at 336-721-1945 or visit www.uncsa.edu/performances.

Maurya Kerr, HS2’s 2011 National Choreographic Competition Winner, danced with Alonzo King LINES Ballet from 1994-2006, as well as Pacific Northwest Ballet and Fort Worth Ballet. She is currently a freelance artist, and has been a principal guest artist with several projects, including Joanna Haigood's Zaccho Dance Theatre, and Alex Ketley's The Foundry. She is a senior faculty member for the LINES Ballet Training and Summer Programs and also serves on faculty for the LINES/Dominican BFA program, allowing her to teach ballet, choreograph, and set King's works. In 2010 Kerr founded tinypistol, a dance company based in San Francisco.

At the age of 16, Deborah Wingert was selected by Balanchine to join the company of New York City Ballet. During her 15 years with the company, Wingert danced more than 25 principal, soloist and featured roles in productions that include Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coppelia, Orpheus, Symphony in C, Jewels, Who Cares?, La Valse, Stars and Stripes, Prodigal Son, Bourree Fantastique, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, The Nutcracker, The Four Temperaments, and Mozartiana.

For 34 years, HSDC has been one of the most original forces in contemporary dance, and has contributed to dance’s evolution by developing new choreographic talent and collaborating with artists in music, visual art and theatre. For more information about Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Hubbard Street 2, visit www.hubbardstreetdance.com

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts (www.uncsa.edu/kenan) is a privately funded program of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts that incubates projects that sustain artists at every point in their creative development through strategic partnerships that capitalize on visionary thinking in the arts.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.