Imagine Ballet Theatre Presents THE SECRET GARDEN

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 26 and 27, 2019.

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 fourteen years ago. To further celebrate The Secret Garden, the composer Kurt Bestor will be conducting Chamber Orchestra Ogden.

Also April 26, 2019 is the day of the CD release of the beloved score for The Secret Garden which was recently recorded in Prague, Czech Republic, performed by the Czech Symphony Orchestra under the creative baton of Kurt Bestor.

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 and abandoned from the time of Lily's death. Mary's friendships grow alongside the flowers in her beloved garden. Mary's transformation spreads the same new beauty throughout the cold household and warms the heart of her grieving uncle.

Mary is brought to life by two seasoned young dancers: Emily Pope (an IBT company dancer since 2016) and Anna Cloward (an IBT company dancer since 2016). Both have been IBT company dancers since 2016. These young ballerinas were recently seen in a great variety of challenging roles throughout Imagine Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker.

Darren Tomlinson, a former dancer with Oklahoma Ballet and Imagine Ballet Theatre's Drosselmeyer from The Nutcracker, will portray the grieving Archibald Craven. Guest artist, Christina Stockdale, Dance Captain of Tournament of Kings at Excalibur, Imagine Ballet Theatre Faculty Member and former Nevada Ballet Theater dancer, haunts the stage as the graceful and guiding ghost of Lily Craven. This role will also be danced by Tessa Parkinson who has been a member of Imagine Ballet Theatre for 16 years and is a teacher at IBT as well.

Performance times are April 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on April 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $12 to $30 and are available through Peery's Egyptian Theater, with box office hours Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 2415 Washington Blvd, Ogden, by telephone at (801) 689-8700; or at Smithtix at

Kurt Bestor, an Emmy-Award-winning and Grammy-nominated composer, is known for the incredible range of musical genres in which he excels. From his full orchestral film scores for IMAX movies like Great American West and Sedona to cutting edge synth compositions for television shows and video games, there's virtually no style he has not composed. Bestor's music is played by orchestras, bands, and singers the world over. His popular anthem "Prayer of the Children" is still one of the most sung choir songs in the world and is currently being covered by American Idol finalist David Archuleta and the iconic rock group Three Dog Night. When not composing, Bestor performs his traditional holiday show to sold-out audiences in the Intermountain West and his classical compositions and orchestral pops shows with various orchestras throughout the world. He and his wife, Petrina, and daughter Ella make their home in the mountains of Utah.

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, Bournonville Workshop with Masters. This workshop brings 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. This production has been generously supported by RAMP, Ogden City Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Artworks National Endowment for the Arts, The Peery's Egyptian Theater, The Bigelow Hotel, The Lawrence T. and Janet T Dee Foundation.

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