Imagine Ballet Theatre to hold Auditions for 2012 Season

Auditions for Imagine Ballet Theatre will take place Jan 28th. This is to become a member of the performing group that presents ballets at the Peery’s Egyptian Theatre. Performances will include  The Nutcracker,  Alice :Adventures in Wonderland and a new children’s series to take place at our studios. The Fairy Doll will be the first ballet created.
9:30 Registration
10:00-12:00 Ages 9 to 11
11:30 Registration
12:00-2:00 Ages 12 and up
Please be prepared to dance with a resume and dance photo in First Arabesque.
Audition fee is $25.00
Former Alumni Sarah Guyon
Ballet West dancer Christopher Sellars


Ogden, Utah, January 16, 2012: Imagine Ballet Theatre (IBT), an Ogden-based ballet company, will hold company auditions on January 28, 2012 at their studios on 2432 Washington Blvd., Suites C & D, in Ogden. Dancers will have the opportunity to audition for the upcoming 2012 performing season as well as the 2012 Summer Dance Intensive program.


Imagine Ballet Theatre’s 2012 performing season will include several performing opportunities for company members, who must be age nine or older. This spring, IBT will revisit their exciting production of Alice: Adventures in Wonderland with choreography by IBT Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason, a former Principal Dancer with Ballet West and international choreographer, and score by Joseph Horovitz. The company will continue its season with a new ballet Called “The Fairy Doll” , with music by Josef Bayer, originally this ballet debuted in 1888 in Russia. This ballet will be staged for the IBT Studio’s as a piece for young audiences. Then onto December with performances of its acclaimed The Nutcracker, also with choreography by Van Mason. Other performances may be added to the company’s season as opportunities are presented. The company is widely recognized in the region as providing quality and professional-level performances. IBT received a Utah Best of State Award in 2005, and Mason received a 2006 Utah Best of State Award for Best Choreographer as well as the Ogden Mayor‘s Award for the Arts. Dancers within the company have received recognition and summer scholarships from prestigious ballet companies and organizations such as: The Youth American Grand Prix, American Ballet Theater (NYC), Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet (Seattle), The Rock for Dance Education (PA), The Joffrey Ballet School (NY), Ballet West (UT), and others.


Imagine Ballet Theatre’s Summer Dance Intensive is also gaining recognition. Dancers who are accepted into the program will have the opportunity to receive training from professional and former professional dancers from national companies such as Miami City Ballet, Ballet West, and Repertory Dance Theater, as well as a former star of Broadway who will teach jazz in the Fosse style. The summer program will offer training in ballet technique, pointe, partnering, modern dance, character development, jazz, choreography and more. Ages for the program are six and up, with an audition required for dancers ages eight and up. The program concludes with a performance at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater.


When:                          Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ages 9-11, registration 9:30-10:00 am; audition 10:00-12:00 pm

Ages 12 and up, registration 11:30-12:00 pm; audition 12:00-2:00 pm

Note: IBT Company members are ages 9 and up; Summer Program 8 and up

Where:                        Imagine Ballet Theatre, 2432 Washington Blvd, Suites C & D, Ogden

Dress:                          Young Women: Black leotard, pink tights, ballet shoes, if dancer is en pointe bring pointe shoes, hair in a bun

Men:  White shirt, black tights, ballet shoes

Registration Fee:         $25.00, non-refundable

Other:                          Dancers must bring a dance resume and photo



For more information about Imagine Ballet Theatre and its upcoming performances and other dance opportunities, please visit


About Imagine Ballet Theatre

Imagine Ballet Theatre (IBT) is in residence at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden, Utah. Raymond Van Mason, Artistic Director, created the company in 2004, to offer the company of dancers an opportunity to work with professional artists and foster professional performing experiences. IBT encourages involvement in the arts through The School of Imagine Ballet Theatre and the performing company. Imagine Ballet Theatre has gained national and state recognition by receiving the 2005 Utah Best of State Award for Best Children’s Performing Group, as well as invitations in 2004 & 2006, to perform at “Dance Under The Stars Choreography Festival” at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert, CA. They returned from the 2006 competition with the Judy G. Mayer Award for Small Groups. In 2005, the company received a certificate of recognition from the Ogden City Council for their contribution to Ogden’s art community. Dancers within the company have received recognition and summer scholarships from prestigious ballet companies such as: American Ballet Theater (NYC), Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet (Seattle), The Rock for Dance Education (PA), The Joffrey Ballet School (NY), and others.


