Kay Burch Englert
Cry is an excerpt of Kay Englert’s work Collage, an ever-changing series of dance vignettes designed to evoke a range of music, movements and moods. In line with the VCD Original Works theme of “resilience,” Cry conveys catharsis, and the pain/joy of release which can be necessary to move on from a conflict or crisis.
Mia Giovanna, Sadie Choo, Sienna Stromberg
“Cry Me a River,” performed by Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen (1970)
Choreographed by Kay Englert, Staged by Heidi Byrnes and Gretchen DeGroot Lenihan
Kay Burch Englert
April 22, 1948 – February 13, 2005
Kay Englert began dancing at the age of 7, training with Patricia Cairns in the R.A.D. method. At age 16 she was dancing as a soloist with the Pacific Ballet in San Francisco under the direction of Alan Howard, formerly of the Ballet Russe. Later in her career, after working with Ballet Tacoma for several years, she founded “The Dance Studio” in September 1987, which later became “Washington Contemporary Ballet.” She was dedicated to the formation of a school that would educate its students in the understanding and appreciation of all forms of dance, and produce dancers who would be capable to perform in all disciplines of their art. Ms. Englert choreographed for numerous regional school companies in Washington State and for the Tacoma Opera for many years. She was a juror for Artist Trust’s GAP awards, set musical numbers for local theater productions and was instrumental in bringing local, national and international professional dance companies to the community. Ms. Englert’s work, noted for its detail and musicality, won the “Best Choreography” award out of 178 entries in Canada’s “Symphony of Dance” competition in 1995. Ever dedicated to excellence in dance, Ms. Englert remained a student, choreographer, teacher and director until her passing. For all who knew her, the pursuit of excellence in all areas of life will no doubt be one of the many lasting elements of her legacy.
Heidi began studying dance at Cornish Preparatory Dance Program at age 4. She danced at Washington Contemporary Ballet under the guidance of Kay Englert, Noel Mason, and Phyllis Stonebrook from age 7 until her Junior year in high school. Heidi moved to Portland, Oregon to join the professional division of Oregon Ballet Theater, and in 1999 moved to Philadelphia to attend University of the Arts on Scholarship. Due to a severe back injury, she returned home to begin a career as a Pilates instructor and spine health practitioner. For the last 21 years, Heidi has been a teacher and educator to clients and future instructors on spine/movement health. From 2001 to 2010, Heidi worked side by side with world-renowned movement educator, Rebecca Leone, hosting and educating teachers from all over the world. She currently runs her own studio in Seattle, Pilates Mission.
Gretchen DeGroot Lenihan
Gretchen began studying dance at Giacobbe Academy of Dance under Maria Giacobbe at the age of 3. After moving to the Pacific Northwest, she continued her studies at Washington Contemporary Ballet under the guidance of Kay Englert, Noel Mason and Phyllis Stonebrook until high school graduation. Gretchen received her BA from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and has enjoyed a long career in non-profit arts and large-scale events, the last ten years as part of the Programs & Events team at Seattle Center.