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Friday, May 26, 2006

Imagine Ballet Theatre Company

My favorite personal project last year was with The Imagine Ballet Theatre Company. Raymond VanMason is the founder of the Company, an amazing dancer, and choreographer. During the fall of 2005 the company performed his original work, "The Secret Garden" based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

I had the opportunity of documenting the last few weeks of rehearsal before the performance. They have a very rigorous schedule of practice along with their performance practice. I was completely amazed at the dedication and commitment these dancers have at such a young age. The majority of the dancers are still in high school and the principal dancers are in college. They have long days, they attend school and then many of them come straight from there to dance until nine o'clock at night. They have practices at least three times a week. As the performance got closer they were spending every waking hour that they weren't at school at the dance studio or on stage. Everyday is very demanding. Raymond VanMason expects a very high standard from his dancers and they work hard to surpass it. One of the things that I think is so special about this company is the camaraderie, love, and support they give each other. Raymond has done a lot to foster that atmosphere and it is obvious in the way each of the dancers in the company respect and love him.

Their hard work and efforts at perfection paid off. The performances were so moving. I was just amazed by the level of maturity and stage presence they all had. I was so honored to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people.

Thank you!

The slideshow.

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