Karen D. Jensen
Karen Dixon Jensen graduated from Brigham Young University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in dance. She then completed a master's degree in Dance in 2001. She grew up dancing with BYU's Children's Creative Dance Program and then, while completing her master's work, found she liked blending dance with film, consequently making that the subject of her master's thesis. Jensen is now a visiting assistant professor for BYU's Department of Dance.
In 2011, Jensen was the Director of Cinematography for the Heloise Crista Project, funded by the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts. Heloise Crista is a former dancer who switched to sculpting part-way through her life. Her sculptures capture a sense of motion, and counter balance, and balance. They are also unique representations of womanhood, family, and are deeply spiritual. Pam Musil, Associate Professor in the Modern Dance Division of the Department of Dance, was amazed when she saw Crista's work and decided to head a dance concert based on the different sculptures.
The project involved over sixty-five collaborators--including student choreographers and composers, faculty choreographers and composers, lighting and set designers, student cinematographers, dancers, and more. Those involved with the project had the opportunity to travel to Arizona to see Heloise's work and to interview and talk with her about her work. The whole process was documented with extensive filming, which has produced two short documentaries to be shown on BYUtv, and third that was shown at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in October 2012.
The project culminated with a themed dance concert, entitled Transformations, which was presented at four sold-out performances. Heloise herself was able to attend one performance.
This project had extensive local impact in the Department of Dance, the College of Fine Arts and Communications, and across campus. The concert drew an audience that normally does not attend dance concerts. For example, musicians and composers who had never attended a dance concert became interested in the collaboration between dancers and musicians.
In 2014, Jensen's film, Inner Child - adults encountering their own inner child - was screened at the Contemporary Dance Theatre's show, Encounters; the 2014 LDS Film Festival at the Scera Theatre in Orem; and the BYU Contemporary Dance Theatre. The film project was funded by a grant from the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts.