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“The vocabulary of ballet never changes, it is only the usage that becomes outmoded.” - William Forsythe
Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, a contemporary ballet company in San Francisco, believes that ballet is an expressive and vital voice relevant to our times. Imagery’s artists share the belief that through collaboration & experimentation, vibrant and courageous ideas are expressed and habitual reactions are discouraged. Imagery’s mission is to expand the definition of ballet by exploding preconceptions of what ballet is and can be.
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Amy Seiwert received her first choreographic commission in 1999 from Ricky Weiss at the Carolina Ballet. That summer, she and a group of hand picked dancers traveled to Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, to compete in the Festival des Arts Choreography Competition. Seiwert won, securing a residency for herself and her dancers the following summer.
That same year, 1999, she moved to San Francisco, where she continued to hand pick dancers and present choreography on a project based basis. With the premiere of “lessness” in 2004, the group picked a name, and im’ij-re was formed. The company incorporated in 2011 as Amy Seiwert’s Imagery and received its 501(c)3 determination letter from the IRS in early 2013.
Seiwert’s artistic direction reflects commitment to create and present work of excellence and influence. Though she is a sought after choreographer, with commissions from companies across the country, it is with Imagery that she can continually take risks and hone her artistic voice. Part of the company’s mission is to collaborate with artists of other disciplines, those collaborators include such fantastic talents as software artist Frieder Weiss, spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and composers Kevin Keller and Darren Johnston.
Imagery serves contemporary artists whose careers are enhanced through this artistic process, as well as local and national dance audiences who have come to expect surprising, meticulous and remarkable work. The company’s growth has been sustainable, receiving consistent critical and audience acclaim.
Home grown projects include the SKETCH Series and Move to the Now. The SKETCH Series was created to foster risk and innovation in ballet based choreography. The company brings in guest choreographers, introducing the Bay Area to choreographers such as Gina Patterson, Matthew Neenan and Adam Hougland and showcasing such local talents as Val Caniparoli and Julia Adam. Move to the Now, co-produced with Post:Ballet, is a free National Dance Week event that celebrates the diversity of the Bay Area dance community. Set in a non-traditional venue, such local celebrated companies as ODC, Chitresh Das, Smuin, Raw Dance, LEVY Dance and Dance Through Time have contributed to this yearly event.
Other performances include WestWave Dance, Get in Front Benefit, Dances From the Heart Benefit, Dancers Over 40 / Equity Fights AIDS Benefit in New York, Contemporary Dance Theater Guest Artist Series in Cincinnati, OH, Concept Series, SF International Arts Festival, Left Coast Leaning; curator, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, LEVYdance Salon, Dancing Under the Stars in the Palm Desert and Sunken Cathedrals; curator, Rob Bailis.
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Artistic Director, Amy Seiwert
Amy Seiwert enjoyed a nineteen-year performing career dancing with the Smuin, LA Chamber and Sacramento Ballets.
As a dancer with Smuin Ballet she became involved with the “Protégé Program” where her choreography was mentored by the late Michael Smuin, and became Choreographer in Residence there upon her retirement from dancing in 2008. Named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, her first full evening of choreography was named one of the “Top 10” dance events of 2007 by the SF Chronicle.
Twice she has worked with dancers from New York City Ballet, participating in the NY Choreography Institute at the invitation of Peter Martins. Collaborations include works with visual designers Marc Morozumi and Matthew Antaky, composers Daniel Bernard Roumain and Mason Bates, media designer Frieder Weiss and spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.
She is honored to have been an Artist in Residence at ODC Theater from 2013-15 and to have works in the repertory of Ballet Austin, BalletMet, Smuin, Washington, Atlanta, Oakland, Sacramento, Colorado, Louisville, Cincinnati, Carolina, Oklahoma City, Dayton, Milwaukee and American Repertory Ballets as well as Robert Moses KIN.
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Board of Directors
Niko Mayer, Chair
Lori Laqua, Treasurer
Amy Seiwert, Secretary
Board Member Emeritus: Fred Terman
Imagery is currently seeking individuals to join the Imagery Board who believe in Amy Seiwert’s vision and Imagery’s mission. People who are excited to support the company and its continued growth. We look for team players who celebrate risk taking and collaboration. If you are interested in learning more, contact us.
April 25, 2017 1
ANTHONY CANNARELLA, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, trained at the Monona Academy of Dance and the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the Rock, Anthony joined the Sacramento Ballet as an Apprentice and is now a Company Dancer, working under the direction Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda. Anthony has performed leading roles in “Peter Pan” and the “Nutcracker”. Anthony’s repertoire includes works by George Balanchine, Septime Webre, Ma Cong, and Ron Cunningham. Anthony first worked with Amy Seiwert while restaging “It’s Not a Cry” at Sacramento Ballet and is extremely excited to continue working with her for Amy Seiwert’s Imagery.
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ALYSIA CHANG, born in Berkeley, CA, is a current member of Oakland Ballet company. She graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance and a Minor in Arts Management (magna cum laude). She has danced with Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Music Circus, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York and toured through China with Ziru Dance. In San Francisco, she has danced with The San Francisco Opera Ballet, Concept O4, and DawsonDanceSF. Alysia’s repertoire includes works by Yannis Adoniou, Melissa Barak, Ron Cunningham, Val Caniparoli, Lila York, Graham Lustig, Amy Seiwert, Janice Garrett/Charles Moulton, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Helen Pickett and George Balanchine. Alysia is excited to be part of SKETCH this Summer.
