One-time-only performance on October 27th at 2 pm at
Free, but Ticketed Through the Box Office (336) 721-1945
(Oct. 9, 2013) WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will present a memorial performance for Robert Lindgren, the Canadian-born dancer who performed with many ballet companies before becoming the Founding Dean of Dance at the School of the Arts.
A noted performer, teacher, choreographer, administrator and innovator, Lindgren led the School of Dance for 22 years. He left an indelible legacy in the dance world through the creation and nurturing of dance institutions and most especially through the students he trained who carry his passion for dance and the arts into the future. Lindgren died May 10, 2013. He was 89.
The performance will include Raymonda, choreographed by Robert Lindgren, after Marius Petitpa; “Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker, choreographed by Robert Lindgren and Sonja Tyven, after Marius Petitpa and Lev Ivanov; Sunny Day, choreographed by Charles Czarny; and the pas de deux from Last Lost Chance, choreographed by Sasha Janes.
Kelley Potter, an alumna born in Kernersville who is currently a member of the corps de ballet of American Ballet Theatre, will perform the lead in Waltz of the Flowers.
Anna Gerberich and Frederick “Pete” Leo Walker II, both principal dancers with North Carolina Dance Theatre, will perform the pas de deux from Last Lost Chance.
Other dancers will include current School of Dance students.
Speakers will include current School of Dance Dean Susan Jaffe, long-time prima ballerina with American Ballet Theatre; UNCSA Chancellor Emeritus Alex C. Ewing, also a former interim dean of the School of Dance and former general director of The Joffrey Ballet; Jacques d’Amboise, former star of the New York City Ballet; Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, former star of the New York City Ballet and president and artistic director of North Carolina Dance Theatre; and Judy Hirsch, first student of Robert and Sonja Lindgren at their dance school in Phoenix.
Also, several former dancers with North Carolina Dance Theatre, which Lindgren created, will speak about the company in the early days. They include current School of Dance faculty members Frank Smith, Susan McCullough (former Dean of Dance) and Dayna Fox (head of the Preparatory Dance Program); former faculty member Mindy Lawrence; and alumna Svea Eklof.
The memorial will also include film and audio clips.
This is a one-time-only performance on October 27th at 2 p.m. at The Gerald Freedman Theatre in Performance Place on the UNC School of the Arts campus, 1533 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC. The event is free but ticketed through the box office: (336) 721-1945.For descriptions, details and links to the entire UNC School of the Arts 2013 - 2014 performance season online, visit www.uncsaevents.com.
Frederick "Pete" Leo Walker II
About Robert Lindgren
Born on December 9, 1923 in Victoria, B.C., Canada, Robert Alexander Lindgren began studying ballet there with Dorothy Wilson and then in Vancouver with June Roper. He joined American Ballet Theatre in 1940 and then served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. When he returned to dancing in 1945 he joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo where he met his future wife, Sonja Tyven.
During his years with the Ballet Russe he rose to the rank of leading dancer, working with choreographers such as Fokine, Massine, Balanchine and de Mille.
His teachers in New York included Maria Yurieva, Anatole Vilzak, Pierre Vladimiroff and Igor Schwezoff, and Olga Preobrajenska in Paris.
Robert Lindgren and Sonja Tyven were married in 1952, the year he became a U.S. citizen. During his long career as a dancer, Lindgren appeared on Broadway in Plain and Fancy, Up in Central Park, Me and Juliet, and on national television shows including NBC Television Spectaculars and as a regular performer on “Your Show of Shows.” He performed on an international tour of Oklahoma! sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He toured the world in the Great Moments in Ballet concert tour with Alexandra Danilova, Frederic Franklin, and his wife.
In 1957, Lindgren joined the New York City Ballet where he was a soloist. In 1959, he moved to Phoenix, where he and his wife opened the Lindgren-Tyven School of Ballet. After the birth of his two daughters, Lindgren moved to Winston-Salem to serve as the first Dean of the School of Dance at the newly established North Carolina School of the Arts. During his tenure at the School of the Arts, Lindgren and Tyven choreographed the school's first production of The Nutcracker, which became a Winston-Salem holiday tradition.
