Imaginique

Imaginique Contemporary Ballet

Imaginique Contemporary Ballet, a professional dance troupe, was founded by MaryElizabeth Ameal in 2005.  The company has earned warm applause and standing ovations from audiences in the Sarasota area, while performing at the beautiful Sarasota Opera House, The Players Theater, and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.  The troupe performs cutting edge contemporary choreography, with an eclectic and diverse repertoire encompassing the many styles of Ballet, Modern, Latin, Afro-Cuban, Jazz, & Contemporary.

Upcoming Performances

Imaginique Contemporary Ballet is excited to announce its recent collaboration with local Jazz band, Jazz Juvenocracy!  Imaginique will choreograph and perform their contemporary spin on The Nutcracker, accompanied by the live music of Jazz Juvenocracy, who will be playing the music of Jazz greats, Duke Ellington and The Sultans of Swing! Performances will be December 21-23, 2012 at the Glenridge Theater in Palmer Ranch, Sarasota, FL.  For info on this performance, click the link provided to be redirected to Jazz Juvenocracy’s website.

The Artists

MaryElizabeth Ameal, Artistic Director/Choreographer
MaryElizabeth Ameal trained in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz at Florida Ballet Arts School in Sarasota for twelve years, before furthering her training at Connecticut’s prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts.  Her many acceptances to summer intensives included Boston Ballet, Princeton Ballet, Walnut Hill School of the Arts, Washington Ballet, and Colorado Ballet.  She performed in apprentice ballet companies from ages 14-17, including Sarasota Ballet Junior Company under the direction of  the world acclaimed choreographer Eddy Toussaint and Nutmeg Ballet Company under the direction of Sharon Dante.  As a professional dancer, she performed for Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Classical Ballet Theatre, and as a contemporary dancer for Starpointe Productions.  She has performed for major full length classical productions, as well as contemporary for benefits, industrials, as part of major opening acts as a free-lance artist, including Oxy Chem Corporation’s National Corporate Convention on Sanibel Island, and as a guest dancer with Ballet South, Southern Ballet Theatre, and Miami City Ballet.  MaryElizabeth served as the Artistic/Executive Director of Florida Ballet Arts Academy and the Florida Ballet Arts Ensemble from 2000-2010, and is currently the Director of Florida Ballet Arts – Professional Dance Alliance, an organization focused on offering a wide variety of resources for dancers and dance organizations, including private coaching and Master Classes for serious aspiring young students.  She has served as Ballet Master to San Diego Ballet, West Florida Ballet, and as a resident Ballet Master to Unity Dance Ensemble out of Los Angeles, under the direction of SYTYCD choreographer Tessandra Chavez.  Having always had a love and passion for several forms of dance, MaryElizabeth founded Imaginique Contemporary Ballet in 2005, with the intent of dazzling the community with new and innovative choreography by combining various styles of dance to form an eclectic repertoire that features mulit-talented performers who each bring something special and unique to the stage.


Stefan Gernaga, Stage Director/Co-choreographer

Stefan Gernaga began his dance career at the age of 11, with the Ukrainian dance company Kashtan. During his time with Kashtan he decided to further his ballet training at the University of Akron, where he received a B.F.A. in Dance and performed in productions of Turondo, My Fair Lady, Tales of Hoffman, Pirates of Penzance, Carmen, Giselle, Swan Lake, La Bayadare, Graduation Ball, Choreographic Offering, Nutcracker with the Cleveland Ballet under the direction of Denise Nahat and the Cleveland Opera. Upon his graduation, Stefan moved to Sarasota to dance with Sarasota Ballet under the direction of Eddy Toussaint where he performed in Cantate, Concerto Por Sophie, Bodies, Alexei le de Trotuerand, Florida Suite. Stefan’s desire to further his artistic expression took him to the Charleston Ballet Theater under the direction of Jill Ethourne Barr where he performed as a soloist in Sleeping Beauty, Firebird, Ballet One, Romeo and Juliet, Dracula, Captured Angel and Nutcracker. Stefan later joined Ballet Eddy Toussaint as principal in Requiem, Beethoven 7th symphony, Dracula, Souvenance, Concerto en Movement. Stefan also had the opportunity to train with the ballet master of Bejart Ballet and Jacque Daimios, which added to artistry and performance. Mr. Gernaga has been performing and guest teaching with the Florida Ballet Arts Ensemble and Academy since 2001, and joined Florida Ballet Arts as a faculty member and choreographer in 2009.  He joined Imaginique Contemporary Ballet in 2005.