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JAMES GILMER of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Pittsburgh School for the Creative & Performing Arts. After graduating in 2011, he joined Cincinnati Ballet where he worked with Amy Seiwert for the first time as a soloist in “I Think of You Often.” James has danced with the Cincinnati Ballet for six seasons where he’s performed works by Septime Webre, Ohad Naharin, Val Caniparoli, George Balanchine, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Jennifer Archibald, Trey McIntyre, Adam Hougland and Victoria Morgan to name a few. James began dancing with Imagery in 2013 as a part of Sketch 3.
April 25, 2017 1
TINA LAFORGIA MORSE
TINA LAFORGIA MORSE is from Summerville, South Carolina and is currently about to start her fourth season with the Cincinnati Ballet. Tina has previously danced professionally with Charlotte Ballet (formerly known as North Carolina Dance Theatre), Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Syracuse City Ballet. Tina received her professional training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Ethan Stiefel and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Tina has enjoyed the opportunity to perform works by choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Jennifer Archibald, George Balanchine, Amy Seiwert, Victoria Morgan, Val Caniparoli, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Septime Webre, Adam Hougland, Ohad Naharin, and Trey McIntyre. Tina is very excited to be a part Amy Seiwert’s Imagery for the first time this summer.
May 2, 2017 2
JACKIE NASH, a native of Connecticut, is currently in her 8th season with Atlanta Ballet. She was trained at the Connecticut Dance School and The Rock School for Dance Education. During her summer studies, she attended the Chautauqua Institute, Nutmeg Conservatory, Miami City Ballet, and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. She has enjoyed dancing roles such as Marya in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and the principal roles in Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony and Firebird. Jackie has performed featured roles in works by Christopher Wheeldon, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Douglas Lee, and Alexei Ratmansky. She has also had the pleasure of working with James Kudelka, Jorma Elo, and Ohad Naharin.
May 2, 2017 1
BEN NEEDHAM-WOOD, hailing from Massachusetts, has been part of Imagery since the inaugural Sketch series in 2011. After graduating from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio (magna cum laude), Ben joined the Louisville Ballet for five seasons. He continued his performance career as an artist with Smuin Ballet. Ben has danced the role of Romeo in Alun Jones’s Romeo & Juliet, Armand in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, and featured roles in contemporary works by Adam Hougland, Jiri Kylian, Helen Pickett, and Amy Seiwert, among others. As an emerging choreographer, he has created works for Louisville Ballet, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, and Smuin. Ben is co-creator of BaseBallet with Weston Krukow, an Emmy Award winning dance documentary short produced by Comcast Sports Network Bay Area.
May 23, 2017 0
GABRIEL SMITH started dancing at the age of 12 in his hometown of Saugerties, NY at the Saugerties Ballet Center. For his senior year of High school, Gabriel traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to study with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. After completing both the Schenley and Graduate programs, Gabriel joined the company in 2005. In 2008 Gabriel joined Ballet Met in Columbus, OH where he still lives, dances, composes, choreographs, and creates. Gabe has performed works by Christopher Wheeldon, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Dwight Rhoden, Amadeo Amodio, George Balanchine, James Kudelka, Edwaard Liang, David Nixon, Lauri Stallings, Jimmy Orrante, BIrgit Scherzer, Amy Seiwert, Mathew Neenan, and Jerome Robbins. Check out more at GabrielGaffneySmith.com
April 26, 2017 0
SHANIA RASMUSSEN originally from Denver, Colorado, received her dance training at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the School of American Ballet. She is in her fourth season with the Sacramento Ballet, where she has had the privilege to perform in works of choreographers such as George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Amy Seiwert, Darrell Moultrie, Septime Webre, and Ma Cong, among others. Shania is part of the Capital Dance Project for which she presented her unique work Catalyst in the 2015 presentation of ‘Behind The Barre,’ and Emergence in the 2016 performance. Shania has a breadth of artistic talents beyond the stage including graphic design, computer programming & creating original musical compositions. She first got the opportunity to work with Amy Seiwert on It’s Not a Cry at the Sacramento Ballet, and is looking forward to being part of SKETCH this summer.
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SARAH CECILIA GRIFFIN was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. From the age of four, she trained in classical ballet with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Ballet Estudio Maria Cecilia Diaz (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Kansas City Ballet School, and Barnard College, Columbia University. Sarah has performed a varied repertoire of classical and contemporary work with Kansas City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, and Oakland Ballet. She currently dances with Oregon Ballet Theatre and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery.
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SCOTT MARLOWE is a dancer, actor, and director. From 2005 to 2015, Marlowe created and performed with San Francisco based LEVYdance as a Company Artist and the company’s Associate Director. His 2014 evening-length work Soar was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design. Marlowe is currently working with both Risa Jaroslow and Dancers and [detour dance] as a performer and collaborator. In 2013, Marlowe starred in the internationally acclaimed feature film Test, written and directed by Chris Mason Johnson. Test won the 2013 Outfest Grand Jury Awards for Outstanding Feature Film and Outstanding Screenwriting and was nominated for a 2015 John Cassavetes Film Independent Spirit Award. He started working with Imagery in December 2015.
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KELSEY MCFALLS is from Syracuse, New York. She has trained with Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory, and American Ballet Theatre. Her career began as an apprentice with American Repertory Ballet in Princeton, New Jersey. She went on to dance as a company member for American Contemporary Ballet, Company C, and Peninsula Ballet Theatre. Currently, Kelsey performs as a guest artist for the San Francisco Symphony, as a company member for Dance Theatre of San Francisco, and works as the chief operations officer for a Berkeley-based educational technology company, Socos.