University Performing Arts Series

Thomas Breeden
    Staff Writer

Last Saturday, Oct. 17, the Paul Taylor Dance Company kicked off the UNC-Greensboro School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s University Performing Arts Series (UPAS).

Paul Taylor, a notable choreographer of the 20th century, is one of the four performing artists that the SMTD will bring to Greensboro this year. Taylor began his career as a choreographer in 1954 and has shaped the field by contributing over 130 new dances. His choreography tackles an array of contemporary topics including life, death and love. His works also offer social commentary on American history.

Taylor is a landmark of modern dance and is just the beginning of the extraordinary talent coming to UNCG. Future UPAS artists will include acclaimed violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, fusion theatre group Universes and bluegrass veterans The Del McCoury Band.

Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform this Friday, Oct. 23, with the UNCG Symphony Orchestra and the Gate City Camerata. Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s accomplishments include countless world-class collaborations, recordings, television performances, awards and raving reviews. The Washington Post, for one, says she is “one of the few classical artists who must be experienced in person.”

Fusion theatre group Universes (Feb. 13) combines “childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry, theater, hip-hop and gospel.” 2015 marks the group’s 20th anniversary and to celebrate they are presenting Live From the Edge. This performance is an evening of their greatest hits of social commentary and celebration of “what theatre is and who it speaks to.”

The Del McCoury Band will wrap up the season on April 13. McCoury is a fifty-year veteran of the bluegrass scene, garnishing praises of everyone from Vince Gill to Elvis Costello. He’s noted for his “authenticity” in the genre as well as for acting as a vessel to incorporate a wide array of musical influences into bluegrass. His tour promotes the release of box set “Celebrating 50 Years of Del McCoury,” and is available May 12.

The SMTD’s University Performing Arts Series has a long track record of drawing high-caliber performers since 2010 when the performing arts departments combined. The legacy of presenting artists and lecturers, however, goes back much further — to the university’s founding.

Carl Sandburg, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Doc Watson, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Philip Glass and the late Maya Angelou have all graced the stage of Aycock Auditorium to deliver world-class arts experiences to UNCG’s students, faculty and neighbors. This year’s class of artists is sure to live up to that outstanding precedent.

Student tickets are just $5 per event — a great deal for what are sure to be phenomenal performances. They are available through the Triad Stage Box Office or online at

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Upcoming A&E Events, Visual & Performance

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