VISIONS Contemporary Ballet is an ethnically diverse company committed to presenting spiritually uplifting contemporary ballet works in artistically excellent concert dance performances to a wide range of communities. It seeks to build new dance audiences and provoke thought and educate by creating and performing inspirational works which explore the human experience.
VISIONS Contemporary Ballet, established in 2007 under the direction of Ranardo-Domeico Grays, is an innovative contemporary ballet company, exuding strength and passion in every piece. Choreographically VISIONS' repertoire transcends any one culture. It relays universal messages of the human experience and can be enjoyed by audiences of any age. The company has performed in New York and Michigan. Recently the company presented VISIONS Contemporary Ballet 10-Year Anniversary Performance: Healing Works! at Dixon Place. VISIONS has been presented by The Harlem Arts Festival 2017; Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center in the Souls of Our Feet People of Color Dance Festival/Dancing the Single Life and PEEKS/Works in Progress; Dixon Place in Fast Forward, Under Exposed and Moving Men; Green Space in Fertile Ground; The Wassaic Project Summer Festival, American Cancer Society/Making Strides Walk in the Events Ceremony at The Bandshell in Central Park, New York City in 2017, 2016, 2013, 2012, and 2011; Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in Blaktino Performance Series, Boogie Down Dance Series, and Out Like That! in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009; The Field/Lower Manhattan Cultural Council/Harlem Arts Alliance in the Uptown/Downtown Work-in-Progress performance development program at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Chen Dance Center; Forward Motion Theater as part of the Long Island City Arts Open Festival in Re:Vision; The Field and Abrons Arts in the Fall Fielday Performance at Abrons Arts Center Henry Street Settlement; and Town Sports International as special guest in New York Sports Clubs' Best Dance Crew Showcase at Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall. VISIONS presented two evenings of original works in In Remembrance, dedicated to the lives lost and survivors of 9/11, at the Roy Arias Theater. VISIONS has collaborated with Blue Muse Dance in a presentation by The Flea Theater in Dance Conversations, in the Emo Project at Chashama and in a co-production of Reach at the Producers Club. VISIONS has also collaborated with Vangeline Theater, Damon White/Studio Green Penguin and Mikhail Torich. In addition VISIONS has performed at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Kabbalah Center, and other NYC venues.
Ranardo-Domeico Grays (Founder/Artistic Director), native of Detroit, is an alumnus of The Juilliard School, California Institute of the Arts (BFA), the Alvin Ailey School and Interlochen Arts Academy. He has studied choreography under Betsy Schulberg and Doris Rudko. He has performed with Sensedance, Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Urban Wash Dance Company, the La Toya Jackson Tour, Garth Fagan, Zach Morris, and Celebrity Cruises, throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. He has choreographed and danced for KiKi Hawkins/The KiKi Experience at the NYC Annual MADONNATHON and SummerStage. He was a panelist in “Queer Butoh – Transcending the Identity of Sex” presented by Howl Arts, the NY Butoh Institute and Vangeline Theater.He is a member of SAG/AFTRA, AEA, and has acted in film (Slow Jam King, Shortcut to Happiness and State Property 2) and television (Law & Order, Gossip Girl, Canterbury’s Law and The Nanny), and was choreographer/co-host of VH-1’s Rock of Ages. He also was assistant choreographer in the Off Broadway musical, Hitgirls, and has done voice-over as Final New Doctor for TRANS-MISSION, an off-Broadway play written and performed by Barbra Herr and directed by Luis Caballero. He taught Master Class workshops in Contemporary Ballet at Marygrove College; Chicago, Sweet Charity and A Chorus Line workshops at New York Sports Clubs; Urban Fusion at Equinox and Ripley Grier Studios; and Afro-Latin-Funk at American Express' NY Corporate headquarters. As Dance Director of Morris High School, he staged/choreographed Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story and Little Shop of Horrors. Ranardo is a brain cancer survivor!
Shannon Maynor (Company Dancer) has been with VISIONS since 2009. Originally from Los Angeles, she was a student at California Dance Theatre, where she was mentored by Stanley Holden. While at CDT she was a semifinalist at The Music Center Spotlight Awards. She went on to train and perform with San Francisco Ballet before joining Oregon Ballet Theatre. Since moving to New York she has had a fulfilling freelance career, dancing with CelloPointe, Eglevsky Ballet, and Nomad Contemporary Ballet, and choreographers such as Emery LeCrone, Gabrielle Lamb, and Annabella Gonzalez. She currently teaches at American Theater Dance Workshop and is on guest faculty at Eglevsky Ballet. She has also choreographed original works for CelloPointe and for Pacific Festival Ballet's Kaleidoscope program in Southern California. When not dancing or teaching Shannon travels whenever she can.
