Category Archives: Blog

Interviews of Guest teachers for IBT’s Summer Intensive 2015

By Chaundra Wilson,

Gina Artese, of Kansas City, Missouri, is the guest instructor for week two of Imagine Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive. As a Balanchine-trained dancer, she describes her teaching style with one word—energy.

I am very different from the Danish style, which was the focus of the Bournonville Workshop with the Masters, which took place in Ogden the last week in June. “I am kind of old school style,” Artese smiles, “Black leotards, pink tights. Balanchine is very different. “

Artese, who began her professional dancing career at around 16 years old, set pieces from Balanchine’s repertoire last year for IBT’s summer intensive. This year, she brought her “energy” to the IBT studio with a rendition of Stars and Stripes. “This version is more theatrical and the counts are very important.”

Artese’s week of intense instruction comes on the heels of Oswaldo Muniz, who opened IBT’s month-long intensive. Artese was began guest teaching at IBT last summer when Muniz recommended her as a candidate to Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason.

Artese says her favorite part of her time at IBT is the specialized attention with each child. She enjoys the group “pointe shoe talks,” where she discusses the woes, triumphs, tips, and tricks of ballet’s most iconic equipment. “I enjoy getting to know each child and having a moment with them. I like helping them fix something when they were struggling.”

As well as being a member of many dance companies, Artese has been seen on the movie screen as a company member in the Academy Award-Winning production, Black Swan. “I didn’t know what was going on,” she recalls of filming the suspense-thriller. “My family saw it before I did. “ Artese remembers meeting and talking with some of the ballerinas whose stories peppered the plot of the movie. Artese speculates that the draw of the movie, which surprises viewers with a troubling and dark conclusion. “I think it is about the rebellion, because ballet is all about perfection.”Gina Artese

Anazella will be at IBT Studios for Ogden’s First Friday art stroll.

Anazella Morrison,

I have been drawing, and painting since I was 5. My biggest inspiration growing up was Bob Ross. We had a black and white TV with two antennas, and I would situate them in order to watch his shows. I mostly used pencil, until my aunt opened a new world to me with oils, I have now been painting by oil for four years.

My dream is to paint in a way that the viewer feels taken into my work and becomes a part of it. Taking them into a state of mind that offers peace, and serenity.morrison_rose

The Winners of the RMCF 2015!

ThisThatLargeThis is the results from the panel of Judges.

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The Grand prize Winner: This & That by Rodolfo Rafael

 

 

 

 

 

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Second Place: Not Alone by Alicia Trump & Carrie Lee Miles

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Third Place: Except from “Antologia” by Loren Fletcher

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Junior Division: Reflections by Sonya Kryzhanovsky

 

 

 

People’s Choice awards from the audience voting.

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First Place: Meant for the Stage by Kassie Searle

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Second Place: Def.i.(d)ance by Eric Bean Jr.

 

 

 

 

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Third Place: This & That by Rodolfo Rafael

11001604_10155229309175117_1107498915937158360_oJunior Division: Simultaneously Unshaken by Danielle Dreis and Seth Gonzales

 

 

 

 

Announcing the Choreographers for 2015 Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival

I would like to announce the Choreographers participating in this years Festival.  Congratulations to them all.  Looking forward to seeing all their work live on stage at the Peery’s Egyptain Theatre, Feb 27, and 28, at 7:30 pm.  Peoples choice voting will take place on Feb 27th, show and Awards will take place on the Feb 28, 2015.

