The Lone Star state will loan two of its brightest stars to North Carolina this year as guest dancers in the beloved UNCSA production of “The Nutcracker.” Houston Ballet principals Yuriko Kajiya and Connor Walsh will visit Winston-Salem to take on the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier Prince on Wednesday and Thursday, December 12 and 13.
A native of Japan, Kajiya is an incredibly accomplished dancer with a long list of accolades, including being a recipient of the famed Prix de Lausanne Scholarship in 2000. She joined the American Ballet Theatre in 2001, and then the Houston Ballet in 2014. She was promoted to principal dancer later that same year. Walsh, hailing from nearby Virginia, trained first under his mother, Constance Walsh. He went on to study at several acclaimed ballet companies and joined the Houston Ballet in 2004, where he was quickly promoted to soloist in 2006 and swiftly to principal in 2007. In 2015, along with fellow dancers in Houston, he founded REACH, a choreographic project that raises money for arts education in schools.
“We are particularly thrilled to offer two principal dancers from the Houston Ballet as guest dancers in our annual production of ‘The Nutcracker,’” said UNCSA Vice Chancellor of Strategic Communications Claire Machamer. “For many years, UNCSA has recruited world-class guest artists to the stage at the Stevens Center to perform alongside our own incredibly talented students.”
“Yuriko and Connor are among America’s premier ballet dancers and will showcase their world-class technique and artistry in Winston-Salem. Seeing them is an opportunity not to miss,” UNCSA Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe. “They are not only sure to captivate our audiences on December 12 and 13 but also will inspire and teach our UNCSA students.”
The full performance schedule for the UNCSA production of The Nutcrackeris: December 7, 8, and 12-15 at 7:30 p.m.; and December 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets for The Nutcrackerare now available at the Stevens Center Box Office, by phone at (336) 721-1945 or online at uncsaevents.com.
Ticket prices are: Prime Orchestra, $83; Orchestra Center, $61 for adults and $40 for children 13 and under; Orchestra Sides and Front Balcony, $51 for adults and $35 for children 13 and under; Center Balcony, $38 for adults and $28 for children 13 and under; Rear Balcony, $29 for adults and $24 for children 13 and under. Ticket prices include a 6.75 percent North Carolina entertainment sales tax and box office processing fee.