Mark Magruder is a professor of dance and head of the dance department at Sweet Briar College. He is artistic director and co-founder of the Menagerie Dance Company. Menagerie is a duet dance company. Mark and his wife Ella have performed for over 100,000 children and adults in over 1000 performances through the sponsorship of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Mark’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He has performed in Finland at the daCi festival. One of his dances was performed at the Kennedy Center in the National College Dance Festival. He has shown video dance work at Dance Screen in Germany and at the Grand Prix Video Danse festival in France. Two of Mark’s video dances have been broadcast on WBRA (PBS). Mark has been in five paleolithic caves in France and created a video on the Ice Age, he lectures on Ice Age Art and the dance possibilities in that ancient time. Recently Mark performed two of Beverly Blossom’s solos in New York City in a concert with Beverly and Cynthia Pipkin. In summer 2003, Mark taught dance in Brazil at the daCi festival. Mark danced in the companies of Shirley Mordine in Chicago, Beverly Blossom, and Mimi Garrard of New York City. He is a guest teacher in modern at the Virginia School for the Arts. Mark has a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois and an M.A. from California State University.
Ella Magruder is a professor of dance at Sweet Briar College. She is the director of the program for dance education for the college and teaches choreography, modern, jazz, teaching creative movement, aesthetics and dance criticism. She and her husband, Mark, toured and performed for over 100,000 children and adults with their dance company, Menagerie. Ella performed Beverly Blossom's Black Traveler in Blossoms's concert Dances in Shabby Black in New York City. Ella and the concert were reviewed favorably in The New York Times. Ella has given several papers on dance for children at international and national conferenes. Her most recent conference presentation was at Salvador, Bahia in Brazil for the dance an the Child international conference (daCi). She has published articles on creative dance for children and dance in higher education in journals and magazines. Ella hopes to have a book published soon on touring and performing for children. She was a member of the Mimi Garrard’s Dance Theatre in N.Y.C., taught on the faculty of the University of Montana and at Ripon College in Wisconsin. Ella has a B.A. from Sweet Briar College and was a Creative and Performing Arts Fellow at the University of Illinois, where she graduated with an M.A.
Mari Mori, a native of Japan, began her ballet training there. She also studied ballet in England, France and the U.S. Her favorite teacher, Finis Jhung, whom she studied with in New York City, helped develop Mari's philosophy of teaching. She gets her classes moving across the floor so students can experience all-out dancing. Mari was a soloist in Yasuko Miyashita Ballet Co, and a principal in Reiko Otsuka Ballet, both in Japan. She has been in ballet companies in New York, New Jersey, and California. Mari has been a guest artist with numerous ballet companies in Japan. She was a principal in dance companies in Los Angeles and New York. Mari has taught in Japan, Los Angeles and NewYork. She was a guest teacher at North Carolina Dance Festival and Wake Forest University. Currently, she is teaching the ballet classes at Sweet Briar College, teaching ballet to the community at Virgina School of the Arts and guest-teaching at the Covenant Dance Theatre in Brooklyn, N.Y.
In memory of Petrus Bosman, our ballet teacher for 14 years.
Petrus Bosman (1928-2008) was a native of Capetown, South Africa. In 1959, he began his 18-year association with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. Under the direction of Sir Frederick Ashton, Bosman partnered the internationally renowned Merle Park in Les Rendezvous, was featured as Kastchei in Firebird, and performed in the Florestan Pas de Trois in Sleeping Beauty. Noted for his classical roles in Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and Les Sylphides, Bosman also created witty character portrayals as the widow Simone in La Fille Mal Gardée, an ugly sister (opposite Ashton). During his years in London, Bosman produced a series of charity galas sponsored by members of the Royal Family working closely with Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret. These glittering theatrical events presented Margot Fonteyn, Rudolph Nureyev, Merle Park, Antoinette Sibley, Ashton and Bosman himself. After he retired as a performer, Bosman taught and choreographed extensively. Petrus was the artistic director of the Virginia School for the Arts and the ballet instructor at Sweet Briar College. His previous teaching positions include Ballet West, National Academy of Arts, University of Illinois, Southwest Regional Ballet Festival, Joffrey Ballet Company, Ballet Met, Birmingham Ballet Company and School, Syracuse Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.