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 (Principal 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.
Justin Hunte (Company Dancer) joined VISIONS in 2018. During his teenage years, after moving from Brooklyn to Queens, is when the native New Yorker discovered dance as an art form, studying at Simunye Dance Center. He later became an instructor at the school, teaching various forms of dance. Justin also performs with Vissi Dance Theater and Bloodline Dance Theater.
Temple Kemezis (Understudy) joined VISIONS in 2017. Originally from Tenessee, she began training at age 15 with the School of Nashville Ballet, and continued with teachers Dennis Marshall and Marjorie Grundvig in Seattle, Washington. Summer programs include Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (NYC). She has performed with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dances Patrelle, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Intermezzo Dance Company and Sensedance, including a tour to Peru. She has performed new works by Cherylyn Lavagnino, Pascal Rekoert-Valdez, Kate Thomas and Caitlin Trainor. Other performances include theatrical production, Peter and the Wolf, directed by Isaac Mizrahi, at the Guggenheim Museum, with choreography by John Heginbotham; and the runway show for designer Berenik at New York Fashion Week. She is a co-founding director with partner Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba of the Higher Ground Festival, an Upper Manhattan interdisciplinary arts festival which practices community building through art.
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 Contemporary Ballet 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 former PAB directors/co-founders, Margarita de Saa and John White, and character dance teacher, Tatiana Kudrjavcev; and at University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Laura has danced as an apprentice with New York Theatre Ballet; was a company dancer at New Generation Dance Company, which fused Argentine tango with neoclassical dance, and Neville Dance Theatre; and has free-lanced with other companies. She has also danced for television and a Lebanese pop music video. As a choreographer she has created two works, “Homage to Wood” and “Overshadow,” which were both performed in New York City. She has taught dance in New York City for Bridge for Dance, Hamilton Dance Studio, and for choreographer David Fernandez. She received her Yoga Alliance 200-hour RYT certification through ISHTA Yoga in the summer of 2015 and teaches yoga in the greater New York City area.
Manon Hallay (Apprentice) joined VISIONS in 2017. She has studied in the US at The Ailey School and Boston Ballet School, in her native country of France at the Biarritz Academie International de Danse, and in Belgium at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp. She is Artistic Director of Les Ballets Nomades et Sonores, a dancer with the Amanda Selwyn Dance Theater and Teaching Artist for Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theatre.
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. email@example.com
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 (Taylor) 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://184.108.40.206/journal/1102/alumni-news
Our LIC (2011) http://www.ourlic.com/calendar/index.php?eID=1347
The Juilliard Journal (September 2010) http://220.127.116.11/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