Get to know your local artists: Wilmington Area
February 13, 2012 § 3 Comments
The final stop on the 2011-2012 NC Dance Festival tour is Wilmington, NC. Enjoy some time on the coast, and catch the Festival Friday February 24 and Saturday, February 25 at 8:00pm, and Sunday February 26 at 3:00pm at the Community Arts Center. Several local choreographers and performers will be featured alongside the Festival touring artists, including Heather Wells, Alyona Suslova, and Tracey Varga.
Heather Wells has enjoyed dancing since she was three years old. After training with instructors of various styles in Houston, Huntsville (AL), Atlanta, New York and Paris, Heather was awarded dance scholarships for college, but was unable to pursue that route due to an injury. That change of course eventually led her to explore yoga and pilates, and the experience fostered a greater appreciation for the gift of dance. She has been a ballet instructor in Wilmington, North Carolina for 15 years and also enjoys teaching jazz and modern dance. Heather currently teaches at the Wilmington School of Ballet. Heather truly appreciates the opportunity to share her love of dance with her students and others.
For this year’s North Carolina Dance Festival, Heather will present a dance titled “Colors,” set to a song by the same name by April Smith and The Great Picture Show. It is a trio of high energy, technical work that is simply about the love, fun and camaraderie shared between dear friends. Heather says, “It is wonderful to share the stage with two of my very best pals, Stacia Silvester and Trilby Shier.” Heather’s piece is on the program Friday, Feb 24.
Alyona Suslova is originally from Krasnoyarsk, Russia (Siberia). She moved to Wilmington in August 2011 after she won a grant to study dance in American Dance Festival at Duke University in Durham last summer. She has studied dance in Russia, France, Lithuania, USA, and has participated in several different festivals all over. In Russia she has her own dance company and dance school where she has been teaching since 2008. She feels that people of each age can dance and has had a lot of experience teaching adults and children who have never danced before, but have a big desire to dance. She also teaches advanced level for professional dancers. She has choreographed since 2007 and prefers to create pieces based on individual personalities. Alyona is very happy to be a part of the Wilmington dance community.
Alyona describes her dance, “I think we need to talk about?..”, which will be shown on Friday Feb 24 and Sunday, Feb 26: “My piece is about relationships between friends, men, women, all people. It’s about arguing and peace, sadness and joy, it’s about all of us.”
Tracey Varga has been an avid dance participant since the age of 5. Her performance, teaching and choreographic experience includes works with and for a variety of dance companies in Maryland, Washington, Idaho, Illinois and New York. Locally she has presented works at Dance-a-lorus, NC Dance Festival, Thalian Hall, City Stage and the Cameron Art Museum. Tracey teaches modern/jazz and tap dance at the Wilmington School of Ballet and is a licensed Physical Therapist. She serves as program coordinator for Arts Sensation benefit concert and is director of Forward Motion Dance Company. For more information about Forward Motion Dance Company, including videos and photos, visit their website.
Tracey’s work, “Essence of Being,” can be seen on Friday, Feb 24 and Sunday, Feb 26. Set to music by Andrew Bird, “Essence of Being” will feature Foward Motion Dance Company members Tracey, Jeneen Cleare, Maggie Moore, and Susan Turner as well as dancer Leslie Nifoussi.
Up next on the blog: meet the other local Wilmington choreographers presenting work, and catch up with the touring Festival artists.