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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       
Media Contact: Scott Carpenter, Capture Public Relations & Marketing

336-722-9660, scott@capturevalue.com                   

UNCSA’S ACCLAIMED NUTCRACKER
RETURNS DECEMBER 8-16

American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet Guest Artists
for Thursday and Friday Nutcracker Performances


WINSTON-SALEM – For over forty-six years, University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ production of (UNCSA’s) The Nutcracker has been one of the Triad’s most eagerly anticipated events of the holiday season.  Tickets to the professional caliber ballet at the Stevens Center went on sale October 1 and are already tracking significantly ahead of last year, in which several performances sold out and performance capacity averaged at 92%.

In 2009, this cherished holiday production was re-imagined by then UNCSA Dean of Dance and former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, Ethan Stiefel, who developed new choreography  assisted by several of his UNCSA dance faculty.  Additionally, the production unveiled new lighting designed by ABT Resident Lighting Designer and UNCSA alumnus Brad Fields with new set pieces designed by UNCSA Design & Production faculty member Howard Jones. The reinvigorated production has received rave reviews, played to packed houses, and welcomed some of the most renowned guest artists from the world of dance.

This year, guest artists Veronika Part (Principal, American Ballet Theatre) and Charles Askegard (Principal, New York City Ballet) will dance the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier Prince at the performances on December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and December 14 at 7:30 p.m.  The UNCSA Nutcracker Orchestra will accompany all performances under the baton of Charles Barker, Principal Conductor or American Ballet Theatre.  UNCSA’s production is the only Nutcracker in the Triad to be performed to a live orchestra.  Douglas Gawriljuk, a former faculty member of the UNCSA School of Dance who now teaches dance in West Palm Beach, Fla., will return to supervise the 2012 production.

2012 also marks the first production of The Nutcracker under the leadership of Susan Jaffe, who was named dean of the UNCSA School of Dance earlier this year.  Jaffe is widely known and respected as one of the leading ballerinas in America. For 22 years, Jaffe danced with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), where, after she retired from the stage, she joined the faculty of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.


Part

Askegard

The full performance schedule for the UNCSA production of The Nutcracker is: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Ticket prices are: Prime Orchestra, $68; Orchestra Center, $50 for adults and $35 for children 13 and under; Orchestra Sides and Front Balcony, $45 for adults and $30 for children 13 and under; Center Balcony, $33 for adults and $24 for children 13 and under; Rear Balcony, $25 for adults and $20 for children 13 and under. Prime Orchestra seating for the two guest artist performances on Dec. 13 and 14 is $75.  For the best deal in town take advantage of the great prices on The Nutcracker “Family Four Pack” for the evening performances on Thursday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 16: $130 for Orchestra Side/Front Balcony and $95 for Center Balcony.  The “Family Four Pack” offer is subject to availability.

ABOUT DOUGLAS GAWRILJUK

Born in Brazil, Douglas Gawriljuk was trained by his father, Ruslan Gawriljuk, and also took the exams of the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England, where he graduated with honors in September 1986. From 1988 through 1990, he attended the School of American Ballet in New York.  As a professional dancer, Gawriljuk’s repertoire includes the classics and contemporary works by today’s leading choreographers. Gawriljuk joined Miami City Ballet as a principal dancer from 1993-1998 and later in 1999. His special performances with Miami City Ballet include tours to The Spoleto Festival, The Edinburgh Festival, The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., The Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Wolftrap’s 25th anniversary and the 1997 Next Step gala.  From 2006-2009, he danced for Ballet Florida under the artistic direction of Marie Hale, and retired from his dancing career.  He was a member of the UNCSA dance faculty from 2010 to 2012 and is now a self-employed dance teacher/choreographer in West Palm Beach.

ABOUT VERONIKA PART

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1978, Veronika Part joined the Kirov Ballet. She was promoted to soloist in 1998.  Part’s repertoire with the Kirov included Nikiya in “La Bayadère,” the Queen of the Dryads in “Don Quixote,” Myrta, Moyna and Zulma in “Giselle,” Raymonda and Henrietta in “Raymonda,” the Lilac Fairy in “The Sleeping Beauty” and Odette-Odile in “Swan Lake.” She also danced roles in George Balanchines’ “Apollo” (Terpsichore), “Jewels” (Emeralds and Diamonds), Symphony in C (second movement) and “Serenade,” and in John Neumeiers’ “The Sounds of Empty Pages.”  Part was the winner of the BALTIKA Prize in 1999.  She joined American Ballet Theatre in New York as a Soloist in August 2002 and became a principal dancer in 2010. 

ABOUT CHARLES ASKEGARD

Charles Askegard has had a distinguished performing career, which began with the American Ballet Theatre, where he performed as a soloist, and continued with the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer.  During his career he has performed leading roles in the full-length ballets “Giselle,” “La Bayadere,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Coppelia,” “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Jewels” and “Manon.”  While at American Ballet Theatre, he worked with Agnes de Mille and performed lead roles in “Rodeo,” “Fall River Legend,” and “The Other.”   Askegard has been a guest artist performing in companies around the world including, The Dutch National Ballet, Bavarian State Opera, The National Ballet of Canada, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Philippine Ballet Theatre, and has been a guest of many dance festivals worldwide.  He also is a co-founder and director of a new ballet company, Ballet Next.   

ABOUT UNCSA

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, UNCSA 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.

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