Imagine Ballet Theatre to Present THE SECRET GARDEN, 4/17-18

Imagine Ballet Theatre, an Ogden-based ballet company, is bringing spring to the stage of Peery's Egyptian Theatre, with their colorful production of The Secret Garden on April 17 and 18, 2015. Ten years ago, Imagine Ballet Theatre, with the direction and choreography of Artistic Director Raymond Van Mason and a magical score composed exclusively for the company by Kurt Bestor, brought the literary masterpiece of Francis Hodgson Burnett to life. To further celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Imagine Ballet Theatre's The Secret Garden, the composer Kurt Bestor will be conducting the live orchestra.

The Secret Garden is the beloved story of Mary Lennox, a disagreeable eleven-year-old girl orphaned by the ravages of cholera in India. Mary is sent to live in the Moors of Yorkshire, England with her Uncle Archibald Craven. Mary's bad temper and neglect shadow her life and friendships until she accidentally discovers the secret garden of her Aunt Lily, which has remained locked since Lily's death. Mary and her friendships grow with the flowers in her beloved garden. Mary's transformation spreads throughout the cold household and warms the heart of her grieving uncle.

Mary is brought to life by three seasoned, young dancers; Sonya Krzhanovsky (an IBT company dancer since 2012), Aleksandra Winkler (company dancer since 2013), and Aryana Imani (company dancer since 2012). All three young ballerinas were recently seen in a great variety of challenging roles throughout Imagine Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker. Raymond Van Mason, Artistic Director of Imagine Ballet Theatre and former Principal Dancer at Ballet West, portrays the grieving Archibald Craven. Guest artist, Christina Stockdale, Imagine Ballet Theatre Faculty Member and former Nevada Ballet Theater dancer, haunts the stage as the graceful and guiding ghost of Lily Craven.

Performance times are April 17, 18 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on April 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $15 to $29 and are available through Peery's Egyptian Theater, with box office hours Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 2415 Washington Blvd, Ogden; by telephone at (801)689-8700; or at Smithtix at

Raymond Van Mason created Imagine Ballet Theatre in 2004 to offer the company of dancers, unique opportunities to work with professional artists and to foster professional performing experiences. This summer Imagine Ballet Theatre will be hosting one such unique opportunity through a Bournonville Workshop with Masters, bringing talented teachers from all over Europe to educate dancers. Imagine Ballet Theatre has been recognized with the 2005 Utah Best of State Award for Best Children's Performing Group as well as the Judy G. Mayer Award for Small Groups for their performance in Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA. Dancers from Imagine Ballet Theatre have received recognition and scholarships from prestigious ballet companies across the nation such as American Ballet Theatre in New York City, Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, The Rock for Dance Education in Pennsylvania, The Joffrey Ballet in New York City, and many others.

In additional to being the Founder and Artistic Director of Imagine Ballet Theatre, Van Mason is a celebrated choreographer, artist, and master ballet teacher. His choreography has been performed by numerous companies including Ballet West, Ballet Pacifica, and Ballet GranDiva. Before forming Imagine Ballet Theatre, Van Mason danced as a principal artist with Ballet West. His noted roles include leading roles in Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Giselle. Mason holds a BFA in Ballet from The University of Utah.

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