Sayoko Knode is excited to be back for her second season with The Idaho Dance Theater. A native of Seattle, WA, she trained in classical ballet at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She then attended the University of Utah where she earned her BFA and MFA in ballet and choreography. While in Utah, she performed ballets by Val Caniporoli, Lauren Edson, Edgar Zendegas, Richard Tjia, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Kent Stowell, Jiang Qi, Alex Ketley, George Balanchine, Conrad Ludlow, Bruce Wells, Donald Byrd, Stephanie Saland, and Sonia Dawkins.
As a choreographer, Sayoko has been invited as a guest choreographer
for a Gala performance in Tokyo, Japan, with Valentio Bartes Ballet
Company. She has also worked with Ballet West Academy’s Summer
Intensive, Regional Dance America’s Craft of Choreography Conference,
the University of Utah’s resident company-Utah Ballet, the San Francisco
Conservatory of Dance’s Choreographic Residency, and Ballet Bellevue.
She has also choreographed contemporary solos for the Youth America
Grand Prix over the last four years and received
What is the Idaho Dance Theater?
In the fall of 1989 Marla and Fred Hansen, former dancers with the
American Festival Ballet, were invited to do a concert in Jackson,
Wyoming at the Red Garter Theater. Fred and Marla invited Carl Rowe, a
modern dancer living in Sun Valley, to join them as a performer and
choreographer. The three dancers collected a group of Boise dancers,
rehearsed in donated space, and presented a full evening of eclectic
dance to an enthusiastic Jackson audience.
After all the work of preparing that concert, the company decided to
perform the same concert in Boise. That, too, went well. In the spring
of 1990 they again assembled dancers and joined forces to present their
2nd Boise concert, featuring the choreography of all three. They secured
501 (c) (3) status in 1991, adopted the Idaho Dance Theatre name, and
began to seriously operate a contemporary dance company.
In 1991 Carl Rowe became a co-artistic director along with Marla and
Fred. The early years were a mix of exciting performances and difficult
times for the three directors. After enduring an injury that failed to
heal, Fred retired from the stage and took up lighting design, becoming
the company's technical director. Marla became a full-time, tenured
professor at BSU. Carl took an interest in fine arts painting and
eventually became a professional painter. During this time Carl and
Marla continued to choreograph, direct, and manage the company,
expanding their seasons to three annual concerts and touring Idaho and
In 1996 the company was able to hire its first full time managing
director. Idaho Dance Theatre is the first professional dance company to
be founded in Boise, and it is the only Boise arts organization still
being directed by its original founding artistic directors. It is also
the only anchor arts organization that creates its own body of work. The
company, now celebrating its 25st season, has engaged over 100 Idaho
dancers and numerous guest choreographers, musicians, actors, and
Idaho Dance Theatre has professional management staff, an energetic
board of directors, and an artistic staff that meets the highest
standards of the dance world.
The company has a history of collaboration with all of the performing
arts. Its choreography is original, compelling and diverse featuring
both ballet and all varieties of modern dance.
Its three original founders have been awarded four Fellowships from
the Idaho Commission on the Arts and one Governor's Award for Excellence
in the Arts. Their commitment to dance and Idaho Dance Theatre is as
strong as when the company was founded. They continue to pursue their
dream of building an Idaho contemporary dance company of the highest
Read more at: http://www.idahodancetheatre.org/