He founded the North Carolina Dance Theatre, a professional affiliate of the School of the Arts. From 1969 to 1987 he led summer programs in Italy for dance students to study and perform. He established the Preparatory Dance Program along with his wife to train young dancers from the local community. He left in 1987 to become general director (later, president) of the School of American Ballet in New York City, where he served until 1991 when he and his wife returned to Winston-Salem.
Lindgren served on the Council for Lincoln Center; the dance and choreographer panels of the National Endowment for the Arts; the boards of the arts councils of North Carolina, New York State and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, and the Board of Visitors of the School of American Ballet. He was an adjudicator for the Regional Ballet Festivals for many years. He received honorary doctorates from Wake Forest University (1976) and UNCSA (2006.) He was a visiting guest artist at Wake Forest University and director of the South Carolina Governor's School dance program and was instrumental in the founding of the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh.
He received the North Carolina Governor's Award in 1980 for outstanding contribution to the arts.
In 2006 he served on a Founders Forum panel alongside John Ehle, Philip Hanes, Tom Lambeth, Mary Semans and Robert Ward, as UNCSA celebrated its 40th anniversary.
About Kelley Potter (Corps de Ballet, American Ballet Theatre)
Born in Kernersville, North Carolina, Kelley Potter
trained at the then-North Carolina School of the Arts,
graduating in 2002. While a student at NCSA, she
appeared in North Carolina Ballet's production of The
Nutcracker, and danced the role of Solace in the
world premiere of Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Great Scott.
Potter joined American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company
(now ABT II) in 2002 and later became an apprentice with
ABT, performing various roles as a member of the corps
About Anna Gerberich (Principal Dancer, North Carolina Dance Theatre)
Anna Gerberich began her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with Marcia Dale Weary and was a featured performer in CPYB’s performing company. In 2004, she was invited by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux to apprentice with North Carolina Dance Theatre. The following year, at 16, she joined the Company. Gerberich received the Pointe Magazine NERDA Award of Promise in 2001 and was awarded the Barbara Weisberger RDA Founders Award of Excellence in 2004. She competed in the Youth America Grand Prix, where she received first place at regionals and was a finalist at the international level. Her favorite roles include Little Mermaid in Mark Diamond’s Little Mermaid, Dwight Rhoden’s Moody Booty Blues, Sanguinic in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and The Liberty Bell in Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes.
About Frederick “Pete” Leo Walker II (Principal Dancer, North Carolina Dance Theatre)
From Jacksonville, Fla., Pete Walker began his training at Dansations Performing Arts Center and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. During his sophomore year, Walker was accepted into Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts on full scholarship. While at Nutmeg Conservatory he performed with MOMIX for Pope Benedict XVI. He also performed Don Quixote pas de deux and Sleeping Beauty pas de deux, both staged by Kirk Peterson, and Diane and Actéon pas de deux, staged by Eleanor D’Antuono. In 2010, Walker joined North Carolina Dance Theatre 2 and was quickly promoted
to the first company. His first season with NC Dance Theatre included dancing in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes pas de deux, Jiri Bubenicek’s Le Souffle de l’Esprit, Sasha Janes’ Last Lost Chance, Dwight Rhoden’s Reflections Of... and Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section. Walker is a 2011 recipient of the Princess Grace Award.
About the University of North Carolina School of the Arts
As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNC School of the Arts is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“the City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972.
For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.
The Gerald Freedman Theatre, Performance Place, UNC
School of the Arts campus, 1533 S. Main St.,
The School of Dance presents a memorial performance for Robert Lindgren, the Canadian-born dancer who performed with many ballet companies before becoming the founding Dean of Dance at UNCSA. Featuring alumni and other guests.
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