Dracula the Ballet, Expressions of Chopin, and Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton

Dracula the Ballet, Expressions of Chopin, and Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton

1:23pm Oct 04, 2013
Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.

Today we’re going to linger in the dark for a while before we burst into the sunshine with a singer songwriting living legend who calls the Piedmont Triad home. First, we’ll put on our ballet shoes, perfectly weighted capes, and composer’s cap for an introspective look at the life of a guy named…Dracula. Winston-Salem Festival Ballet’s Gary Taylor and UNCSA composer Chris Heckman are here to tell this gripping love story through the eyes and ears of the Count. Then, we keep the lights down low for our exploration of Chopin Nocturnes. Acclaimed pianist and music historian Pamela Howland is here to share the sumptuous sounds of her Polish hero. Pam’s performances have been given a hearty “thumbs up” (literally) by none other than Sir Paul McCartney—we’ve got the photographic proof. We go “Behind the Scenes” with Wake Forest University Co-Director of the Documentary Film Program Mary Dalton. She’s got director Jane Campion in her sites and you’ll find out why on Triad Arts Weekend.

Winston-Salem Festival Ballet performs Dracula

“I have waited for centuries in secrecy and shadows for the return of my beloved. She is here, in this place and I must know her, protect her, love her”. The Winston-Salem Festival Ballet brings the classic story of Dracula to life the, but with a modern twist. The new ballet by Founder and Artistic Director Gary Taylor with original music by UNCSA Film Music Composition head Chris Heckman, is told from the viewpoint of the Count himself. Dracula runs Friday, October 4th through Sunday the 6th with evening performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinee at 2:00 pm, in Hanesbrands Theatre. Composer Chris Heckman has collaborated with Danny Elfman and his recent credits include the acclaimed video game Red Dead Redemption and the award-winning short film, The Perfect Gentleman. Gary Taylor’s ballet “Temptation” received national recognition winning the prestigious Regional Dance America National Choreographic Commission Award.

Pamela Howland and Wendell Myers

Pamela Howland is a pianist, her husband Wendell Meyers is a painter. Together they combine artistic forces to present Night Music Part 1. It’s a unique concert of Frederick Chopin’s Nocturnes 1 through 10 performed by Pam, and a painting exhibition of Wendell’s 10 nocturne-inspired work. Night Music took place Thursday night in the beautiful Wake Forest Biotech Place Atrium in Winston-Salem to a full house of enthusiastic listeners. During Night Music, Pam was surrounded by her husband’s captivating acrylic paintings. The canvasses filled with swirling colors in abstract landscape forms, were about 3 feet across, mounted on a black backing, and "floated" in 2" or 3" wide, satin black frames. Each painting was based on a specific Chopin nocturne. In addition to the 10 paintings on display, during Pam’s performance on a Steinway Grand piano donated for the event by Piedmont Music Center, the painting representing her nocturne was projected on an enormous screen behind her. The effect was spectacular, and the audience was captivated throughout. After Pam’s performance some of Wendell’s canvasses were taken away by happy art collectors.

Night Music Part 1 was a preview event for Pam’s big Chopin Birthday Festival Celebration on February 28th and March 1st.

Behind the Scenes with Mary Dalton: Jane Campion

Now we introduce our very first film segment on Triad Arts Weekend. It’s called Behind the Scenes. In it our film scholar guest commentator du jour will share their opinions about film or film related topics near and dear to their hearts. In the process we’ll all learn something new. This week our cinematic guide is WFDD’s longtime friend Mary Dalton.  Mary is Wake Forest University Professor of Communication, Film Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She also Co-Director of the Documentary Film Program there, and—in her spare time—maintains a media blog on our WFDD website:  wfdddalton.wordpress.com.

She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and an M.A. in Broadcasting/Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; her undergraduate degree is from Wake Forest University. Mary’s new film is Living in the Overlap. She co-directed this documentary with Cindy Hill. Living in the Overlap is a touching love story between Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin who have shared a passion for social justice and for each other for more than 47 years. You’ll find a link to the trailer at lennieandpearl.com.

In the meantime, we go behind scenes with Mary Dalton: and film director Jane Campion.


Well now it’s time for Snuzz…. that’d be Britt Harper Uzzell-- but everyone calls him Snuzz. He’s long been one of the Triad's most lovable and gifted musicians. Suzz worked in Bus Stop for years, toured with Ben Folds, and along the way he’s made solo CDs full of great pop music. His latest disc, Big Potatoes, is a slice of outstanding feel-good pop and he wrote, produced, recorded and played most of the instruments, with contributions by Django Haskins, Eddie Walker and Robert Sledge. The arrangements and the performances come across easy and smooth sounding but they’re capped by sneaky hooks and Snuzz's unassuming singing. Tunes like "The Singer With Nothing To Say," the apologetic "Fayetteville," "Love Of The Game" – take your breath away and hit you in the heart. 

He’s currently involved with N.C. Love Army a clearinghouse for new protest songs directed at the GOP and in support of "moral mondays". He shared a tune from that effort as well. It’s a protest song called “NC we’re better than this”. Over the summer, Snuzz joined me on stage in the Milton Rhodes Arts Center for a little mobile Live in Studio A session.
Britt Harper Uzzell aka Snuzz…His latest disc is Big Potatoes.
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