Tag Archives: Imagine Ballet Studio Theatre

Announcing the Judges for the Rocky Mountain Choreography Festival 2016

RMCF Judges 2016

Brent Schneider: As a ten year member of Repertory Dance Theatre, Professor Schneider has served as dancer, rehearsal director, administrator and trustee. He has performed and choreographed in many dance styles including ethnic, ballroom, musical theatre, tap, jazz and ballet. He has been a faculty member for Weber State University, American College Dance Festivals, Regional Dance America Choreography Conferences and has taught and choreographed extensively for dance and theater companies. He recently taught a two-week intensive for the Central American and Caribbean Modern Dance Festival hosted by the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica, and choreographed a work for the university. Professor Schneider teaches technique, composition, pedagogy, liberal education courses, folk forms, and is co-director of the department’s acclaimed Performing Dance Company, for which he also choreographs.

Amanda Sowerby: Amanda received her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and her BFA in Dance from the California Institute of the Arts. She worked for several years with the Gary Palmer Dance Company in California’s Bay Area and assisted in setting new and repertory pieces on the National Ballet of Peru and the National Ballet of Chile, as well as implementing outreach programs in dance for Bay Area community members. She has performed with the National Ballet’s of Chile and Peru, Enrico Labayen’s Lab Projekt USA, Yasmin Mehta’s California Contemporary Dancers and Todd Courage. Amanda’s own choreographic work has been presented at Dance Theatre Workshop (NYC), Theatre Artaud (SF,CA), Diesel Cathedral (SF,CA), Dance Mission (SF,CA),  and The Rose Wagner Theater (SLC,UT).

Amanda was a co-founder Paradigm Dance Project; a dance organization designed to foster arts education for underserved populations. In addition to her faculty position at WSU, Amanda serves on the board of the Utah Dance Education Organization as President and served as the Higher Education Representative from 2007-2013.

Gina Artese: Gina has been a professional ballet dancer since she was 17 years old.  She has danced professionally with KansasCity Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon’s The Morphoses Company and Twyla Tharp. In 2014 she performed in Charleston, South Carolina’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival where she danced Kirk Sprinkles’ The Charleston as a featured dancer.  Gina also appeared as a dancer on the Kennedy Center Honors which aired on CBS and also danced Don Quixote with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Edinburgh Festival of Scotland in 2006.

Ms. Artese was currently featured on NBC’s The Blacklist as a principal ballerina and on TruTV’s Impractical Jokers as the girl who got pranked with a hotdog.  She is the face of WE tv’s Bridezillas and competed on FOX’s celebrity reality dating show The Choice in 2012. Gina was featured as a principal ballerina in Darren Arnofsky’s award winning feature film Black Swan (2010), in Something Borrowed with Kate Hudson and as a ballerina in Our Idiot Brother. She was also the recurring “Wardrobe Girl” on NBC’s 30 Rock for its last two seasons.

In 2009 she aired a national Old Navy commericial and played “Tina” in the off-Broadway show Tony and Tina’s Wedding in 2008. She also starred in the Macy’s campaign commercial with renowned rap singer Dippy in 2007-2008.  She has been a featured dancer in such feature films as Summer of Sam by Spike Lee, Center Stage and now the upcoming feature The Boxer as a disco dancer.

Angie Banchero-Kelleher: Angela Banchero-Kelleher, MFA, is an Associate Professor of Modern Dance at Utah Valley University. She has had a professional career spanning over twenty years, including 15 years with Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT), during which time she was a featured dancer in both the classical and contemporary work spanning the modern repertory from Duncan to Zvi Gotheiner.   Her performance/teaching career has taken her to venues worldwide, including the La Bella Vita Arts dance workshop in Italy for the last 4 years and as a guest teacher at Repertory Dance Theatre’s summer workshop specializing in Humphrey/Limon technique. She maintains a deep commitment to RDT and continues to teach and reset roles for the company, most recently the solo from Pigs and Fishes by Elisa Monte.  She has presented her choreography internationally, notably Lacuna in Copenhagen and Blackbird in Austria.  Material Tokens of the Freedom of Thought, was selected for the gala concert at the regional ACDA concert in Missoula , Montana  and was performed by Repertory Dance Theatre this past spring.  she is currently pursuing scholarship that reflects her interest in dance as a vehicle for social and political activism, presenting her scholarly research internationally and co- publishing a paper in the International Journal of Arts in Society.

Sean Guymon is an independent dance educator, performer, and technology consultant. He is the Past President of the Utah Dance Education Organization, the state affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization, and currently works as the Executive Assistant and Webmaster for the organization. He earned a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and was a founding member of Movement Forum, a dance improvisation performance group. Sean has performed and taught throughout the US and Great Britain. He competed nationally in Ballroom dance, directed the Ballroom dance team at Jordan High School, and his training also includes clogging, folk, and musical theatre. Sean is a self-taught technology enthusiast and is the webmaster and management/technology consultant for local and national dance organizations, companies and dancers.

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Spencer Nielsen IBT Studios featured Artist

Spencer artStop by and enjoy the scenic beauty of Spencer Nielsen’s Photography.  Spencer is a Singer, Songwriter, and Photographer. Imagine Ballet Theatre will also be working on a ballet called Mellow Rotten Mind which will have it’s opening August 21 and 22 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm each night.

Spencer Nielsen is a singer/songwriter from Salt Lake City, Utah. A Self taught musician, plays the keyboards and sings, choosing to look deep into personal struggles and triumphs, for lyrical inspiration. Spencer has a range of musical influences; such as Dave Matthews Band, U2, The Who, Jack Johnson, Billy Joel, and Citizen Cope. The result is a wide variety of feeling and emotion combined with a groove that puts this soul music in the hears of music listeners of all genres and ages.
Beginning singing and writing songs in 2003, Spencer began playing solo at Salt Lakes piano bar The Cabana Club. Performing weekly with various other local musicians for many years before releasing his first full length album (Simple Vibe) on June 8 , 2006. now only available on ITunes, this album was a fan favorite and the start of a long road. Continuing writing and growing as a musician, Spencer released two other albums, (Taking Control) in August of 2008 and a two-song single release (So Strong) in Feb 2010 .

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Than in 2011, because of personal issues, Spencer stopped writing music , stopped performing, and eventually a year later stopped playing music at all. Feeling overcome with self doubt Spencer gave up on music and in many ways gave up on life.
In 2013 , friend and bandmate Vito Perry ( who had joined Spencer to play bass back in 2007) started jamming again with Spencer and Vito moved back to his natural instrument , The Guitar. Vito, an experienced band front man and songwriter , and Spencer began co-writing songs…and it just started happening. Song after song, after song, next thing you know everything had changed for Spencer emotional and as things picked back up , Vitos father Anthony Perry, veteran drummer, joined the group on percussion and officially The Spencer Nielsen Band was formed ,late summer of 2014. They started working on the album :MellowrottenMusic” . Soon after With the help of a crowdfunding effort thru Indiegogo, SNB was able to presale enough cds and sponsorships to record a full length album in SLC, Utah and mix and master the final product in Oakland , California with producer Matthew Winegar. (MellowRottenMusic) was independent released April 25, 2015 as the Spencer Nielsen Band debut album . It is now available on ITunes for digital download. Also see and hear the song “Better” from the new album on youtube @ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AzRVrB0kEAA
Recently SNB has been joined by veteran bass player Thomas Krug from SLC, Ut bringing a full stage sound to the bands live performance. Follow The Spencer Nielsen Band on facebook for updates and show dates.

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

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

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

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