Project In The Making

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Project In The Making

On my recent trip to India and Nepal I took a moment to remind my self and my friend Chris, who was sitting next to me on a flight from New Delhi to Kathmandu, how we were in the process of doing what we had always dreamt of doing many years before. Chris and I used to dance with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. As much as we loved our profession and the art form of ballet, there were days that seemed to drag on and not much was being accomplished. We both have had the travel bug all of our lives and had both moved to Europe around the same time. We also began to study photography as our travels started to take us on bigger and bigger adventures. There were many occasions we would be sitting in the rehearsal studio wishing we were on an amazing adventure in some far away place working on exciting projects. On that flight we realised how we were in India and Nepal to carry out a mission we had talked about years ago.

We were in South Asia to film a short documentary on a ballet project I have been planning for some time. I had come in contact with a variety of people around the world trying to build ballet communities in places far from the traditional capitals of western art and dance. I thought how interesting it is that people in places like India would fall in love with the same form of dance that I did growing up in the mountains of Utah. I wondered what drove them to fall in love with ballet so much that they would go to such great lengths to build schools and organise performances and fight so hard to see it being done the right way. Not some cheap commercialised knockoff that makes a quick buck and injures the dancers. So many things became clear to me that in these areas of the world even the simplest things can be difficult. Things like making your own sprung floor or making this weird saucer shaped dress called a tu tu. Ballet is already hard but there are many things those of us growing up in Western European and North American cities really take for granted. I felt I wanted to tell their stories and do what ever I can to help them build their communities and connect them to the global dance scene. I want to give these thriving communities a moment in the spotlight to tell the world all the amazing things they are doing and look at what we in the major centres of western art can do to help.

I traveled with my friend Chris to meet Ritiak Chandra, the director of newly formed Elan Ballet in New Delhi, India. I contacted Ritika a year ago asking about teaching and dancing opportunities in India and since then her story has been the driving inspiration for this project. She is a very intelligent and driven person who cares deeply about ballet and giving opportunities to the masses. Chris and I had an amazing time in New Delhi filming the pilot video with Ritika and were both amazed to see how articulate and powerful a woman she can be. I believe that this project and ballet around the world as a whole will benefit greatly from having such a person like her to champion its development. 

After our time in New Delhi we planned to visit Kathmandu, Nepal. Chris was meeting his awesome wife Emily to go trekking in the Himalayas after our time filming and I wanted to revisit the city that had left such an impression on me years ago. I was very interested to see how the city was developing after the devastating earth quake in 2015. It was amazing on one hand to see how much work had been done but also how much was lost. In all the city is recovering well but it was so tragic to see how much was destroyed and how many people had lost someone close to them. The recovery is coming along but there is still a tremendous amount of work left to be done. I believed from my first visit that Nepalese people are as strong and resilient as they are kind and welcoming and I believe this country has a great future. Im very much looking forward to many more trips there in the future.


Durbar Square - Kathmandu, Nepal - 2011

Durbar Square - Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018


It was a hard schedule filming, talking, planning, teaching, packing, hiking, flying, driving, getting lost and battling traffic but every second was an experience to remember. We managed to fit some sleep in where we could. Now we are getting down to editing our film and developing the project so we hope to have more material out soon. Thank you so much for staying tuned and I hope you enjoy the content.

Casey




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Time To Reflect

Time To Reflect

Photo by: Abraham Quintana

This past December I reached the milestone of 40 years old and like many people it was time to reflect on where I've been and where I’m going. Its clear to me that 40 is not what it used to be and the fact that I don’t feel or look it has aided me in keeping an optimistic outlook. The stigma attached to this age is still one that drives many people to look at them selves through an honest perspective and decide if they are happy with the path they are on or if its time to make drastic changes. For me it’s the same and reaching this age at the same time as my transition from dancer to what ever adventure is coming next, has been scary and liberating at the same time. Ive always had things to anchor me somewhat in areas of discipline but I'm a free bird at heart and I'm looking forward to continuing to work on this to achieve a more perfect balance between a structured foundation and a free roaming spirit. One thing I have learned in life so far is that dreams and ambitions are no longer things that are to be done way off in the future. I’ve spent many hours over the years thinking and planning and my ideas were alway something that would be done later on down the road. At this point I’ve accomplished a few things in my life that I am extremely proud of, and I believe that now is the time to strengthen my foundations and realise my objectives. I hope to always be my self, but I am working on being a better me and I know that that will only happen with the support of the people around me who have contributed so much in making me the person I am today. To all my friends and family, thank you so much! I look forward to the many great adventures that await us!


