Before arriving in Tulsa four years ago, Jennifer danced with several contemporary dance companies including BodyVox and Polaris in Portland, Oregon. While there she also studied with Oregon Ballet Theatre. Jennifer danced and performed with Kinetic Images Dance Company as a principal member and was a soloist in several featured contemporary roles. Prior to this, Jennifer studied under Susan Zadoff at the University of Oregon and Eugene Ballet in Eugene, Oregon and was selected as the first freshman accepted into the professional core classes. She also was a company member of Dance Oregon and performed with the Eugene Opera Ballet. In addition, Jennifer studied at Danskervelt School of Dance in Copenhagen, Denmark learning the Bournonville style of ballet.
Before this, Jennifer performed as a soloist with the State Ballet of Oregon under the direction of Eric Hyrst. As a Soloist she has danced in “Copellia,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and “Sleeping Beauty,” among others. She also danced principal roles in “The Nutcracker” as Clara and as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Jennifer returned to the State Ballet of Oregon in 2006 as the Ballet Mistress and Director of Company Classes, where she taught ballet and modern technique, she also choreographed a full length work called “Virus” set to the music of Tool as well as other works which were performed by the company at the Ballet in Park series in Ashland, Oregon.
After arriving in Tulsa, Jennifer became the Company Manager of Monica Huggins Dance Theatre and choreographed and managed the company under the Artistic Direction of Katie Feiock. While with Monica Huggins Dance Theatre Jennifer wrote, choreographed and directed “Project Alice” which was performed by the company in 2009. Jennifer is now Co-Artistic Director, Choreographer and Company Manger of Portico Dance Theatre and was bestowed the honor of being the first Chairman of the newly formed Living Arts Contemporary Dance Committee.
Nina Madsen moved to Oklahoma from Brooklyn, New York in 2009. She graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (Performance & Choreography) in 2005. She also studied at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Perth and Teatterikorkeakoulu, The Theater Academy of Finland in Helsinki. While living in NYC, she received her Certificate of Movement Analysis from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies as well as an Associates Degree in Occupational Studies from the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. She has performed internationally in Australia and Finland, and nationally in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Oklahoma. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers B.J. Sullivan, Juan Carlos Verdu, Andrea Woods, James Robey and Eleanor Goudie-Averill. Modern dance companies she has been a member of include Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre (NYC), kerPlunk (NYC) and John Gamble Dance Theatre (NC). Her original choreography "Between Us" was recently showcased at Tulsa Ballet's Creations in Studio K in May of 2012. She also frequently collaborates and performs with her sister, dance mentor and best friend, Tara Madsen Robbins. Their most recent performance together was in 2010 at the Vision of Sound concert in NYC at Jan Hus Church, where they performed a duet choreographed by Robbins. In a 2002 review of the American Dance Festival, dance critic Byron Woods wrote, "the unforgettable flex of Ursula Payne's student Nina Madsen, reminiscent of Gretchen Lothrop's work." She is a Co-Artistic Director/Director of Modern Dance for Portico Dance Theatre based in Tulsa, OK along with Jen Alden, where she teaches, choreographs and dances.