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Rodalfo Rafael's "Press Play" Peoples Choice Winner 2014
Rodalfo Rafael’s “Press Play” Peoples Choice Winner 2014

 

 

Carrie Le Miles Winner of the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival 2014 "The Bench"
Carrie Le Miles Winner of the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival 2014 “The Bench”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aysha Jonas, “Irrevocable Incandescent Kukoma”, Weber State Dance, Ogden, Utah

Madison Jones, “Path of Purpose”,  Weber State Dance Dept. Ogden, Utah

Summer Robertson,”Pleasurable Addiction”, St. George Dance Company, St. George, Utah

Rodolfo Rafael, “This and That”,  Dance Rod, Clearfield, Utah

 

Eric G. Bean Jr., “Def.i.(D)ance”, Jaricco Dance, Las Vegas, Nevada

Alicia Trump & Carrie Miles, “Not Alone”, Independent Artists, North Salt Lake, Utah & Las Vegas, Nevada

Aysha Jonas, “Journey to Tower Green”, Weber State Dance, Ogden, Utah

 

Loren Fletcher Nickerson,”Untitled” Independent Artist, Albuquerque,  New Mexico

Kassie Searle, “Meant for the Stage”, Independent Artist, Clinton, Utah

Whitnee Jenkins,”The Lonely”,  Lifehouse Performing Arts Academy, Spanish Fork, Utah