Alexandria Amstutz (Company Dancer) joined VISIONS in 2016. Originally from Shelby, Ohio, Alexandria began dancing at the age of four. She has trained at many schools, including The Ailey School, Dance Theater of Harlem, and American Ballet Theater. She is a cum laude College Honors Program graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, holding a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in dance with a ballet concentration. While at MMC, she performed works by Paul Taylor, Murray Louis, Al Blackstone, and Tito del Saz, among others. In addition to dancing with VISIONS, she dances for other companies, such as Bloodline Dance Theater and Awaken Dance Theater. alexandriaamstutz.wix.com/dance
Alden Henderson (Company Dancer) joined VISIONS in 2017. Originally from St. Peters, Missouri, he attended Texas Christian University, where he earned a BFA degree with a major concentration in Ballet and Modern Dance. He was a Junior Company Member of Ballet Memphis. He studied at Dance Connection Performing Arts Center in St. Peters, Missouri and became a student teacher there. He was a Master Teacher at Excel Performing Arts Center, also in St. Peters.
Allegra Kirksey-Curtis (Company Dancer) joined VISIONS in 2018. From Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Allegra started dancing at the age of three. She studied with Oscar Hawkins, Tamara Manukovskaya, Roland Cutter, Andrea Long, Ludmila Mokiva, Raymond Rodriguez and Claudia Gumbinner. She received dance training at Ballet Arts Academy, Kirov Academy of Ballet, The Harid Conservatory, City Dance, and Maryland Youth Ballet. She attended summer intensive programs with American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and Palm Beach Ballet. She performed works by choreographers such as Christopher Huggins, Sean Carmon, Shannon Alvis and Jimmy Orrante. She has taught ballet at her old studio, Ballet Arts Academy, in Waldorf, MD. Allegra placed fifth in Denver YAGP Semi-Finals.
Denzel Taylor (Company Dancer) Originally from Houston, Texas, Denzel has studied at The Houston MET, The Ailey School, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and others. He has received various awards in dance and choreography, such as Tommy Tunes and NAACP ACT-SO. He has performed in New York City with Ballet Inc. He has also worked with ASHA Dance Company, Houston Red Door Productions, Genesis Contemporary Ballet Theater, Central Connecticut University, Houston DanceZone, Broadway Dance Labs, Aldine ISD-Houston TX, and Coasting Along Theater-Vancouver Canada. Denzel would like you to know, “Even if I get knocked down, I get back up stronger!!”
Sasha Alvarez (Company Dancer) Originally from Tampa, Florida, Sasha began her formal dance training at age 15 under the direction of Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus while attending the Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory and the Howard W. Blake School of the Arts. She attended training programs including Nederlands Dans Theatre, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Axis Connect. She received her BFA degree with a concentration in modern dance from Point Park University. Sasha has performed with Helen Simoneau Danse and Hammerstep, where she choreographed and performed for the “Indigo Grey” installation at Mana Contemporary Museum. She shares her passion for dance through volunteering as an active member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Sasha is excited to be dancing this fall with VISIONS Contemporary Ballet!
Rebekah J. Kennedy (Special Guest Artist) was born and raised in New York City. She joined VISIONS in 2007 and is a founding company member. She holds an MFA in Dance (Choreography) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BS in Dance and Theatre from Skidmore College. She is also Artistic Director and choreographer of Urban Wash Dance Company. She has choreographed for and performed in various projects throughout the eastern United States, including Spiegel Tent, International Dance Festival at DiCapo Opera Theater, Joyce SoHo, Monkey Town, Dance New Amsterdam, Dancers Responding to AIDS Remember Project at St. Mark's Church, and additional venues http://www.urbanwash.org/
Laura DeRubeis-Byrne (Special Guest Artist)
has been with VISIONS since 2009. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet in Narberth, PA; at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia under the mentorship of Margarita de Saa and John White; Tatiana Kudrjavcev; and at University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Laura has danced as an apprentice with New York Theatre Ballet and was a company dancer at New Generation Dance Company and Neville Dance Theatre. She has also danced for television and a Lebanese pop music video. She has taught dance in New York City for Bridge for Dance, Hamilton Dance Studio, and for choreographer David Fernandez.