 
 

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

– Randy Komisar


Me and my love, Laura Rosillo. Photo by Abraham Quintana


Paris With Family

Paris With Family

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There is nothing in this world I love more than to travel to fascinating places with friends and family. What could be better than to share the experience of travel with people who you care about and who can make that trip so much more memorable? Im off to Paris to meet up with my sister Breanna and my aunt Lisa! This trip will be special even for a European adventure with family as Paris is particularly  memorable  for me. Not only is it a spectacularly wonderful city that will exceed your expectations but for me it was my first trip outside The United States. I was 18 and off to the Paris International Ballet Competition. I had always dreamt of one day visiting Paris and when I got there it was like a dream. I fell in love and I have loved every tip to that city ever since. Sadly I really don't have much photography from any of those trips. The one time I went to get photos the weather wasn't on my side and it was a fast weekend. I still had a great time but as a travel photographer who loves Paris as much as I do, to not have any decent images has been kind of a shame. Well Its time to fix that as Ill have three full days to enjoy and hopefully a bit more experience. after that we'll head up to Normandy to explore some D-Day sights and see the Bayeux Tapestry. It will be a great trip no matter what and my sister is bringing her camera and tripod along as well. I cant wait to see what I get and Ill post the images as soon as possible. 

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Florence 2016

My brother Kelly and brother-in-law Rob with my sister Breanna, when they came to visit me in Amsterdam and we all went together to Florence and Cinque Terre, Italy. 


Seville - The Golden Age of Spain

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Seville - The Golden Age of Spain

Throughout the world there are various types of capitals cities.  They can be financial capitals, centres of government, sports capitals, cultural capitals and many more.  They can be all in one but in many cases the biggest or most important cities in each country are not the most culturally representative of the countries they are at the centre of.  In The United States the biggest city is New York City and the "capital," in the traditional sense, is Washington DC.  But to many people the city that most represents the "American Culture" is Chicago.  In The UK many people will say that culturally, London is not England, and the same is said about the relationship between Paris and France.  This is very common and though these centres of economics, culture, and power share many of the national characteristics, they also have their own identity and are a culture unto them selves.  This is true in Spain as well.  Despite being one of the more divers countries on the planet and having many equally important cultures within its boarders, there is an international idea of what Spanish culture is.  To me no city represents this idea more than the iconic city of Seville.  Madrid, being the capital of government and economics, seems to be the melting pot where it all comes together and has many of its own styles as well.  Barcelona is a very different thing altogether.  Incredibly beautiful and as culturally rich as any city in the world, Barcelona is representative of Catalan culture which differs somewhat from the rest of Spain.  Even areas like Galicia can look and feel more like the British Isles than sunny Spain.  They all makeup the wonderful mosaic that is Spanish culture but the international idea of what much of Spanish culture is, is really Andalusian.  Andalusian culture is one of the more recognised around the world and the region's capital, in every sense of the word, is Seville. The kingdom of Spain has gladly taken on much of the traditions of Andalusia in it's styles of dance, art, food, and many more.  Many cultural elements of Andalusia are celebrated throughout the country as symbols of national pride.  Where some areas of Spain have a strong sense of independence, Andalusians are very proud to be Spanish. 

Seville has a history spanning 3000 years.  First settle by the Tartessians, the indigenous pre-Roman people of Iberia, it has seen Roman, Visigoth, Moorish and finally Christian periods of development.  With such a lengthy history of being an important city, it wasn't until the 1500s that the city reached its height of prosperity.  As Spain began to rise to dominance and the conquest of the Americas began, only one city was granted the rights to receive all of the wealth that was beginning to poor in.  That city was Seville and as the empire grew so did the city.  At its height, Seville was thought to have been the wealthiest and most powerful city on Earth as Spain ruled over much of Europe and almost all of the western hemisphere.  Today the city is a maze of narrow streets, lined with colourful Andalusian architecture and sprinkled with Roman artefacts around every corner.  Seville's historic centre boasts a complex of buildings, including The Cathedral, the Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias that are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city centre it's self is one of the largest historic centres in the world.  It's a cultural fiesta that fully envelopes you and takes you to another time.  The sites and sounds of a rich and fascinating culture take you on a journey, bring legendary tales like Carmen and Don Juan to life.  You can literally walk the same streets as larger than life figures such as Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, Hernán Cortés and many more.  There seems to be no end to the romantic and fascinating experiences that Seville offers and even the most experienced traveler will get swept away in it's ambience. 