About Van Mason

As well as being the Artistic Director and Founder of Imagine Ballet Theatre, Van Mason is an independent choreographer, guest artist and master ballet teacher. Ballet West, Ballet Pacifica, Ballet GranDiva, numerous regional ballet companies and universities have performed his choreographic works. His works have been performed in New York City at Ballet Builders’ New Choreographers on Pointe and filmed by the Lloyd Rigler Foundation for the Classic Arts Showcase. In 2006, he received a Utah Best of State Award for Choreography and the Ogden City Mayor’s Award for the Arts in Dance. While with Ballet West, as a principal artist, he danced many of the leading roles in such ballets as: Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Giselle, to name a few. He has performed as a guest artist with The Stars of the San Francisco Ballet in Marsielle, France. Mason holds a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah.

Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival Finalists!

"Obviam Somes" Choreography Laurie Sefton Photo by: Denise Leitner

The following Choreographers have been chosen to participate in the First Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival 2012.  Peery’s Egyptian Theater on February 23rd and 24th, 2012.

Emily Bokinskie   ” Compart, Mental Theory”  Ogden,Utah

Tami Whatcott & Fiona Nelson “Falling up to Solid Ground” Riverton, Utah

Monica Campbell Synergy Dance Company “The Final Hours” Salt Lake City, Utah

Laurie Sefton Clairobscur Dance Company “Obviam Somes” Los Angeles, California

Oswaldo Muniz “Twinkle” New York, New York

Julie Ahlander and Dancers Out of Reach Sandy, Utah

Eden Chase Popped Ogden, Utah

Julie Ahlander and Dancers Espana Vieja, Danza Nueva   Sandy, Utah

Laurie Sefton Clairobscur Dance CompanyCrawl Xipe Totec 2″ Los Angeles, California

Carrie Miles “Anew” Ogden, Utah

Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival is dedicated to the advancement of dance as an art form, specifically through the support and promotion of quality choreography.

Nutcracker Ballet Boutique along with the featured art of Kris Wilson Nov 4, 2011

Come Join Imagine Ballet Theatre for a Nutcracker Ballet Boutique on November 4th, 2011 at the Studios of Imagine Ballet Theatre 2432 Washington Blvd. Ogden Utah 84401 form 6:00 to 9:00 pm.  The Art work of local artist Kris Wilson will be featured in studio.Please join us to find that special something for your dancer and or favorite person.

You will also be able to watch Nutcracker rehearsal during the event.

Kristina Wilson – Artist bio


Kris gets her inspiration by the challenge the work presents to her as an artist. The challenge may be in the composition, the contrast, lighting, the subject itself, or a combination of the above. Requiring this challenge ignites the spark that flames the passion she have as an artist. She strives to create a work of art that inspires you, intrigues you, speaks to you, and stirs emotion within you.

Having been selected to serve on the Ogden City Arts Council, Kris is currently serving her four year term. Also a member of Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionists’ Society.

It is Kristina’s hope to bring joy to those that collect her work.

Youth Impact Class: Week 3

It’s been three weeks since we began our Youth Impact (YI) ballet class. What a fun time we’ve had so far! Here’s some of what we’ve been working on.

The dancers practice grand battements at the barre


Each class, we begin with stretches and a standard ballet barre. Most of our YI students haven’t had any formal dance training, and for those who have it’s been many years. For these new dancers, we’re focusing on learning the “basics” of ballet positions, placement, and form. Later, we’ll add other aspects of ballet and dance in general.


After barre, the dancers work in the center of the studio, now relying on their own balance and focusing more on moving their whole body. This week and last week, we learned about swinging movement. The dancers’ homework last week was to use the “swings” we practiced in class to make up their own dance. They could dance in their bedroom, in their yard, anywhere they wanted. Several of the students wanted to share their choreography this week during class – it was great! We love to see them thinking creatively and putting concepts together.


We also talked about adagio this week during center. The girls were really apprehensive about moving so slowly and with their legs high in the air! But when it came to doing the adagio combination, they did great. No one fell over or stumbled, though afterward they said it was harder than it looked.  This project is funded in part by the Weber Arts Council.

The art of Stephen Hedgepeth and Geri Magdiel will be featured artists in the Studio!