Maksim Spasov,
Co-choreographer
Maksim Spasov studied at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Theatre.  As a professional dancer, he performed as a Premier Dancer for Teatro lirico d’europa, as well as for the Bulgarian National Ballet.  He currently owns and directs Premier Dance Studio in Lakewood Ranch, specializing in Ballroom Dance.  This is his debut performance with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet.


Alexey Kondratyuk
Alexey Kondratyuk was born in Kourgan, Russia.  He graduated from Perms National Dance Academy in Russia.  With more than twenty five years of professional dance experience, Alexey has preformed as a Principal Dancer for internationally known companies such as Grigorovich Ballet and for regional companies such as Sarasota Ballet. He is now continuing his career as a Ballroom and Ballet teacher for Premier Dance Studio in Lakewood Ranch.  This is Alexey’s debut performance with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet.


Lynda Holland
Lynda Holland was born in Medina, Ohio and began her ballet training at the age of five at the Medina Academy of Classical Ballet.  At the age of eleven, Ms. Holland became a member of the Ohio Youth Ballet, an extension of the Ohio Ballet in Akron.  She attended many summer intensives, including Chautauqua Instituition, Vassar College, Ballet Met, Cleveland Ballet, South Carolina Dance Conservatory, and the Sarasota Ballet.  Lynda has studied under some of the most prestigious ballet masters, including Dennis Nahat, Stanislav Issaev, Michael Vernon, Edward Villella, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Cynthia Gregory.  Lynda moved to Sarasota in 1998 and began dancing at the Sarasota Ballet while attending college for a nursing degree.  From 2000-2010, she performed as a soloist in the Florida Ballet Arts Ensemble, under the direction of MaryElizabeth Ameal, and in 2005, she joined Imaginique Contemporary Ballet.  Lynda is a Registered Nurse and is currently employed as the Clinical Manager of the General Medical/Surgical and Residency Unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.  She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Nursing with the specialization in Leadership and Management at Walden University.


Rania Charalambidou
Rania Charalambidou left her home country of Cyprus to further her dance education.  She began college at Jacksonville University (JU) where she was awarded the Outstanding Freshman and Outstanding Sophomore awards.  She later transferred to New York City where she attended Marymount Manhattan College (MMC).  At MMC she graduated Magnum Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education and a minor in Mathematics.  While at MMC she also trained at the Joffrey Ballet School and with Elena Kunikova at Steps on Broadway. During college she guest performed with Florida Ballet, Freespace Dance and Chen Dance Center (formerly Arts Gate Center).  During her professional dance career, Rania has been a company member with Charleston Ballet Theater, Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Sarasota Ballet, and currently with the Columbia City Ballet. While with Sarasota Ballet she was selected to perform with the Asolo Repertory Theatre in the Tony-Award winning musical “Contact.”  Rania has guest performed for many organizations such as Revelle Academy, School of Russian Ballet of Sarasota, Amfithdromo Chorotheatro in Cyprus, Dance Theatre United N. H., Diesel | Fusion Dance Theatre, and many more.  She was also invited by the Cyprus Ministry of Culture to guest perform in the 50th anniversary celebration of her country’s independence.  Outside of dance, Rania is the co-owner of Long Body Yoga.


