Francisco Estevez Photography, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Sean Omandam: The Colorado Ballet Dancer Creates Off-The-Wall Promotional Videos for the Company

This story originally appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of Pointe.

It's a beautiful day in a picturesque village, and Giselle and Albrecht are sharing a milkshake at the town diner. When he ignores a phone call from his girlfriend, Bathilde, she storms in and—wait, what?

That quirky take is the creation of Colorado Ballet corps member Sean Omandam, who reinvented Giselle in his debut promotional video for the company in fall 2013. “I just wanted to give myself a little project last season," says the 28-year-old, who has made videos for fun with his friends for a while. That “little project" went viral, logging over 14,000 YouTube hits, generating a 45 percent increase in the company's website traffic and launching Omandam's parallel career as a filmmaker.


Sean Omandam as the Jester in "Cinderella"David Andrews, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

From Cinderella's stepsisters camping it up in a Denver shoe store to a “Gangnam Style" Puss-in-Boots, Omandam's videos combine his love of ballet with a vivid imagination. They've become favorites among seasoned dancers and ballet newbies, but were a tough sell at first. When Omandam pitched Giselle to artistic director Gil Boggs and CB marketing staff, “I said, 'I want to film Giselle in a diner taking selfies.' They were like, 'Okay, sure.' " But they're all believers now: “Sean's videos have been a huge help in reaching a younger audience," Boggs says.

Omandam is adjusting to all the attention. A self-described shy kid who grew up in Fresno, California, he got into dance because his parents thought it would help bring him out of his shell. But he fell in love with it and joined the CB Studio Company after graduating from the Harid Conservatory in 2004. A year later he was promoted to the main company, where classical roles showcase his clean technique, and contemporary works highlight his athleticism and musicality.

With Boggs' support, Omandam has produced videos for every CB production since Giselle. He has com­plete artistic freedom but still needs to get used to directing his peers, including fellow corps members Fran­cisco Estevez, as cameraman, and Tracy Jones (a Pointe 2013 “Star of the Corps"), as production manager. “Working with the corps is not as stressful. But," he admits, “when I'm making a video with a principal dancer, I'm like, 'Oh, god.' "

Omandam (center) with Rylan Schwab and Gregory DeSantis in "The Faraway"Terry Shapiro, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Omandam hopes his unique mix of talents will lead to a career in performing-arts marketing. But for now he'll keep dancing and dreaming up viral videos. CB's current season includes Dracula, Peter and the Wolf and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and he can hardly wait to get started—on rehearsals and on film production. “My mind has been running since they announced it!"

Fun Facts

Guilty pleasure: K-Pop (Korean pop music)—check out his video of “Angry Boo" online.

Secret stash: “After filming, I sometimes forget to return costumes back to the wardrobe department."

Favorite role: Puck in Christopher Wheeldon's A Midsummer Night's Dream. “It fits my personality—sly, mischievous and energetic."

Dream role: Anything made on him by Trey McIntyre.

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Dara Holmes, Joffrey Ballet

A male dancer catches a female dancer in his right arm as she wraps her left arm around his shoulder and executes a high arabesque on pointe. Both wear white costumes and dance in front of a blue backdrop onstage.

Dara Holmes and Edson Barbosa in Myles Thatcher's Body of Your Dreams

Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet

Wanyue Qiao, American Ballet Theatre

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, Houston Ballet

Three male dancers in tight-fitting, multicolored costumes stand in positions of ascending height from left to right. All extend their right arms out in front of them.

Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson (far right) with Saul Newport and Austen Acevedo in Oliver Halkowich's Following

Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet

Leah McFadden, Colorado Ballet

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Leah McFadden as Amour in Colorado Ballet's production of Don Quixote

Mike Watson, Courtesy Colorado Ballet

Maria Coelho, Tulsa Ballet

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Kate Lubar, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

Alexander Reneff-Olson, San Francisco Ballet

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Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

India Bradley, New York City Ballet

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Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bella Ureta, Cincinnati Ballet

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Hiromi Platt, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

Alejándro Gonzales, Oklahoma City Ballet

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Kate Luber, Courtesy Oklahoma City Ballet

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Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

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