Visions of sugar plum fairies will be sure to be dancing through your head after experiencing this year’s guest artists in the UNC School of the Arts’ beloved annual production of The Nutcracker. San Francisco Ballet principal dancers Yuan Yuan Tan and Jaime Garcia Castilla will visit Winston-Salem to take on the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier Prince on Wednesday and Thursday, December 13th and 14th.
Before joining the San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 1995, Tan trained at the Shanghai Dancing School and John Cranko School. She was promoted to principal dancer in 1997 and appointed as the company’s Richard C. Barker principal dancer in 2012. Castilla trained at the Royal Conservatory of Professional Dance. He was named an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet in 2001, joined the company in 2002 and was promoted to soloist in 2006. In 2008, he became a principal dancer with the company.
“One of the most thrilling aspects of UNCSA’s annual production of The Nutcracker is the tradition of bringing world-class guest artists to our stage to perform alongside our extraordinarily talented students,” states UNCSA Chief Marketing Office Katharine Laidlaw. “Yuan Yuan and Jaime have performed in The Nutcracker numerous times as principal dancers, and they will be bringing incredible technique and artistry here to Winston-Salem.”
“The dancers who come each year for The Nutcracker are not only here to captivate and electrify our audiences, but also to inspire and teach our students,” says Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe. “Tan is often heralded as the best dancer of her generation. The opportunity to watch and work with professionals of this caliber is invaluable.”
The full performance schedule for the UNCSA production of The Nutcracker is: December 8th, 9th, and 13th–16th at 7:30 p.m.; and December 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th at 2 p.m. Tickets for The Nutcracker are 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.
Two Guest Artist Performances Only: December 13th and 14th!
Yuan Yuan Tan was born in Shanghai, China and joined the San Francisco Ballet as a Soloist in 1995. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1997. In 2016, she received an Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance for her entire 2014–2015 San Francisco Ballet season, and in 2015, Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV named her one of the world’s most influential Chinese. She won the 2014 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) for Possokhov’s RAkU and a Dance Magazine Award in 2013.
She was named a “Hero of Asia” in the Asian edition of Time magazine in 2004, was featured in an international GAP ad campaign in 2012 and was invited to the White House in 1999. She won a gold medal and the Nijinsky Award at the 1st Japan International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition in 1993 and a gold medal at the 5th International Ballet Competition in Paris in 1992.
Jaime Garcia Castilla hails from Madrid, Spain, and was named an Apprentice at the San Francisco Ballet in 2001. He joined the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet the following year. He was promoted to Soloist in 2006 and to Principal Dancer in 2008.
As a guest artist, Castilla performed with SFDanceworks in 2017, at “Ballet Stars From San Francisco,” for the Lively Arts Foundation Gala in Fresno, California, in 2012, and at the Pas de Deux Gala in Valladolid, Spain, in 2011 and 2012. He danced Flames of Paris and “The Ocean and Two Pearls” from The Humpbacked Horse in Osaka, Japan, in 2006. Castilla’s honors include the Prize of Excellence and Contemporary Dance Prize at the Prix de Lausanne in 2001 and the People’s Prize and 1st prize at the International Competition in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1998.