GREENSBORO — Greensboro Ballet wanted to find a way to thank Cone Health employees for their Herculean service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So the ballet drew on its own talents.
It led the effort to create a video of their performances, as well as performances by other local artists.
“We have put our hearts into our best way to show our appreciation, presenting them with our love in this art form,” said Jessica McAlister, the ballet’s interim artistic director.
The 13,000 Cone Health employees will be able to see the 52-minute video virtually during Cone Health Week, an employee appreciation effort that starts Monday.
Employees and their families can log in through a special link and see the video performance anytime this week.
Next week, Cone Health will make it available to hospital patients.
Cone Health Week was created by the system’s People & Culture and Marketing & Communications departments, said Doug Allred, Cone Health external communications manager.
It will include gift giveaways, daily internal recognitions from leaders at all levels, and opportunities to reflect on the challenges and successes within the health system this year, Allred said.
Greensboro Ballet apprentice Jayla Winborne was among those dancing in the video.
Winborne, 21, also is a nursing student at UNCG. She understands what health care workers face.
“They have been fighting this battle while we have been able to stay at home safely,” Winborne said. “I felt it was so important to give back to those who have given so much to us.”
Dancing for the video differed from the typical performance. “I felt I had to give it 100 percent of my energy to bring a little joy and light into their day,” Winborne said.
To create the video, Greensboro Ballet received a COVID-19 relief grant of $12,470 from ArtsGreensboro, said Jennifer Gentry, ballet interim executive director.
It also received help from Greensboro Radiology, Well-Spring retirement community, Barber Center for Plastic Surgery, Kaley Orthodontics, TFF Architects & Planners, Carolina State Bank and Grinz Orthodontics.
Aside from thanking Cone healthcare workers, “It has helped Greensboro Ballet fulfill its year-long goal of keeping our dancers dancing safely throughout this pandemic, instead of just closing down and waiting to perform once theatre restrictions are lifted,” Gentry said.
Dancers performed in masks and socially-distanced in the ballet’s studios, McAlister said.
“It was so much fun to watch their faces,” McAlister said. “You could see how happy they were to be doing it. Even with the masks, you could see their eyes light up.”
In the film, Greensboro Ballet performs the lively “Grande Tarantella” and “Cinderella” fairy scene,” choreographed by Jessica Fry McAlister.
The Youth Ballet performs “Ragtime Fun,” choreographed by its director, Nina Bass Munda.
The ballet invited other local artists to participate.
Elon University Dance Program presents “Redemption,” an African dance/drumming piece choreographed by Keisha Wall, and “Walks of Life,” a tap and contemporary dance piece choreographed by Eliana Saking.
Ramya Kapadia performs a traditional Indian dance piece, “Nrittanjali,” choreographed by Lavanya Ananth.
Sanna Clara Ray Festa, a local harpist, performs “On Wings of Song” by Felix Mendelssohn.
Handling videography for everything recorded outside homes were Jen Guy Metcalf, who teaches dance at Elon University, Christian Metcalf, Mallory Siegenthaler and Jermaine Studwell.
“Thank you to each performer and the entire Greensboro Ballet team for bringing this production to life,” said Tricia Teter, Cone Health philanthropy officer.