Junior Division

Danielle Dreis, “Simultaneously Unshaken”,  Ogden High Dance, Ogden, Utah

Sonya Kryzhanovsky, “Reflections”, Imagine Ballet Theatre, Ogden, Utah

Nutcracker Perspectives!: Thoughts From A IBT Veteran Nutcracker Dancer : Part 3

 YAGP 2014 SEATTLE SEMI-FINALS
Nutcracker Memories ’07 – ‘14
I have been with Imagine Ballet Theatre in the Nutcracker for the past 7 years. My name is Danielle Lee Dreis and every December I have been a part of The Nutcracker directed by Raymond Van Mason. This ballet is filled with magic, dreaming, dancing snowflakes, romance, and childhood memories.
In 2007, I had the honor of performing as a Party Girl, Toy Soldier, Page, and a Gingerette. The opening scene attending Clara’s Christmas party is a fun and exciting scene. The little girls wear bright colored dresses with big bows in their curly locks. I fondly remember the vibrant color of my blue dress that year. The boys wear cute little vests and bow ties around their necks. Dancing as a Party Girl is a huge role for character development. The children play with Clara, happily receive gifts, get excited for the toys, and tire when it’s time to go home. Throughout the entire scene I was able to develop my character by interacting with Clara and the other characters while reacting to the main focus of the scene. As a Gingerette, I jumped out from under the skirt of Mother Ginger performed by Burke Stone. This has always been one of my favorite roles. I loved dancing to the fun and joyful music. Entering under a giant tent like dress and surprising the audience with our colorful appearance was a great way to start the dance. Clapping and cartwheeling until the very end of the song. I always felt special to get the part of blowing the audience a Great BIG Kiss and running off stage. I love that Ray created Imagine Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker with various parts, levels, and characters. As you get older and increase in skill the roles and dancing get harder. I always looked up to the older dancers playing parts like Doll, Snow, Arabian, and Mirliton. 
In 2008, I danced Party Girl once again in the same blue dress. This year I was no longer one of the youngest Party Girls but was continuing to advance in roles. From Party Girl, I changed quickly into a Toy Solder costume. The Toy Soldiers had wooden guns as props and fought next to the Nutcracker. I always enjoyed fighting the Rats because my cousin Vince Hendricks was one of them. In Act 2, I danced as a Page and an Arabian Girl. The Pages enter at the beginning of Act 2 and act as the Sugar Plum Fairy’s servants. We had purple capes and purple feathers on our hats. I enjoyed the spritely dancing and framing of Clara’s entrance into the Land of the Sweets. Backstage I will always remember the quick change from Page to Arabian.  Arabian was always fun for me because I related it to Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. We wore two piece blue silk and chiffon customs with gold coins around the bodice. We also got the opportunity to dance with a silk scarf. I worked extremely hard to get my right splits all year because I knew this dance required the ability to slide into the splits without hands. I love watching and dancing with the Arabian Queen and her Prince dreaming one day I would get the opportunity to dance that part.
In 2009, we performed Nutcracker and I was once again a Party Girl. I received many of the same parts as the year before. I continued to improve as a Toy Soldier, Page, and Arabian. As a Page this year, I felt special because I pushed the sleigh out for Clara. In Arabian I danced every year prior with my favorite Arabian Queen Jessica Barraza. Each year the Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit and one of the things IBT does as a company is perform to the schools. As a young dancer I really enjoyed performing to children my own age. I knew not very many kids had the opportunity I had to miss school and perform with a wonderful family of
dancers. Another thing IBT does each year is they enter a float in the Ogden City Christmas parade to prepare the community for a rendition of The Nutcracker.
            In 2010, this was the last year I would perform with my sister Marquelle Dreis. I danced both the Snowflake and Waltz of the Flowers with her. She also danced as the Maid, a Mother at the Party, and Spanish. She is and will always remain to be my favorite Spanish dancer of all time. I have always looked up to her and am thankful to have received the opportunity to dance with her for so many years. She is the reason I joined Imagine Ballet Theatre. My other roles included Party Girl and one of the Chinese characters.
            In 2011, I was given the opportunity to perform as the Toy Drummer and did not share this role with anyone. I enjoyed dancing every show. I was a tall Snowflake and flower in Waltz of the Flowers. I shared the role of Mirliton and the main Chinese Queen. I switched characters every other night. I felt very special to have been the first Main Chinese pointe girl where in the previous years it had been a male. Being the first to receive this role the choreography was choreographed on me and Tessa Parkinson.
The next year, 2012, I loved dancing as a Snowflake alongside my best friend, Rachel Duffin, who was Snow Queen at the time. I danced in Waltz of the Flowers and Mirliton and shared the roles of Toy Drummer and Chinese Queen.
The year 2013 was one of my favorite years because I received the honorary role of the Snow Queen. I loved dancing this character because I have always enjoyed dancing in the snow scene as well as getting to wear the beautiful tutu and ice crystal crown. As Snow Queen, in every show, I pushed out the sleigh at the end of the act and danced with the Nutcracker Prince and my favorite Clara, MaKayla Woods. This will always be one of my favorite roles in closing Act I. I was also a flower in Waltz of the Flowers. I not only got the main role of Snow Queen but also played the main role of Main Chinese Queen for every show. This year the main roles were performed by some of my best friends, Catherine Aoki as Clara, Ashleigh Richardson as Sugar Plum Fairy, and I as Snow Queen.
This year 2014 will be the seventh year I am dancing in The Nutcracker with Imagine Ballet Theatre. I’m excited to dance with all the younger dancers in the roles I once had including the pages, angels, and divertissements.  I am so excited to be highlighted in the star role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Sugar Plum was performed in previous years by many great dancers I have always looked up to. My favorite who has danced this role is Christie Freebairn. Looking back when I first began dancing two of the older company dancers I admired were Jennifer Jackson and Macall Bowden who both danced Clara and Sugar Plum at one time. I have always hoped to dance in their shoes, and now the role of Sugar Plum Fairy is mine.
By Danielle Lee Dreis

Nutcracker Perspectives!: Thoughts From A First-Time Nutcracker Dancer : Part 2

Hi! I’m Emily. I am nine years old and I am an angel in Imagine Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker this year. This is my first time dancing in Nutcracker, and I’m really excited, especially because I’ll get to be on stage with the Sugar Plum Fairy!

Our first Nutcracker rehearsal lasted an hour and a half…it felt like a really long time! About halfway through the first rehearsal, Mr. Ray laughed and said we looked like bumper cars because we kept bumping into each other as we moved in and out of each other’s lines. Oops! But then we took a quick break and it was just what we needed. I got a drink of water and a hug from my mom, and I felt ready to dance some more. I guess that little break was good for everyone, because we learned our entire routine by the end of the first rehearsal!

We were much better at the next rehearsal, and we are getting better each week. Even though we are working hard to learn our dance, we are having lots of fun, too! I can’t wait to wear my pretty angel costume. Nutcracker will be here before you know it!