UNCSA’s “The Nutcracker” opens Dec. 7 at the Tanger Center in Greensboro

A beloved holiday tradition will soon return to the Piedmont Triad when UNCSA debuts the 2023 production of “The Nutcracker” at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. Beginning Thursday, Dec. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 10, UNCSA will present five performances of “The Nutcracker” there while its home theater, the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem, undergoes a comprehensive renovation.

Performances are Thursday-Friday, Dec. 7-8, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9, at noon and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices begin at $31 and can be purchased at TangerCenter.com/Nutcracker. Optional upgrades include on-site VIP parking, Lee & Wrangler Lounge access and the Tanger Center’s pre-event Prelude Dining experience for select performances. More information about “The Nutcracker” can be found at uncsa.edu/nutcracker.

"The Nutcracker" at UNCSA 2022 / Photo: Peter Mueller

"The Nutcracker" at UNCSA 2022 / Photo: Peter Mueller

This year’s production will feature exciting choreography by talented UNCSA School of Dance faculty member Ilya Kozadayev, an international, award-winning dancer and choreographer. Ballet and contemporary dance students will perform.

“It’s a wonderfully rich and magical production that our UNCSA students will bring to our neighboring Tanger Center,” said Endalyn T. Outlaw, dean of the School of Dance and executive director of “The Nutcracker.” “To be able to showcase their professional-level training in a large-scale venue is truly a gift that we cannot wait to share with the guests.”

An accomplished conductor, Chancellor Brian Cole will conduct the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra for all five performances. Cole, who joined UNCSA as dean of the School of Music in 2016, has led orchestras and operas throughout the United States, Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Guest artist Penny Jacobus returns as guest lighting designer.

The UNCSA schools of Dance, Design & Production and Music collaborate annually to produce “The Nutcracker.” 

The temporary move to the Tanger Center will provide students the unique experience of touring, mounting and performing a production in a 3,000-seat, state-of-the-art venue a short distance from UNCSA. “We are so excited to bring the special UNCSA tradition of ‘The Nutcracker’ to the Tanger Center this year,” said UNCSA Chancellor Cole. “While this temporary move was born out of necessity, it is our great privilege to be able to provide our students with the experience of creating and performing in this fantastic venue, and to reach new audiences in Greensboro and beyond.”

Presented for the first time on Dec. 10, 1966, in Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem, the UNCSA “Nutcracker” production has since been reimagined, recreated and refreshed numerous times.

Mercedes-Benz of Greensboro and Mercedes-Benz of Winston-Salem is the presenting sponsor of “The Nutcracker.”

Photos for download available here.

Choreographer and Director Ilya Kozadayev

Ilya Kozadayev received his dance training from Vaganova Ballet Academy; School of American Ballet; Academy of Colorado Ballet; and John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. He danced professionally, performing an array of international repertoire, as a soloist with Colorado Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, the Houston Ballet and as a dancer with Boston Ballet. Kozadayev was a winner of the New York International Ballet Competition and in 2015 won the Ballet Arkansas Visions Choreography Competition. In 2017, he created an original version of “Romeo and Juliet” for Festival Ballet Providence that Broadway World hailed as “nothing short of a masterpiece, an absolute triumph for the dancers and artistic team involved in its creation.” Kozadayev’s original choreography has been performed in the United States, Germany, Austria and France. He was a finalist in the National Choreographers Initiative. In 2019, his original choreography for UNCSA was performed at Lincoln Center for the Youth America Grand Prix gala. Prior to joining UNCSA in 2017, Kozadayev served as assistant professor of ballet at the University of Oklahoma School of Dance. He holds an M.F.A. from Jacksonville University.

Executive Director Endalyn T. Outlaw

Dancer, choreographer and educator Endalyn T. Outlaw (née Taylor) is the dean of the School of Dance at UNCSA. She has held the positions of director of Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) School in New York — a company she joined in 1984, becoming a principal dancer in 1993 — and director of the Cambridge Summer Art Institute in Massachusetts. Her extensive administrative, artistic and academic career is steeped in ballet pedagogy, and she has created an eclectic body of choreographic works. With more than 25 years of teaching experience, she has built an arsenal of pedagogic tools and core values that cultivate artistry, mentoring and versatility, and celebrate inclusionary ideals, policies and systems. Outlaw excels at restaging ballets, having performed many of the classics and having worked with luminaries in the field including DTH founder Arthur Mitchell, British-American ballet dancer and choreographer Frederick Franklin, director and choreographer of LINES Ballet Alonzo King, American dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille, and director and choreographer of Garth Fagan Dance and “The Lion King,” Garth Fagan. She has performed on Broadway and stages all over the world, including as an original cast member of Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of “The Lion King,” “Aida” and “Carousel.”

Chancellor and Conductor Brian Cole

An accomplished conductor, UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole has led orchestras and operas throughout the United States, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Cole has conducted extensively in Spain, where he served four years as the founding dean of academic affairs at Berklee College of Music’s campus in Valencia. These ensembles include La Banda Primitiva de Lliria, Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo, Pala de les Arts, and Orquesta de Córdoba. He has also conducted extensively in Puerto Rico, where he served seven years as associate dean of academic affairs at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, conducting the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Theater of Puerto Rico. In South America, additional conducting engagements have included regular engagements with the Orquesta de Concepción in Chile and the Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela “Simon Bolivar.” Cole has conducted the Pärnu Linnaorkester in Pärnu, Estonia, where he also conducted the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra. The 2023 “Nutcracker” marks Cole’s fourth time on the podium with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra since joining UNCSA as dean of the School of Music in August 2016. In November 2016, Cole conducted Stravinsky’s “Firebird Finale” to conclude the Second Annual Collage Concert at the Stevens Center. In December 2017, he conducted the “The Nutcracker” for the first time, also at the Stevens Center, and then again in 2018. Cole has served the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as conducting assistant and as assistant conductor for the May Festival. He has held the positions of assistant conductor and director of education and outreach programs for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and as music director of the Concert Orchestra of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he was a doctoral student in orchestral conducting. He received his M.M. in instrumental conducting from the University of Illinois and his B.M. in bassoon performance from Louisiana State University. An innovative, experienced and bilingual arts leader, Brian Cole is the ninth chancellor of UNCSA. Tapped as interim chancellor in August 2019, he was appointed chancellor by the UNC Board of Governors on May 20, 2020.

Guest Lighting Designer Penny Jacobus

Penny Jacobus is the former lighting director for the New York City Ballet (NYCB) and was with the company from 2000 to 2018. Additional credits include four world premiere designs for NYCB and designs for Christopher Wheeldon and the Morphoses Dance Company and for Tom Gold Dance. She has also assisted on several Broadway shows. Jacobus has lit dance internationally and was the American lighting supervisor for several Kirov Ballet tours in the U.S. She started her New York City lighting career as the Hemsley Lighting Intern at the New York City Opera. Jacobus holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About The Tanger Center

A $94 million, state-of-the-art facility that has transformed downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts venue is home to touring Broadway productions, concerts, Guilford College’s Bryan Series, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra performances, comedy shows and all types of family entertainment. In its remarkable first two years, the Tanger Center has hosted over 745,000 patrons, 391 events and performances, and 146 sold-out shows. Presented with partners Nederlander and Professional Facilities Management (PFM), the First Bank Broadway Series is one of the nation’s top-selling one-week Broadway series with over 16,800 Season Seat Members. The 3,000-seat venue is managed by the staff of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Visit TangerCenter.com for more information.

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November 16, 2023