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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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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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RACHEL FURST is from Baltimore, Maryland and received her training at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet BFA Program at Dominican University. In 2012, she began dancing with Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. She has had the pleasure of performing with Smuin Ballet, Dawson Dance SF and also works by Amy Seiwert, Michael Smuin, Val Caniparoli, Adam Hougland, Sidra Bell and Julia Adam, among others.
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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 began dancing with Imagery in 2013.
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ANNALI ROSE is currently a dancer with Ballet San Jose. Formerly, she danced with Trey McIntyre Project for four years and Sacramento Ballet for nine. She originally met Amy while working with Sacramento Ballet, and performed in her works “lessness,” “I Want Inside” and “End Quote” while with that company. She began working with Imagery in 2013.
Portrait by photographer Andrea Basile
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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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PETER FRANC is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Peter began dancing in Atlanta at the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and continued training with the Louisville Ballet School. Upon graduation Peter joined the Houston Ballet where he danced for 8 seasons rising to the rank of Demi-Soloist. Notable performances include works by Jerome Robbins, Jiri Kylian, Hans Van Manen, Stanton Welch, George Balanchine John Cranko, and Christopher Bruce. He then spent 3 seasons dancing with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performing a variety of contemporary work by Cayetano Soto, Alejandro Cerrudo, Jorma Elo and Nicolo Fonte. Peter is currently a Principle with the Oregon Ballet Theatre. SKETCH 6 will be his first project with Imagery.
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ANDRE SILVA is originally from Brasilia, Brazil. Andre received his US training at The Harid Conservatory and Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. He was a Company member of Texas Ballet Theater from 2003 to 2009, where he was featured in principal roles of Ben Stevenson’s classical Repertoire. Andre spent 5 seasons as principal Dancer with Les Grands Ballets de Montreal in Canada, where he performed leading roles in works by contemporary choreographers Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Stjin Celis, Christian Spuck Didy Veldman, and Jiri Kylian. He joined Germany’s Ballet Augsburg for one year where he worked with Stephen Shopshire, Angel Rodriguez, Young Soon-Hue, and Georg Reishl. Andre was the first recipient of the Booz Hamilton international “Rising Star Award” for excellence in dance and was a Silver Medalist at the International Ballet Competition in Shanghai, China. He has appeared as a guest artist at Houston’s Dance Salad and TITAS’ Festivals. In 2015 Andre returned as Principal Dancer to Texas Ballet Theater. Sketch 6 will be his first project with Imagery.
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BETH ANN MASLINOFF
BETH ANN MASLINOFF is from Gainesville, Florida, and graduated from The HARID Conservatory, where she received the Rudolf Nureyev Education Fellowship. She has performed professionally with Eglevsky Ballet, Dance Alive National Ballet, Alaska Dance Theatre and currently works for Eugene Ballet Company. After finishing in the top 12 of the Senior Women’s category at the 2012 Varna International Ballet Competition, she joined Alaska Dance Theatre, where she first worked with Amy in her creation of Monuments for the company. Beth is very excited to be a part of SKETCH 6.
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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.
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BRANDON FREEMAN, better known as “Private”, hails from Colorado. He started dancing at Colorado State University and with Canyon Concert Ballet, before a very successful 12-year career with ODC/Dance, in San Francisco, where he toured internationally. In the Bay Area, Private has also had the privilege of working with Berkeley Ballet Theater, Marin Ballet, Western Ballet, Peninsula Ballet, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Janice Garrett and Dancers, Katie Faulkner (Little Seismic Dance), TheaterWorks, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Liss Fain Dance, Oakland Ballet Company, and Sonya Delwaide; and was a principle dancer in the movie, ‘The Matrix II: Reloaded.’ He also had the rare opportunity to be a guest artist with the Colorado Ballet, performing in Glen Tetley’s Le Sacre Du Printemps in 2013, and danced with Wonderbound, in Denver, for 3 1⁄2 seasons. Nominated multiple times, Mr. Freeman received Isadora Duncan Awards for Ensemble Performance in 2002 with Brian Fisher, and in 2012 with Katie Faulkner, and most recently a 2014 Izzie for Ensemble Performance with Katherine Wells, for Amy Seiwert’s The Devil Ties My Tongue. Notably, Private received a nomination for Individual Performance in 2004 for his role, which he helped to create, in Brenda Way’s masterpiece, Investigating Grace. Brandon’s choreography includes works for Berkeley Ballet Theater, Marin Ballet, Canyon Concert Ballet, the Lines Contemporary Ballet BFA program, and collaborations with Deborah Slater. In addition to teaching ballet and modern dance technique (including Dance for Parkinson’s Disease), he is a woodworker, oil paints, and was formerly a Military Police Sergeant in the Army National Guard. He gratefully acknowledges all who have influenced his dance career; specifically Brenda, KT, Sonya, and Randy.
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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.