  The art of Geri Magdiel and Stephen Hedgepeth will be featured in the Studio at Imagine Ballet Theatre for the Ogden Art Stroll on Friday October 7, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

 In celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month. IBT would like to challenge you to donate art supplies for children and youth that are living at the Christmas Box House, which just celebrated it’s 15th Birthday. When these young people celebrate their own birthdays, their number one request is for art supplies. We are excited to have the opportunity to brighten the lives of these children.
Art supplies will be gathered at the October 7th Art Stroll at the Imagine Ballet Theatre Studio and then donated to the Christmas Box House.  Thank you for helping us help others.

Geri Magdiel

Geri Magdiel is a self taught artist who grew up in Ogden, Utah.  Shortly after high school, I moved to Seattle, Washington to attend the U. of W.  I lived there for 28 years, raining my family.  Making lifetime friendships and attending different schools throughout the years, including the School of Visual Concepts and an internship at a post production video company.  It was at this point that I realized my calling was not in the technical arena but more in illustration and fine art.  I also discovered that I was not going to get used to the weather the northwest offered and I moved back to Ogden into the same house I grew up in.  I consider myself a self taught artist.  As a child, I spent most of my time drawing and my favorite subject matter was and is still people.  Most of my paintings in the early years were pastel.  To me, it was the closest medium to drawing, (which was a comfort zone).  I have always had an attraction to oil paintings so I decided that was where I belonged.  It is a constant learning process.  I never get bored with painting and I paint anything that is not moving, including furniture and murals.  Throughout the years, I have exhibited in many galleries and art shows throughout Washington, Idaho, Utah, and California and have been fortunate to win several awards.  My favorite artists are the impressionists, such as Monet, and more contemporary figurative impressionists, Pino, Don Hatfield, and Steve Hanks.

Stephen Hedgepeth

To the west were fields and farms and to the east the mountains. The Wasatch Range provided opportunities for hiking and exploring canyons. This variety of experiences helped Stephen develop a love and respect for nature.

“My goal is to lift the spirit of the veiwer beyond the physical idenity of the subject. This can be done by painting the essence of realism and not realism as detail. I endeaver to maintain a sense of place in the painting and stay grounded in organic forms. I lean towards tonalistic color harmony using a tapestry value system. The cycle of life and all the seasons of change in nature have a great influence on the art work that comes forth, be it any subject.”

“I hope people will enjoy a sense of mood from the paintings that come to me through my personal vision of space and form.”

“I am self-taught, and when I work directly from nature I seek for solutions through observations of images that constantly change with light and atmosphere. My on location paintings and studies form the catalyst for my studio paintings.”

A Night on The Town Gala!


Imagine Ballet Theatre Presents A Night on the Town


Ogden, Utah, September 23, 2011: Imagine Ballet Theatre (IBT), an Ogden-based ballet company, will present A Night on the Town on October 15th at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden. In conjunction with the performance, patrons may also attend the evening’s fundraiser held at the Ben Lomond Hotel preceding the show. Generous sponsors for this year’s performance and fundraiser include Jet Blue Airlines, the Ben Lomond Suites, Ogden 25th Street Association, Ogden City Arts, RAMP, and Haute Style Affaires. For A Night on the Town, Imagine Ballet Theatre will present several of their own works, as well as the works of other artists, world-renown choreographers, and performers from around the nation. Special guest choreographers include former Broadway star Gary Flannery, Utah Valley University faculty Angela Banchero-Kelleher and Amy Markgraf Jacobson, choreographer and costume designer Oswaldo Muniz, and IBT dancer Rachel Duffin. IBT Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason also presents pieces for the performance. Guest performances from Los Angeles Ballet dancers Allynne Noelle Stoller and Jonathan Sharp will also be on the program.


Imagine Ballet Theatre’s performances in A Night on the Town include some works choreographed by Raymond Van Mason: the world premiere of “Passing” and “Ashura,” the latter of which will be performed with the Ogden Buddhist Taiko Drum Company also on stage with the dancers. IBT dancer Rachel Duffin also makes her composer debut with her piece “Delusion All.


