Chasen Greenwood starts his day at 6am with a shot of espresso and ideas swirling with every step. His entire life thus far has been the invention of performance art. In getting to know this artist, he comes across being optimistic by nature, charismatic, enthusiastic, and is motivated by the movie magic capital of the world – Los Angeles, California. When asking him why he started a ballet company in Los Angeles, Chasen gleefully remarks, “I don’t want to be cliché, but LA is the land of opportunity.”  He includes, “Since the 4th grade I have been homeschooled, so that I can be creative, it is what I know in life.”

Chasen’s resume includes National tour musical theatre productions, films, music, and dance. He has performed with singer LeAnn Rimes and Tony Award winning actress-dancer Chita Rivera. Chasen has been hailed by Dance Magazine as, “One to Watch.”  A former ballet soloist with State Street Ballet, he has branched out into launching, directing and choreographing in his own initiative called The Realm Company. The celebrated Westside Ballet School founded by Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire, are supporter sponsors of Chasen’s endeavors. His new ballet based show The Phoenix was shown on Sunday, October 22nd, 2023 and will be returning on Sunday, October 29th, 2023, at the new Westside Ballet Black Box Theatre.

Chasen Greenwood - Photo by Emily Devito Goodman

Chasen Greenwood – Photo by Emily Devito Goodman

Chasen imparts that since he was a kid, he has always been inspired by fantasy driven directors such as Tim Burton and whimsical composers such as Dany Elfman. In bingeing one day on Harry Potter films, he became fixated on the Phoenix in The Chamber of Secrets. The legendary Phoenix bird of ancient Greek and Egyptian mythological stories became his vision for his show being presented in Santa Monica, California.

Greenwood relays, “There is an intensity in my story telling, but I would consider it a family friendly show.” Chasen describes his work as neoclassical with some contemporary elements. In the show on Sunday, October 22, 2023, there were good vibes to be had all around. The show was sold out as the local community buzzed with excitement, a DJ rocked the crowd, cocktails were served, and friendly smiles beamed as audience members had their picture taken at a step and repeat.

Chasen communicates, “I believe people want to have a story told to them. They want to be taken somewhere. My story is about love, light and redemption. I think people deserve second chances.” The Phoenix cast consists of an evil sorceress played by a beautiful striking Holley Johnson and Cesar Ramirez as a heroic knight. There are fairies, evil minions, sword fighting, and a lovely agile Phoenix, in the starring role, played by former Russian State Ballet soloist, Matisse Love.

Cesar Ramirez Castellano - Photo by Nathan Carlson

Cesar Ramirez Castellano – Photo by Nathan Carlson

Composer Taylor Briggs is a young man straight out of Berkley College of Music. He was born in Nashville and his supporting father, Tim Briggs, was a guitarist with the Nashville band Alabama. Both father and son attended the performance.

Taylor and Chasen developed the composition over zoom. It was a process that involved real instruments and keyboard software to meld and match direction from Chasen’s story requirements. “Chasen would say, “In about a minute and thirty seconds into the music I need a powerful whoosh,” Taylor recalled. “Then I would see what I would want to add in. All of this was done over long distance”

Chasen Greenwood in rehearsal The Realm Company members Kathryn Morgan and David Protas - Photo Chris Motenson

Chasen Greenwood in rehearsal The Realm Company members Kathryn Morgan and David Protas – Photo Chris Motenson.

Hollywood has had many talented Texan transplants such as the dancer/actor Patrick Swayze, Mathew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, Owen and Luke Wilson, to name a few. Chasen Greenwood was born in Houston and raised in Dallas; he lived and breathed performance and commercial art as he mentioned even modeling for JCPenny. Since, the age of 7 years old, Chasen had been home schooled for opportunities in Dallas. He has been involved in many facets of a variety of show business jobs such as modeling, acting, singing, choreography, producing, and dancing. This provided him the opportunity to incorporate many different genres from the media industry, to musical theatre, and concert dance.

David Protas and Matisse Love perform with The Realm Company - Photo by Chris Motenson

David Protas and Matisse Love perform with The Realm Company – Photo by Chris Motenson

Although the road has not always been easy, he has always followed his artistry. “At fifteen I ran away from home and lived at my dance studio. I slept there at Commedia Ballet Theatre and helped to put productions together with the studio owner Natalie Kramer. She became my best friend. I was offered summer scholarships as I got older which included San Antonio Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and I trained with Lisa Owen at New World Ballet in Richardson, Texas. At nineteen, I moved to Hollywood – I took a leap of faith – I didn’t know anyone and at one time I lived in my car for about six months,” Chasen recounts.

In wanting to know a little more about this artist and the person inside he confided that he is a big car enthusiast. “I am a car fanatic! I love test driving and even fixing small things. I drive a muscle car – a mustang.”  He is surely driven and says, “I live in what I want to accomplish and I always feel in the creative zone. My only reprieve is to grab a beer to unplug with friends.”  Greenwood is a five-year Vegan, and now that vegans have many more options, enjoys vegan pizza and burgers.

Andrew Park in rehearsal with Chasen Greenwood - Photo by Chris Motenson

Andrew Park in rehearsal with Chasen Greenwood – Photo by Chris Motenson

Chasen has certainly worked to build his friendships, alliances, and supporters in Los Angeles. Go 2 Talent Agency (GTA), an agency known for all things dance representation with a focus on choreography, represents him. Chasen previously danced with Melissa Barak’s earlier company before she became the Artistic Director of Los Angeles Ballet. He has been teaching adult ballet class for three years at the Westside School of Ballet. There he has the opportunity to instruct open classes and discover dancers for his company.

Chasen Greenwood rehearsing Matisse Love - Photo by Chris Motenson

Chasen Greenwood rehearsing Matisse Love – Photo by Chris Motenson

Chasen is continuing on his path to Hollywood and continuing his dreams of working in film, television and theatrical productions. Recently, he has had the opportunity to choreograph on a movie starring Al Pacino and Charlie Heaton entitled Billy Knight. “My dream, ok I don’t think I have ever said it out loud. My dream is to someday conduct a show at the Hollywood Bowl! I would like to have a defined space for my company The Realm, and for the industry to continue to hire me and my dancers for their entertainment projects.”

For more information about The Realm Company and to purchase tickets for the October 29th performance, please visit their website.

For more information about the Westside School of Ballet, please visit their website.

Written by Alice Alyse for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Mizuki Sato, left-performs for The Realm Company – Photo by Chris Motenson