Media Contact: Connie Di Grazia, 336-770-1240, mdigraz@artist.uncsa.edu


Works by Balanchine, Tharp and Limón Round Out the Program

WINSTON-SALEM – Spring Dance, the School of Dance’s annual end-of-year showcase, will feature Salute, a world premiere by Johan Kobborg, acclaimed principal dancer and choreographer of London's Royal Ballet. Works by legendary choreographers Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine and José Limón will round out the program.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. May 6 and 8 and at 2 p.m. May 9 at the Stevens Center, 405 West Fourth St., Winston-Salem. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 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.

The program will start with Tony Award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp’s Country Dances, staged by Shelly Washington and Jennifer Way, with assistance from UNCSA School of Dance Assistant Dean (Contemporary) Brenda Daniels. Country Dances showcases a quartet in the form of a lone man and three women dancing to the music of a country fiddle and features some daring partnering work.

Johan Kobborg
photo by Steve Davis

After a brief intermission, the program will resume with George Balanchine’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, staged by veteran ballerina Elyse Borne with assistance from UNCSA School of Dance Assistant Dean (Ballet) Warren Conover. The piece is based loosely on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and focuses on the wistful courtship and ensuing love between a tin soldier and a paper-doll ballerina.

Next will be José Limón’s Concerto Grosso, choreographed in 1945 at the end of his military service and just prior to the founding of his own dance company. It will be staged by UNCSA Dance faculty member Sean Sullivan, a former dancer with the José Limón Dance Company. Live musicians will perform the Vivaldi work. 

Finally, Winston-Salem audiences will be treated to Salute, the world premiere choreographed by Johan Kobborg and assisted by UNCSA Dance faculty member Nigel Burley. Kobborg, who was born in Denmark, says the piece was inspired by Danish ballet master and choreographer August Bournonville, both choreographically and in spirit. It is set to music by Danish composer Hans Christian Lumbye.

As part of Spring Dance, there will be a special Benefit Performance for the Elena Bright Shapiro Scholarship Fund at 7:30 p.m. May 7. This one-night-only performance includes the entire Spring Dance program, with guest performances by UNCSA Dance Dean Ethan Stiefel and Gillian Murphy of American Ballet Theatre in George Balanchine's The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Also performing May 7 is Elena's brother, UNCSA Dance alumnus Sam Shapiro of North Carolina Dance Theatre, in Edward Stierle's Lacrymosa. Ticket prices range from $15-$50, and all proceeds benefit the Scholarship Fund.

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 middle 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. Internationally renowned conductor John Mauceri has been chancellor of UNCSA since 2006. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.