Danny Mitsios

Danny Mitsios attended Jacksonville University where he graduated Magnum cum Laude with departmental honors in Dance and Magnum cum Laude in Computer Information Systems.  While at Jacksonville University he was awarded the Dance Management, Most Improved Dancer, and Dance Contribution Award. During college, he also studied at Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts.  At Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, he had the opportunity to work with Moses Pendelton of Momix, whose Modern Dance class at Nutmeg was used to choreograph Lunar Sea for Moses Pendelton, which is now touring for Momix. He was also awarded the Service Award and attended Nutmeg on scholarship.  Upon graduation he began performing professionally.  He has been fortunate enough to perform with Florida Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, HT Chen & Dancers, Busch Gardens, Ballet Revelle, and currently at Columbia City Ballet.  At HT Chen & Dancers, he had the opportunity to be part of two World Premiers (“Shift” and “Apple Dreams”) where he performed soloist roles and has toured with the company across the United States.  Danny has also been a guest performer with many organizations such as Georgia Performance Center, Alabama Dance Conservatory, Ovations Dance Repertory Company, Freespace Dance, Equilateral Theater, Connecticut Dance Theatre, Chen Dance Center (formerly Arts Gate Center), Revelle Academy, School of Russian Ballet, and Diane Partington School of Classical Ballet.  In addition to a dance career, Danny is also co-owner of Long Body Yoga and TheGreatestWebAndGraphics.com.


Brooke Wasserman
Born in Marlborough, CT, after receiving a scholarship toward her summer studies, Brooke Wasserman trained at The Sarasota Ballet Academy in Sarasota, FL under the direction of Adrian Ciobanu following her initial education with founding company member Yseult Leger at the age of 12. The school’s faculty included Pavel Fomin, Isabel Dubrocq and Ludmila Lopukhova. While studying, she was invited to perform with The Sarasota Ballet performing in Eva Peron: A Dance Portrait, Coppelia, Don Quioxte and as Mary in La Boutique Fantasque. She has performed roles such as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, March Hare in Alice in Wonderland, and Pas De Trois in Paquita. In 2008, Brooke enrolled in the State University of New York at Purchase College where she had the opportunity to perform in the Dancer’s Responding to AIDS program at the Joyce Theater and was a member of the Purchase Dance Corps performing several BFA and MFA contemporary works. She then moved to Connecticut where she danced with Hartford City Ballet, CONNetic Dance, and the New American Youth Ballet in New York. Her coach has been famed teacher Alexei Tchernichov.  Other performances include: Robert De Warren’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, Vainonen’s Flames of Paris Pas De Deux, Carolyn Paine’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Roman Baca’s Homecoming, and Jonathan Riedel’s Verdant Fire.  This is Brooke’s debut performance with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet.

Apprentices

Lauren Tam
Lauren Tam, age 17, trained under the direction of MaryElizabeth Ameal at Florida Ballet Arts Academy from 2004-2010.  She has continued her training under the direction of former Florida Ballet Arts teachers, Sergiy Mykhaylov and Darya Fedotova, at their studio, the School of Russian Ballet.  As a long-term student of MaryElizabeth, Lauren is no stranger to performing her choreography, as she did over the many years she danced with Florida Ballet Arts Academy and the FBA Ensemble.  We are thrilled to have Lauren perform with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet in her debut performance with the company.  It is a sentimental reunion that we are so excited for!

Gabrielle Ayala
Gabrielle Ayala, age 13, is a student of MaryElizabeth Ameal and Stefan Gernaga, and trains at Revelle Academy, under the direction of Evelyn Squires.  This is Gabrielle’s debut performance with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet.

Bit Risner
Bit Risner, age 15, is a student of MaryElizabeth Ameal and Stefan Gernaga, and trains at Revelle Academy, under the direction of Evelyn Squires.  She founded the band Jazz Juvenocracy five years ago and her passion is the Trumpet.  This is Bit’s first time performing with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet, where she will dazzle the audience with her Trumpet playing and will jump into her dancin’ shoes to take the stage with the dancers!

Daniil Smirnov 
Daniil Smirnov, age 16, is a student of MaryElizabeth Ameal and Stefan Gernaga, and trains at Revelle Academy, under the direction of Evelyn Squires.  This is Daniil’s debut performance with Imaginique Contemporary Ballet.