Dancers in rehearsal for “Scream”

April 28, 2017 – Nevada Union High School Theatrical Dance Academy presents A Tribute to Michael Jackson on May 4th and 5th at 7:00 p.m. and two performances on Saturday, May 6th at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Don Baggett Theatre, located at 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley.

Inspired by the King of Pop, this production features a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop to favorites like “Bad,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Black or White,” and more.

The show opens with a Jackson 5 medley “old school” hip hop number, followed by a ballet piece  to “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Audience members of all ages will delight in seeing the original choreography recreated and adapted from music videos like “Beat It,” “Smooth Criminal,” and “Thriller,” alongside unique choreography from eleven local and national choreographers.

Under the direction of dance teacher, Courtney Wadman, the show includes twenty-one songs, including some tributes and instrumental versions of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits. Mrs. Wadman invited several guest choreographers to contribute work for this show, including local dance teachers Gaia Weiss, Sommer Wadman-Huntley, Stephanie Stevens, Cassandra McAlister, and Nicole Chan-Carranza, as well as Los Angeles-based choreographer Chelsea Asman, who teaches at U.C. Irvine, and Salt Lake City choreographer Efren Corado, who dances professionally for Repertory Dance Theatre.

Former professional dancer Karen Attix, who danced for the legendary Merce Cunningham and founded the Nevada City Dance Festival, collaborated with local musicians Andy Witek and Diane McIntire for a slowed-down, country version of “Billie Jean.” This piece opens Act II, and it will be the first N.U. dance production to include live musicians.

N.U. dance alumnus Jesse Beck, class of 2004, traveled from New York City to set two pieces for the show, “Scream” and “Earth Song,” over President’s Day Weekend. Twelve advanced dancers participated in forty hours of rehearsal over four days, including New York-style ballet master classes each morning, taught by Mr. Beck.

Alumnus Jordan Isadore, class of 2005, returned from New York after several years of dancing professionally for the Shen Wei Dance Company, where he performed all over the world. Mr. Isadore set a piece to the acapella version of “Rock with You.”

Lastly, Alumnus Jackson Knappen, class of 2014, returned from Santa Monica, where he is on scholarship at the Yuri Grigoriev School of Ballet, studying the famous training method of the Vaganova Russian Ballet technique. Combining his ballet training with contemporary jazz, Mr. Knappen created a dynamic piece to “Bad,” which he taught in two days to a group of fifteen advanced dancers.

The Nevada Union dance students have been rehearsing after-school and on weekends since August, dedicating hundreds of hours to prepare for A Tribute to Michael Jackson. Ticket prices are $10, $12, or $15, depending on seating location. All seating is reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at Tickets can also be purchased at the Don Baggett Theatre lobby on April 28, May 1, and May 2 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Online sales close at 7:00 a.m. on the day of the show to prepare for box office sales. Remaining tickets will be sold at the box office 2 hours before the show. For additional information, contact the dance department at (530) 273-4431 ext. 2228 or email