Around Town: Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance plans 20th anniversary show

DANCE STARS: Heather Maloy, left, is the founder and artistic director of Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance. Michele Bryan recently became the troupe's managing director. Photos courtesy of Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance.

When The Academy at Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance announced it was closing its Asheville school in August, Heather Maloy started getting questions. Lots of folks, it seems, assumed the end of the school also meant the end of the professional Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance troupe.

Maloy, who founded the professional contemporary ballet company in 2003, assured people that was not the case.

“She has explained to every inquiry that while we were affiliated with the school, the school was being run by new owners for several years who were in charge of all [its] operating decisions,” says Michele Bryan.

After 10 years with Go Local Asheville, Bryan recently joined Terpsicorps as its managing director. The newly created position will involve fundraising, grant management and increasing community awareness about the troupe.

“This will free up Heather to focus more on all the pieces that go into creating the original choreographed productions that we offer,” Bryan says.

The troupe will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a production of Maloy’s Cleopatra, which Bryan says will be Terpiscorps’ most lavish production ever. The show will be performed at the Hanesbrands Theatre in Winston-Salem, Thursday-Sunday, July 20-22, before arriving in Asheville at the Diana Wortham Theatre, Thursday-Sunday, July 27-29.

Those attending the production can anticipate costumes inspired by ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, multiple projection screens and more.

“Terpsicorps is known for producing innovative, thought-provoking and entertaining performances of the highest professional caliber,” Bryan say. “The subject matter varies, but is always deeply rooted in universal themes that convey the most basic and complex aspects of the human experience.”

The Diana Wortham Theatre is at 18 Biltmore Ave. For more information, go to

Tales of the sea

In 2011, Steve Anderson self-published a book compiling stories he had sent home to family and friends while he and his late wife, Pam Steele, sailed around the Mediterranean Sea from 2006-11. Then he mostly forgot about it.

A decade later, the retired attorney had remarried following Steele’s death and moved to Asheville. That’s when a fellow member of the Asheville Racquet Club got hold of a copy of the book, read it and began enthusing about it around the club.

“I started getting praise from people I did not even know saying how much they enjoyed it,” Anderson says. “Being reminded that it actually brought joy to people who read it, I decided to take it to a real publisher.”

The result is Over the Bar: A Burned-Out Lawyer Sails Off to the Mediterranean Sea, recently published by Dorrance Publishing Co. The travelogue recounts the couple’s experiences riding camels in Tunisia, ballooning in Cappadocia, camping with Bedouins in Jordan and more.

“What people tell me they get out of the book is a fascinating look into a retirement lifestyle totally different from their own — or what they imagine theirs will be — but one to which they can relate and which they might have chosen for themselves if they had the courage to do so,” Anderson says.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, go to

That takes the cake

Asheville Mardi Gras’ annual Twelfth Night celebration will be Friday, Jan. 6, 7-11 p.m., at Club Eleven on Grove. The event marks the beginning of weeks of local Mardi Gras festivities, culminating in the annual parade and Queen’s Ball on the South Slope on Saturday, Feb. 19.

The Twelfth Night celebration will feature DJ Chilligan spinning a mix of electro-swing, neofunk and global music, as libations are poured at the bar. During the event, Asheville Mardi Gras members will take a slice of king cake, hoping to land the piece with a tiny plastic baby inside. Whoever gets the baby will pick a royal consort, and the two will lead the Asheville Mardi Gras Parade.

The parade theme is “Out of This World.”

“While we expect to see a lot of space-themed costumes and floats, you just never know where the kooky and creative Mardi Gras community will take the theme,” Asheville Mardi Gras executive committee chair Stefanie Kompathoum said in a press release.

For more information, go to

Writer Coates to speak at UNCA

UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena will host a conversation with award-winning author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.

Coates is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me, which received the National Book Award in 2015. He has written for The New York Times and The Atlantic.

Kimmel Arena is at 227 Campus Drive. The event, which will include a reading and question-and-answer session, is free but requires advanced registration through Eventbrite. To register, go to

ArtSpace honored

ArtSpace Charter School in Swannanoa has been named a 2022 national Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished School. ESEA is a federal program that provides funding to ensure all students receive excellent educational services.

ArtSpace is one of two schools in North Carolina to receive the honor.

A team of ArtSpace professionals will attend the national ESEA conference in Indianapolis in February to discuss the school’s arts-integrated educational approach.

“We believe in the power of the arts as a vehicle for learning, offering a nonthreatening access point for all students,” Sarena Fuller, the school’s executive director, said in a press release. “This is a prestigious honor at any time, but especially after a few challenging pandemic years.”

For more information, go to

WCU educator recognized

Jack A. Eaddy Jr., director of athletic bands and the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band at Western Carolina University, is a finalist for the  2023 Music Educator Award, given by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum.

The award honors educators who have made a lasting and significant impact on music education. Eaddy, in his second year at WCU, is one of 10 finalists selected from more than 1,000 nominees.

The winner will be recognized at Grammy Week 2023, before the 65th Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5.

In addition to attending the awards show, the top recipient will be awarded a $10,000 honorarium and a matching grant for winner’s school music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium as well as a matching grant.

For more information, visit

New name

Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, a nonprofit arts and culture organization committed to social justice and racial equity, has changed its name to Artéria Collective.

Founded in 2011, the group originally was focused on writer residencies in local public schools. Its mission has since expanded to include efforts to ignite social change through the power of arts, culture and restorative self-expression.

The renaming process included many meetings of program participants, staff, board and community members.

The name is word play with the noun “art” or “arte” in Spanish and the Spanish suffixes -eria or -ria, which can mean the “place where something is made.” In Spanish, arteria means artery or vessel.

For more information, go to


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About Justin McGuire
Justin McGuire is a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. His work has appeared in The Sporting News, the (Rock Hill, SC) Herald and various other publications. Follow me @jmcguireMLB

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