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Ballet honors veterans

In addition to pop-up dance performances bringing attention to the dance community, a new ballet will also hit the town, bringing light to both the art and our veterans. With Gary Taylor’s new Journey of Honor dance piece, Winston- Salem will be a city of thought-provoking movement this week.

Performed by Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, the piece stiches together the stories of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines into an all-new ballet, with choreography by local artistic director Gary Taylor and an original score by Chis Heckman.

Taylor, who comes from a military background on both sides of his family, was inspired to create the piece after the passing of his father-in-law, Sargent First Class Paul Howard Hibbett, Sr., in May of 2001. He served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and was with the 82nd Airborne, Green Berets and Special Forces, dedicating 33 years to a military career.

“He was a very unique individual that carried the honor and respect of his service throughout every aspect of life, it was a privilege to have known him,” Taylor said. “Paul’s passing challenged me to search for a way to honor his life and to pay tribute to the many that serve everyday. It was Paul’s unique perspective and insight into the dual nature of life in military service that compelled me to examine their struggles. There is a constant balancing act between service to our country and family. I created this ballet to explore the parallel lives they experienced.”

Taylor said the piece’s foundation is in contemporary dance and ballet. “The language of dance has the ability to tap into emotions that words cannot express,” he said.

For the first time in the dance company’s history, a live choral ensemble, directed by Logan Webber, will accompany the ballet, bringing life to these “stories that move.” !

WANNA go?

Performances are Friday through Sunday at the Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St., Winston- Salem. Tickets are $19.75-$34.75. For tickets or more information call (336) 747 1414 or visit winstonsalemfestivalballet.org.

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