Vir-Amicus (Resident Lighting Designer/Composer) is originally from Houston, Texas, and has been with VISIONS since its inception. He has a BFA (Dance) from CalArts and MA (Experimental Performance) from New College of California. He has danced internationally, was a member of ODC/San Francisco, and was a principal dancer in The Matrix 2. He is an interdisciplinary artist who has served as Technical Director/Lighting Designer for BAAD, Malcolm Low/Formal Structure, Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre, and others. He was a recipient of the Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) fellowship award in Vocal Performance 2009. He was commissioned for an original score for Ailey II (2012) for "One Moment Forgotten" - Malcolm Low/Formal Structure and lead lighting designer for "Shadow Lands" (2013) by Bx-Rated. In 2014 he was a recipient of the MapFund Grant for composition. He has created original sound designs for VISIONS and other companies. http://vimeo.com/greenpenguin
Vanessa Corwin (Production Manager) joined VISIONS in 2016. A native New Yorker, she is an award-winning TV/video and film producer. Her work has screened on broadcast and cable television, as well as in numerous film festivals and independent venues. firstname.lastname@example.org
Connie Corwin (Marketing Director), a native of New York City, has been involved with VISIONS since its inception. She has a BA (Economics) from Queens College. She had a long career as a marketing executive for American Express and is currently running her own hairstyling business. Her interests include dance, fitness, music and travel. hairdesigneroncall.com
VISIONS Contemporary Ballet has had a variety of collaborators. We hope you too would like to explore ways to work with us to spiritually uplift and educate audiences by making it possible to bring healing works about the human experience to communities of all types and backgrounds.
Jose' Rolon Events http://joserolonevents.com/
Studio Green Penguin http://vimeo.com/greenpenguin
Vangeline Theater http://www.vangeline.com/
Mikhail Torich Media Design http://vimeo.com/torich
Andrew Williams (Key Photographer) https://www.facebook.com/andrew.williams3
Talla Designs (Tailor) https://www.facebook.com/Talla-Designs-446340755489371/
Kip Silva (Costume Designer) https://www.facebook.com/kip.silva
Active Phaze http://promodj.com/activephaze
Blue Muse Dance http://www.bluemusedance.org/
Out & About NYC Magazine http://outandaboutnycmag.com/thelma-hill-performing-arts-center-dancing-the-single-life-part-2/
Out & About NYC Magazine (Interview) http://outandaboutnycmag.com/o-a-nyc-thelma-hill-performing-arts-center-presents-peeks-works-in-progress/
The Juilliard Journal/Weathering the Economic Storm...and Flourishing http://www.juilliard.edu/journal/weathering-economic-storm-%E2%80%A6-and-flourishing
The New York Times/Three Ways to Burn Up Those Holiday Calories http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/23/fashion/23classyoga.html?pagewanted=print
The Wassaic Project http://wassaicproject.org/dance/
Out & About NYC Magazine http://outandaboutnycmag.com/thelma-hill-performing-arts-center-begins-spring-season-may-1/#more-1920
CAL Arts School of Dance Class Notes http://calarts.edu/alumni/notes/dance
Charmaine Warren Blog http://www.charmainewarren.com/blogspot/archives/05-2014/2
New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/arts/dance/dance-listings-for-may-2-8.html?_r=0
Broadway Baby http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/boogie-down-dance-series-bronx-centric/511454
Interlochen Center for the Arts http://www.interlochen.org/story/motifs-april-2014
The Juilliard Journal (May 2014)http://www.juilliard.edu/journal/1405/39019
The Juilliard Journal (Feburary 2014) http://www.juilliard.edu/journal/20707?destination=node/20707
Interlochen Center for the Arts http://wwwold.interlochen.org/crescendo/motifs-july-2012
Time Out New York (2012) http://www.timeout.com/newyork/dance/revision
The Juilliard Journal (Feburary 2011) http://126.96.36.199/journal/1102/alumni-news
Our LIC (2011) http://www.ourlic.com/calendar/index.php?eID=1347
The Juilliard Journal (September 2010) http://188.8.131.52/journal/14569?destination=node/14569
The Juilliard Journal (October 2009) http://www.juilliard.edu/journal/0910/alumni-news
The Juilliard Journal (November 2009) http://archive.today/XFLPG