Tag Archives: Advanced Ballet

American Ballet Competion in Ogden, Utah 2017

Sonya 7Sonya Kryzhanovsky 1st place in Division II Classical Catergory and scholarship to Repertory Dance Theatre Summer Intensive 2018.  Alison Umabrell 3rd place in Division I Contemporary Catergory. Imagine Ballet Theatre 2nd place in Ensemble for finale of Fairyopolis choreography Raymond Van Mason.

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Nutcracker Auditions for 2015

photo Nutcracker Auditions will take place Sept 12, 2015.  Imagine Ballet Theatre performs in the beautiful Peery’s Egyptian Theater with the New American Philharmonic Orchestra.  Performance dates are Dec 11,12,17,18 and 19th.

Ages 6 to 11 will register 9:30 to 10:00

Audition will take place from 10:00 to 11:30

Ages 12 and up will register 11:30-12:00

Audition will take place from 12:00-1:30 ( Ladies please bring pointe shoes)

Looking for: Soldiers, Party Boys and Rats, Parent roles, Gingerettes, Russians, Ladies in Waiting, Pages, Arabian, Spanish, Waltz and Snow Corp and Angels.

The cost for the audition is $25.00.

Please come ready to dance with a dance photo.

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

Bournonville in Ogden Utah led by Dinna Bjorn

Bournonville Workshop with the Masters Teaches Tradition of Joyful Movement

“I was already that kid who turned on classical music, moved all the furniture and just danced around the room to the music,” happily remembers Henning Albrechtsen, one of the master instructors teaching this week at Imagine Ballet Theatre in Ogden, Utah during the Bournonville Workshop with the Masters. “The first time I danced Bournonville, it felt liberating,” Albrechtsen smiles while talking about the technique famous for light and intricate footwork, “I remembered the reason I started dancing – to move to music, to express joy and freedom.”

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This week, students as young as age 7 spanning all the way to advanced teachers have enjoyed learning from Dinna Bjorn, Eric Viudes, Henning Albrechtsen, and Dianna Cuni Mancini, four master instructors of the techniques of Auguste Bournonville. Dinna Bjorn, who has been sharing her passion for Bournonville technique since 1975, is pleased to be teaching students of such varying ages. She says that it is wonderful to teach those that are so young, because they will then grow up with the knowledge. Bjorn recalls that in Denmark, education in Bournonville technique begins at age 8 and says that the students of the Ogden workshop are doing very well. “It is a very demanding technique when they are that young. It requires that you are already quite advanced in your ballet technique.”

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Bjorn says that the content of this workshop is unique because students are not only taking classes in technique and repertoire (choreography), but also in mime, which is a signature of Bournonville Ballet. “To do mime is really great,” Bjorn says enthusiastically, “You can relax and have fun playing a part.” She enjoys seeing the creativity of each individual student come out. Repertoire, as Albrechsten explains is exercises that are little perfect solos from a different century.

Mime is an important part of August Bournonville’s style because of the focus on storytelling. “Bournonville is ballet about normal, common people,” Bjorn explains. “It is always telling stories. It is joyful dancing and even if it is a bit dramatic, it always ends happy,” Bjorn shares. “Well, except La Sylphide,” she says under her breath with a smile.

“When I had my first taste of Bournonville, I did not fall in love,” says Eric Viudes, one of the quartet of master teachers visiting Utah. .” Viudes is the self-proclaimed “foreigner” of the group of instructors, yielding from France rather than Denmark. He jokes that this travelling group is a perfect union for him because he likes to dance and he likes to travel, but he doesn’t like to travel alone. “The more I got better in my profession, the more I know how important Bournonville is. It is a living tradition.” Viudes believes that the technique is ultimately important in the complete education of a good dancer. “It is like thinking you don’t need to write a language to speak it well.”

Albrechtsen praises the variety of age groups participating in the workshop. “It gives the little ones someone to look up to. If you are not looking up to anyone anymore, it is time for you to move on because you are the one being admired.”  After completing his education at Teachers Training Program for former professional dancers at the National Ballet School of Canada, Albrechtsen returned to the Royal Danish Ballet as full-time faculty. “I was surprised that they considered me a teacher,” Albrechtsen says of his invitation to join the touring team of Bournonville instructors, “Because I wasn’t a kid when I started and I am really too tall for Bournonville.” The key to teaching ballet is to tell them what TO DO and not always what NOT TO DO, Albrechtsen explains. “It is so fun to see when they surprise themselves—conquer an obstacle.”

The Bournonville Workshop with the Masters has been ongoing from June 20 through June 27, 2015. The event will conclude with a performance at Peery’s Egyptian Theatre Satuday, June 27, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bjorn describes the evening as a little performance and informal presentation of the week’s work. She anticipates sharing a film or information about Bournonville, but the only performers will be the workshop’s participants. Seats can be reserved at http://www.egyptiantheaterogden.com/ for $10 and $15.

This Bournonville workshop was first taught outside Denmark six years ago in 2009. It has been taught in France, Tokyo, and now in Ogden, Utah. Bjorn has known Imagine Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason for many years due to IBT’s participation in the American Ballet Competition, who is co-sponsoring the event. Bjorn had been teaching seminars for teachers at ABC when Van Mason became interested in a Bournonville intensive for the students of his Ogden, Utah-based youth ballet company. Bjorn was enticed by the collaboration, “I had taught some Bournonville in 1985, in Michigan and I really wanted to do it again in America.” Both Bjorn and Van Mason are hoping to make the union and the intensive an ongoing event in Utah, perhaps with an earlier date to avoid other ballet instruction intensives and facilitate more participation for area dancers.

“If people want to learn something about Bournonville, you only have to know it is here and now in Ogden,” concludes Viudes.

Article by Chaundra Wilson

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

Smith’s Community Rewards supports Imagine Ballet Theatre!

Smiths_CommRwds_600x160Please link your already existing Smith’s rewards card to #93138 and just by doing your normal shopping you will be making a donation to Imagine Ballet Theatre and help young dancers realize their full potential as performing artists here in Utah.slider-img8