The best place to stay in Seville is the Barrio de Santa Cruz in the historic centre.  This neighbourhood is the old jewish quarter, or Juderia, and is steps away from most of the main sites like the Cathedral, the Alcázar, and the Casa de Pilatos.  Just a bit further out of the centre is the iconic Plaza de España.  Tucked away on a small quite street next to the church of Santa María La Blanca is a beautiful and cozy little B&B called Casa de Laura.  This little sanctuary in the middle of the city is clean, quiet, comfortable and offers all the necessary amenities both inside and out.   The traditional design of the building with rooftop terrace views offers the ultimate accessibility and is the perfect spot for all travellers to stay in comfort on their conquest of Sevilla!  The owner is extremely nice and ready to help guests make the most of their stay so if you are going on an Andalusian adventure, I recommend you contact Casa de Laura! 

Casa de Laura

T: +34 699052731

E: apartamentoarcheros@gmail.com

Abnb: Casa de Laura

 


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Italia

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Italia

Everybody who knows me knows I love Italy.  Well why not?  Everybody loves Italy and for good reason.  This country is world renowned for being the place to be for romantic getaways, history adventures, art lovers, fashionistas, adrenalin junkies and so many more.  We all have our thing and for me Italy has it in a big way!  Italy apparently has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country.  The iconic structures and great works of art in this country are almost on every street corner.  There are random little churches in obscure little towns in Italy that in most other countries would be national treasures.  Italy is so full of jaw dropping sights, one might get a slight case of shell-shock.  It is almost like a bonbon, the flavour is so potent and at first its amazing but it can overwhelm you quickly.  Luckily Italy has such a variety of flavours that your palette won't get over saturated very quickly.  You can go from gorgeous medieval hill-top towns to stunning beaches and then into high alpine mountains before finishing up with some Roman or Greek ruins all while enjoy the latest fashion trends.  It is no wonder I seem to keep going back.  The country that made me decide to get into photography keeps me coming back for more time and time again. 


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Grand Architecture

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Grand Architecture

I've always had a fascination with architecture. Something about it drives my creative side and makes my imagination accelerate. Its the perfect mix of form meets function. It can be a small simple stricture to cover people from mild weather or the grand structures we see most commonly in our major cities. The grand structures are often like massive sculptures that fit a specific purpose and we use them to enable us to work, live and play. They are often expressions of the cities and states that they represent. They can represent the ingenuity, the artistry or the wealth of those people. One of my favourite things to photograph on my travels are these great monuments that define the people who built them and influence the people who live around them. They are works or art and they always inspire me to think big. 


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All The Colours of Mexico

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All The Colours of Mexico

When I think of a country a certain variety of colours come to mind. For many people memories of places are often associated with a group of smells or sounds or any mixture of things that stimulate the senses. For me it is the same, but being a photographer I feel very tuned into colours that remind me of what I saw as I ventured through whatever region or country or city. If there was one country on our planet that seemed to pop with every colour imaginable it would be Mexico. Mexico has very distinct sounds and smells as well as tastes and feels but the colours are what captures my attention and in a big way. I love this county! Ive traveled to Mexico on 4 separate occasions and the more I see, the more I want to see. I am still discovering things and places that seem to defy the imagination. Whether you are into food, music, architecture, nature or urban scenes, this country has it all. Some people ask me if I'm scared by its reputation for being extremely dangerous and I can't say that its not, but I can say that its not as bad as what you see in the media. Mexican people are often the nicest and most hospitable people Ive ever met. How they can be so kind and open as well as ruthless and dangerous is beyond me but I will not stop traveling there. There is just to much beauty and love to experience. Mexico is just too special of a place to not explore its deferent fasets. If there was one country that encompasses all the colours of the rainbow it would be Mexico. 


