Meet the Artists: Gary Taylor and Helen Simoneau

January 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

We are thrilled to be offering master classes with two exciting teachers during the NCDF Community Day on Jan 28!

From 10:30am-12 noon, Gary Taylor of the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet will teach Intermedediate/Advanced Ballet.

From 12:30-2:00 pm, Helen Simoneau will teach Intermediate/Advanced Modern Dance.

Both classes will be held in Studio 323 at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.

Classes are $10 each or $18 for both if you register in advance (instructions here), or $12/$22 drop-in rate.

Here’s a little from the artists themselves about their approach to teaching class.

Gary Taylor says: “I help dancers to reevaluate the way they take class and discover the obvious, but over-looked, logic of movement through ballet as it relates to everyday concepts, while challenging their minds, becoming more insightful, better movers and ultimately happier dancers.”

Gary Taylor, founder and artistic director of the Winston Salem Festival Ballet, is a graduate of the UNC School of the Arts.   Before retiring as a performer in 1997,  he danced throughout the Southeast and he continues to teach widely.   In 1999 he was awarded the Regional Dance America (RDA) Choreographic Award, and in the same year, UNCSA honored him as the outstanding North Carolina Teacher in the Performing Arts.  At S.E.R.B.A. 2004, he was awarded the prestigious Regional Dance America Choreographic Commission Award.  In 2010, Gary was the Director of the RDA National Choreography Intensive held at UNCSA, and was the adjudicator for RDA Northeast and Mid States 2011 Festival in Pittsburg, PA.  He has choreographed original works for a number of ballet companies, including the Gainsesville Ballet, Southern Ballet Theatre, and High Point Ballet.  He is currently on faculty with the Festival Dance Center, the home of the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.

You can hear more about his choreography and training in this recent interview for Triad Arts Up Close, on WFDD.

 Helen Simoneau is currently full-time guest faculty at the UNC School of the Arts.  A native of Québec, Canada, Helen currently lives in Winston-Salem and creates with a group of dancers based in both NYC and North Carolina. Last Fall, she won The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010: New York City with her solo “the gentleness was in her hands.” Her choreography has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, and has toured throughout Germany and the United States.  Helen Simoneau is a 2010 North Carolina Arts Council Choreographic Fellow and has created new works for the Bessie Schönberg Residency at The Yard (MA), the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble (MI) and has restaged her work for The University of Oklahoma, Wake Forest University (NC), and Hollins University (VA). Simoneau earned a BFA from UNCSA and a MFA from Hollins University. She has served as adjunct faculty at the American Dance Festival, UNCSA, and UNCG. This past spring, she was a visiting assistant professor at Hollins University. She has taught as the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and was an artist-in-residence at Bates Dance Festival in the emerging choreographers program. She is currently full-time guest faculty at UNCSA for the 2011-12 academic year.

Helen’s class for NCDF Community Day will feature a standing warm-up with exercises that develop a strong technical base focusing on efficient anatomical alignment while encouraging a full range of motion in the torso and articulation of the spine. An adagio phrase develops strength and stamina, while a fast and large moving combination explores full use of space, shifts of weight, physicality, momentum as well as a balance between precision and making it your own.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take class with these two talented teachers!  And after taking class, make it a full day of dance by sticking around for the Free Afternoon performance at 3:30.
We hope to see you there!

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