A ONE-OF-A-KIND PARTNERSHIP
Where else in rural Minnesota can young dancers interact with dance professionals on a frequent basis? Reif Dance is the place! In 2011, Reif Dance entered into a partnership with James Sewell Ballet. This unique partnership has given our students access to incredible opportunities for learning, performing, and personal development.
Each year starts with James Sewell Ballet dancers teaching our Summer Intensive. As the year goes on, our Reif Dance Company and Reif Dance Jr. Company travel to James Sewell Studios in Minneapolis for weekend Master Classes and arts field trips. As part of these field trips, our students have experienced not only dance performances, but theater performances at the Guthrie, Jungle Theater, and Children’s Theater, as well as visits to the Walker and Minneapolis Institute of Art. In the Spring, these students perform in the JSB Tek Box at the Cowles Center for Dance in Minneapolis as part of James Sewell’s Ballet Works performance. The JSB Company also spends a week in Grand Rapids each season teaching classes at Reif Dance and performing at the Reif Center. James Sewell, founder and Artistic Director of the James Sewell Ballet Company, serves as Artistic Adviser for the Reif Dance program, providing insight for the program’s direction and development.
(Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and Choreographer of JSB)
A Minneapolis native, Mr. Sewell moved to New York and studied at the School of American Ballet with David Howard, and began performing with ABT II. He was a lead dancer with Feld Ballets/NY for six years and has performed as a guest artist with the New York City Ballet, Zvi Gottheiner and Dancers, and Denishawn. He has choreographed more than 70 ballets for companies in the United States and around the world. Projects include the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, the New York State Council on the Arts grant to create “Independence In Dependence” for Feld Ballets/NY; “Aida” (1998) for the Minnesota Opera and 11 other opera companies; James Sewell Ballet’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (1995); “Musical Toys” (1996) and “Nutcracker: The Untold Story” (1997) for the Minnesota Orchestra; and “She Loves Me” (2005) and “1776” (2007) for the Guthrie Theater. James also has received commissions, including “Schoenberg Serenade” (2006) and “Passions” (1998), a work with composer Augusta Read Thomas, for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; “Metamorphosis” (2004) for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus; “Awedville” (2004) for the Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan; and “Turf” (2006) for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Mr. Sewell received a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship (2002), a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation (2006), and a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreography (2007). He is a past trustee of Dance/USA and a past director of the American Composer’s Forum.