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Interiors + Architecture

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Interiors + Architecture

Ive stayed in a wide variety of accommodations over the years. They have varied from hotels to houses. From boats to trains, tents to palaces and even parks and ship docks. There are many I wish I had taken the time to photograph, but here are a couple that I did and they hold very fond memories for my self and my friends. 


 

Casa de Dani

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Guadalajara - Mexico

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-   33 1975 1947   -   www.casadedani.com   -   casadedani@outlook.com   -


Casa de Javea

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Javea - Spain


 

World Architecture + Details

 


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New Zealand In December

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New Zealand In December

This past November/December I had two dreams come true. The first was an opportunity to dance with The Royal New Zealand Ballet in one of my all time favourite ballets. The second was taking advantage of being in New Zealand and venturing off to explore the South Island. New Zealand is world renowned for being one of the best locations on the planet for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It had been high on my list of places to see for many years, so after a couple of successful performances I had to head South. I first flew from Wellington to Christchurch as Queenstown was outrageously expensive but I also wanted to make a circular pattern through the centre to the South and then back up the West Coast. I was going by car the whole distance. I picked up my car and immediately left for Tekapo and Lake Pukaki. The next day I spent hiking through Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and found out why so many people recommend doing the Hooker Valley Track. Simply stunning! Then I was off to Manapouri as I had an overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound/Fiordland National Park. That absolute took my breath away but nothing could prepare me for what I experienced the day after that. I finally saw Milford Sound and it was everything I was hoping for and more. Being one of the greatest natural wonders of our world, it is the perfect example of how photos, videos and everything else we have made cant do it justice. Driving into the park takes you on a journey that starts off spectacularly beautiful and only gets better from there. The final decent out of a high mountain pass tunnel was like decending into heaven. From there I went back North discovering Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea and passed through Mt Aspiring National Park before settling in at Jackson Bay. My last full day I drove North passing by Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier and spending the night in Arthur's Pass. It was one of my all-time favourite road-trips and I have been left with only the best impression of New Zealand. People always say that Kiwis are some of the nicest people on the planet and I found that to be true but another side note is that my fellow tourists were also a very pleasant bunch. I met so many people from around the world, as I usually do on these types of adventures, but this bunch was different. There was a much stronger sense of support and curiosity coming from these people. Ive never had so many fun and inspiring conversations with so many fellow travelers about where they are from and what they plan to do in New Zealand. Everybody was pulling together to help each other get the best experience they could out of their journey. It really was a dream come true and I now wear my All Blacks jersey with a great sense of pride. I loved New Zealand and I really hope to return someday soon! The only thing that could have been better was to have more time! 


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Best of 2017

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Best of 2017

What a year! 2017 started off slow but picked up fast and by the end I had checked off a few of the most incredible places on our planet. Starting off on one of three trips to Barcelona, I had the privilege to experience Spain's famous Easter Week, Semana Santa, as I traveled through the Southern region of Andalusia. After that I went back to Amsterdam for a short time as I was headed to Dubrovnik, Croatia for the first time. May came faster than I was expecting and I spent the early summer with friends and family in Washington D.C. and Seattle. Then I was on my way back to Mexico. This year I started off in my favourite City, Guadalajara, and then went to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. Then a short trip to Puebla before finishing off in Mexico City. August came and I took some time to gear up for the big finale as I left for New Zealand in October. I have been wanting to see Milford Sound for many years and it did not disappoint! Just as I had thought things would quiet down I had one last little trip to Naples, Italy to take care of. No year is really complete without a trip to Italy. In all it was a great year and I am so happy to have been able to do what I did, and go where I went, and as always, the best is to be able to share with my friends and family. I have high hopes and big plans for 2018 and I wish everybody a happy and exciting New Year! Love to all! 


