“The Nutcracker” to feature acclaimed guest dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Jaime Garcia Castilla

University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ highly anticipated holiday production of “The Nutcracker” will showcase guest dancers Yuan Yuan Tan as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Jaime Garcia Castilla as the Cavalier Prince for two performances only: 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 and Thursday, Dec. 14.

Before joining the San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 1995, principle dancer Yuan Yuan Tan trained at the Shanghai Dancing School and John Cranko School. She was promoted to principal dancer in 1997 and appointed as the company’s Richard C. Barker principal dancer in 2012.

Yuan Yuan Tan

Yuan Yuan Tan

Also a principal with the San Francisco Ballet, Jaime Garcia Castilla trained at the Royal Conservatory of Professional Dance. He was named an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet in 2001, joined the Company in 2002 and was promoted to soloist in 2006. In 2008, Castilla became a principal dancer with the company.

Jaime Garcia Castilla

Jaime Garcia Castilla

“One of the most thrilling aspects of UNCSA’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” is the tradition of bringing world-class guest artists to our stage to perform alongside our extraordinarily talented students,” states UNCSA Chief Marketing Officer Katharine Laidlaw. “Yuan Yuan and Jaime have performed in “The Nutcracker” numerous times as principal dancers, and they will be bringing incredible technique and artistry here to Winston-Salem.”

Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe says “the guest dancers who come each year for ‘The Nutcracker’ are not only here to captivate and electrify our audiences, but also to inspire and teach our students. Tan is often heralded as the best dancer of her generation. The opportunity to watch and work with professionals of this caliber is invaluable.”

Presented this year by Wells Fargo, “The Nutcracker” will be performed at the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem for 10 performances. The full schedule for the production is: Dec. 8, 9 and 13-16 at 7:30 p.m.; and Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Stevens Center box office, by phone at 336-721-1945, or online.

UNCSA’s heralded ballet has received rave reviews from critics and enthusiastic audiences alike since the reimagined production debuted in 2009 under the direction of Ethan Stiefel, former Dean of the UNCSA School of Dance and former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. “The Nutcracker” will be directed by UNCSA School of Dance Assistant Dean Jared Redick and conducted by UNCSA School of Music Dean Brian Cole. Tchaikovsky’s beloved music will be performed by the UNCSA Nutcracker Orchestra.

About Yuan Yuan Tan

Yuan Yuan Tan

Yuan Yuan Tan

Born in Shanghai, China, Yuan Yuan Tan has danced major roles in Tomasson’s “Giselle” (Giselle), “Nutcracker” (Sugar Plum Fairy and Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina), “Romeo & Juliet” (Juliet), “The Sleeping Beauty” (Aurora), and “Swan Lake” (Odette/Odile); Tomasson/Possokhov’s “Don Quixote” (Kitri); Cranko’s “Onegin” (Tatiana); Lubovitch’s “Othello” (Desdemona); Neumeier’s “The Little Mermaid” (Mermaid); and Wheeldon’s “Cinderella” (Cinderella). She created principal roles in Tomasson’s “7 for Eight,” “Caprice,” “Chi-Lin,” “The Fifth Season,” and “Silver Ladders;” Forsythe’s “Pas/Parts 2016;” Kudelka’s “The Ruins Proclaim the Building Was Beautiful;” Liang’s “Symphonic Dances;” Morris’ “Sylvia” (Sylvia); Possokhov’s “Damned,” “Diving into the Lilacs,” “Firebird,” “Fusion,” “Magrittomania,” “RAkU, “Study in Motion,” and “Swimmer;” Scarlett’s “Fearful Symmetries and Hummingbird;” Welch’s “Tu Tu” and “Naked;” and Wheeldon’s “Continuum,” “Ghosts,” “Number Nine,” and “Quaternary.”

Her repertory includes Balanchine’s “Agon,” “Apollo,” Concerto Barocco,” “Diamonds,” “Prodigal Son,” “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,” “Symphony in C,” and “Theme and Variations;” Bubeníček’s “Gentle Memories;” Forsythe’s “Artifact Suite;” Lifar’s “Suite en Blanc;” Liang’s “Distant Cries;” MacMillan’s “Winter Dreams;” McGregor’s “Chroma;” Possokhov’s “Optimistic Tragedy” (Commissary); Ratmansky’s “Shostakovich Trilogy;” Robbins’ “Dances at a Gathering;” and Wheeldon’s “After the Rain Pas de Deux.”

Yuan Yuan danced Queen of the Snow in Tomasson’s “Nutcracker” on PBS’ “Great Performances.” She was named a “Hero of Asia” by Time (Asian edition) and one of the world’s most influential Chinese by Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV. Her awards include an Isadora Duncan Award for her 2014–15 San Francisco Ballet season and the 2014 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for her performances in Possokhov’s “RAkU.” She was invited to the White House in 1999.

About Jaime Garcia Castilla

Jaime Garcia Castilla

Jaime Garcia Castilla 

Born in Madrid, Jaime Garcia Castilla has danced major roles in Tomasson’s “Giselle,” “Nutcracker” (Grand Pas de Deux Prince and King of the Snow), “Romeo & Juliet” (Benvolio), “The Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “Chi-Lin,” and “Trio;” Tomasson/Possokhov’s “Don Quixote;” Cranko’s “Onegin” (Lensky); Neumeier’s “The Little Mermaid” (Sea Witch); Balanchine’s “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet,” “Divertimento No. 15,” “The Four Temperaments” (Melancholic), and “Symphony in C;” Forsythe’s “Artifact Suite;” Liang’s “Symphonic Dances;” Lifar’s “Suite en Blanc;” Possokhov’s “Optimistic Tragedy” (Anarchist); Ratmansky’s “From Foreign Lands and Shostakovich Trilogy;” Robbins’ “In the Night;” Scarlett’s “Hummingbird;” and Wheeldon’s “Cinderella” and “Rush.” He created roles in Elo’s “Double Evil;” McGregor’s “Borderlands;” Morris’ “Beaux,” “Joyride,” and “Sylvia;” Page’s “Guide to Strange Places;” Possokhov’s “Classical Symphony and Fusion;” and Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour.”

His repertory includes Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations;” Balanchine’s “Agon,” “Diamonds,” “Rubies,” “Square Dance,” “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,’ “Symphony in Three Movements,” and “Theme and Variations;” Forsythe’s “Pas/Parts 2016” and “The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude;” MacMillan’s “Elite Syncopations;” McGregor’s “Eden/Eden” and “Chroma;” Morris’ “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes” and “Maelstrom;” Robbins’ “Dances at a Gathering,” “Glass Pieces,” and “West Side Story Suite;” Taylor’s “Spring Rounds;” Thatcher’s “Ghost in the Machine;” Tomasson’s “7 for Eight” and “On a Theme of Paganini;” and Wheeldon’s “Carousel (A Dance),” “Number Nine,” and “Quaternary.”

Jaime performed with SFDanceworks in 2017; at the Pas de Deux Gala in Valladolid, Spain, in 2011 and 2012; and in Osaka, Japan, in 2006. He received the Prize of Excellence and Contemporary Dance Prize at the Prix de Lausanne in 2001.

by Capture Public Relations and Marketing

October 26, 2017