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UNCSA’s Winter Dance Features Diverse Program
Opens Feb. 18 at the Stevens Center

WINSTON-SALEM -- Winter Dance, the School of Dance’s annual winter showcase, will feature a diverse program of ballet and contemporary works when it opens at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) on Thursday, Feb.18.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-20 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 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.

Along with a world premiere by Assistant Dean (Contemporary) Brenda Daniels, the program will feature restagings of works by celebrated choreographers Sir Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor and Mark Morris.

Photo by Richard Calmes

Ashton’s Les Patineurs (“The Skaters”) has an appropriately wintry theme, as it is set in a skating rink in a park. Dancers emulate skaters of varying ability levels in this charming one-act ballet from 1937 set to music by Meyerbeer (arr. Lambert). Assistant Dean (Ballet) Warren Conover is staging the piece with assistance from Guest Artist Hilary Cartwright.  Conover is well-prepared to teach the work to UNCSA student dancers, since he has restaged it for American Ballet Theatre’s world-class professionals in the past.

UNCSA’s relationship to American Ballet Theatre continues with Tudor’s Little Improvisations, which premiered in 1953. Prominent former American Ballet Theatre dancers Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, a married couple who both worked with Antony Tudor, traveled to Winston-Salem to restage this enchanting depiction of two children playing in the attic on a rainy day. The children use a swath of cloth for all manner of games. The music accompanying them is Schumann's Kinderszenen, Opus 15. Although the concept of Little Improvisations is playful and childlike, the choreography and the technique required to execute it is difficult and impressive.

Winter Dance also presents something more modern with the restaging of Mark Morris’ Gloria, one of his earliest works. It is set to Vivaldi’s Gloria in D and is performed by 10 dancers. Guest Artist Joe Bowie, who has danced in the Mark Morris Dance Group for the past 20 years and works closely with Morris, is restaging the piece for UNCSA.

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 the Arts”) 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.