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A Dream Come True With A Bittersweet Twist

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A Dream Come True With A Bittersweet Twist

 Photo by Angela Sterling

Photo by Angela Sterling

Today is a dream come true with a bittersweet twist. Today I will fulfil a dream that has its roots in a time when my interest in ballet consisted only of a select few classical ballets. Before I saw the ballet “In The Middle Somewhat Elevated” I had little desire to dance anything other than a handful of classics. It was "In The Middle,” as we refer to it, that changed forever my perspective on ballet and dance as a whole. In 1999 I joined The Pacific Northwest Ballet looking to reinvigorate my love of dance after a disappointing start to my career in New York City. I learned that we would be dancing this already legendary ballet that season and it was just what I needed. The ballet would change me agin, not because of the choreography, but because I met a man who changed the way I felt about how to work. That man was there to stage the ballet and his name was Glen Tuggle. We were all very tuned into to what he was saying and what he wanted not only because we all really wanted to dance the ballet but because he had a way of working that light up the room and encouraged us all to push further and go harder simply because we were having fun. We loved what we were doing and he encouraged us to laugh and enjoy working our selves to death. “In The Middle” is a very difficult ballet. You have to be in shape or you will collapse in the middle of the stage and pass out! We were killing our selves and as soar as we were at the end of the day we couldn’t wait to get back into the studio and do it again. Glen wanted us to have fun and he gave us the confidence to do it well but also to do it our way. After this experience I began to open my eyes and from that point on I was known as dancer who never said no to trying something unusual. I danced ballets suspended from ropes. I danced ballets in the dark. I even did a pas de deux with a car! I went on to work with Glen several more times and we always had a great time woking our selves to the bone along side his witty but crass sense of humour. After joining The Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam Glen came to stage “Middle” and again the room was on fire with dancers pouring their hearts out and loving every second of it. It was in Amsterdam where my career seemed to come to an end as I was leaving the Dutch National Ballet with an ankle surgery and an uncertain future. I thought I wanted to continue dancing but at almost 40 I didn’t know how or if I could “climb the mountain again” and get back into shape. I called Glen and as always he had a way of lifting my spirits. I thought to my self at that time, thinking that it wasn’t possible, but if I could do any ballet just one more time what would it be? It didn’t take more more than a second to think, “Middle!” I was teaching in Mexico a year later when I had a conversation with my old colleague from Seattle, Patricia Barker, who is now directing The Royal New Zealand Ballet, and she asked me if I would be interested in coming to Wellington to dance “Middle.” I almost exploded with joy before I almost had a panic attack. I first thought YES, and then suddenly wondered if I could still do it! I never back down from a challenge so I began to climb the mountain and before I knew it I was on a plane to New Zealand. Getting my self back into form for such a difficult ballet hasn’t been easy but since arriving here I have been surrounded by a group of dancers and staff that could not be more welcoming. These dancers are exceptional and set a very high standard. They also have open minds and a will to excel and they embrace outsiders as if they are one of their own. It has been a real honour to be here and to work with such a wonderful group of artists who are also wonderful people. The stager, Thierry Guiderdoni, has brought that same wonderful energy to the studio that Glen brought and the dancers have responded to his critiques and encouragement with a sense of purpose and joy. Ive really enjoyed this experience working with Thierry, Patricia, my good friend Nadia Yanowsky and the dancers and staff of RNZB and I cannot begin to thank everybody enough for this dream come true. Sadly this dream is bittersweet as just a few days ago I learned that my dear friend Glen has passed away. I had just sent him an email telling him that I am dancing “Middle” again and how much I missed him. I miss you Glen but I know you are in a better place. I will always remember the joy and love of dance that you helped me find on so many occasions. I will be dedicating these performances of “In The Middle Somewhat Elevated” to your memory.  This one is for you buddy!

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Home In The Desert

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Home In The Desert

I'm sometimes traveling for work and sometimes traveling for fun, but I have another type of travel that Im always looking forward to.  I love to travel home! Home is the great state of Utah and few things in this world excite me more than the idea of flying into Salt Lake City, packing up my brother’s truck and heading off into the great outdoors.  It amazes me to think of the many places I've been on this planet by this point and how the mounts and deserts of Utah still captivate me like no other.  Im proud to be from Utah and I'm always dreaming of exploring its many hidden wonders and there is nobody on this planet I would rather head out into the wild with than my big brother, Kelly.


Please take a look at My Home Utah. This is a project that I have been planning for many years now and its about to become a reality. If you can take a few minutes of your time to take a look, I would appreciate any help or advice you can offer. Thanks again stay tuned. 


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