IBT Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason wanted to bring together local and national dance for this fall performance. Allynne Noelle Stoller and Jonathan Sharp of Los Angeles Ballet will perform a Utah premiere of the piece “Pathos” choreographed by Clinton Rothwell. Stoller is a former dancer with Inland Pacific Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and National Ballet of Canada. Jonathan Sharp trained at National Academy of the Arts and School of American Ballet. He danced professionally with Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and others. For A Night on the Town, Stoller and Sharp will also be performing the “Black Swan Pas de Deux” from Act III of Swan Lake.


Faculty from Utah Valley University are also presenting newly choreographed works for A Night on the Town. Angela Banchero-Kelleher, MFA, is an Assistant Professor of Modern Dance whose professional career spanned 20 years, 15 of which were with Utah’s Repertory Dance Theater. Banchero-Kelleher has also enjoyed teaching at Weber State University, Westminster College, The University of Utah, and Ohio University. She will present “Lacuna” with dancers from UVU, a piece supported by a Community of Engaged Learning grant, the UVU Dean’s Office, and UVU School of the Arts.


Broadway veteran Gary Flannery brings a new work to A Night on the Town with his jazz expertise in “Gershwin Meets Fosse” using IBT dancers. A veteran dancer of the professional stage himself, Gary Flannery was featured on Broadway in “Pippin” and “Dancin” with Bob Fosse, took both shows on their first tours, and was a featured principal dancer in the unforgettable movie “All That Jazz!” He toured the world with Shirley MacLaine, performing as her partner and co-choreographer in addition to performing in her three television specials. He has also worked in Hollywood with stars such as Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, and Ann-Margret. A Balanchine and Juilliard scholarship winner, Flannery has danced with the Harkness Ballet, the Fred Benjamin Dancers in New York City, Les Grandes Ballet in Montreal, as well as in dozens of musicals and concert dance performances seen nationally and internationally. Distinguished dancers with whom Flannery has studied include not only Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon but also Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, Bertram Ross, Fred Benjamin, David Howard, and many others. His impressive teaching career of over thirty years has included stints at Steps Studio in New York City, University of Central Florida’s Conservatory Theatre, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Northwestern University in Evanston, and Northern Illinois University in Dekalb among others.


Another outside choreographic influence to the program comes from New York City resident Oswaldo Muniz. Muniz trained at the School of American Ballet on full scholarship and went on to dance professionally as a Principal under Edward Villella in the Eglevsky Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma and Edward Villella and Dancers, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and the Garden State Ballet. Muniz is also known for his incredible costumes, which have been featured in the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Imagine Ballet Theatre, worn by Olympic gold medal winner Sarah Huges, and in print such as Vogue Magazine and Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine. For A Night on the Town, Muniz presents the world premiere of his ballet “Twinkle” on dancers from Imagine Ballet Theatre, as well as his own designed and executed costumes.


Audience members planning to attend the A Night on the Town program on October 15th may purchase tickets at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater box office, 2415 Washington Blvd in Ogden, online at or, or by phone at (801) 689-8700. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 2:00 to 6:00 pm.

New Youth Impact Classes Begin

About the class:

For the 2011-2012 school year, IBT was awarded a grant from the Weber Arts Council to begin a class in collaboration with Ogden’s Youth Impact program. Today’s Youth Impact program is guided by an active Board of Trustees and motivated staff members who continue to mentor the youth at the highest level. From 2001-2008, the Youth Impact Program had maintained a constant enrollment of at least 150 participants. In January of 2008, Youth Impact began maintaining an enrollment over 200 youth. Their target population is directed to children who reside in Ogden’s inner-city limits; according to HUD, Ogden has two of the four poorest neighborhoods in the state.

This is an exciting opportunity for both IBT and Youth Impact as we begin bringing the classical art of ballet to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity. One of the most valuable experiences for a child is exposure to the arts. With school programs being cut due to a lack of funding resources, the arts must sometimes be brought to children from outside sources. Through this exposure to dance, the students will build confidence, express themselves, learn a new skill, and develop an appreciation for the arts.

Update from the barre:

Today’s class went very well! The students were excited and (maybe a little nervous!) to begin. We discussed attire, the proper behavior for during class, learned about the barre, stretches, plies, tendus, grand battement, and saute. The class was eager to learn and good at following directions. They were excitedly talking as they observed the other class in Studio 1, asking, “Will we be that good soon?” and “Look how pointed their toes are!”

Next week we’ll focus more on the structure of a typical ballet class while learning things about movement, ballet, and musicality.