Tamara Lynn Jonason, who has been involved in performing arts in Eureka Springs since 2004, is leaving Eureka Springs to join her daughter, Natasha Engleman, in Colorado where she moved recently to have better health care for a nerve injury that occurred after an allergy shot in 2011 left her unable to walk.
“Natasha has moved to have access to a comprehensive medical team who has her best interests in mind,” Tamara said. “We are moving to Colorado to help support Natasha on her path to regain use of her leg.”
Tamara, who has been a dancer practically from the age she could walk, has directed, choreographed and performed and produced many productions in the past 14 years. Production include The Art of Love, Renewal, The Calling, Informing the Future, Passages, Gwinna, House of Symphonies, Paradigm, and Plant Speaks. Her last performance in Eureka Springs would be the production Cosmic Key at The Cave Art Venue on Oct. 28.
“I think Tamara’s presence here has been a wonderful gift for us,” local artist Drew Gentle said. “Her particular light is something that moved all of us in a positive way.”
“I’m sorry to hear she is leaving,” jewelry artist Nancy Wines said. “She has brought a lot of good performing arts energy to Eureka Springs. She has been here a long time and done a wide variety of different types of dance performances.”
Tamara began her dance studies in the late 1970s. She said her desire as a two-year-old to share a little joy through song and dance became the catalyst for her 36-year ballet career.
Tamara has performed with the Colorado Ballet Company, and the Red River Dance & Performing Company, now Carousel, under the Artstic Direction of Cathy and Eddie Gasper (Bob Fosse’s right hand man). She was an apprentice with Ballet Arizona under the artistic direction of Jean Paul, and soloist for Opendance Progressive Ballet Company under the artistic direction of Michèle Ceballos Michot.
“My formative training grew from twenty to forty hours a week with Irina Dolgova from Leningrad, Russia, Vaganova technique; Michèle Ceballos Michot, Royal Ballet Academy; Franciose Joubert, French-Style Ballet, Phoenix, Ariz.; Jean Austin, Du Page Chicago; Manahkata Fargo/Moorhead, N.D.; and Cathy and Eddie Gasper, New York,” Tamara said.
Tamara said in her career teaching and choreographing she has been driven “for a divine uniqueness that comes from sharing another perspective of our human quest, our forever deepening commitment to remember our agreements that are so remarkably rooted in our imprinted core for which we continually grow with our compassion to live as organized healthy creative beings.”
In 2007, her family purchased an art venue on Greenwood Hollow Rd. where Tamara was artistic director and performer in many different theater, music, dance and experiential art installations in the 5,000-sq.-ft. venue known as Enthios Art Venue. Tamara has long been both a teacher as well as a performer.
Since moving to Eureka Springs, her father, Marvin, has designed sets and lightings for his daughter’s performances. He is currently designing sets for Willow Mancifoot, a musical by Valerie Damon that will be performed in May 2018.
Tamara is also the vocalist for Out of the Ages, an improvisational-based group fusing progressive rhythms with culture melodies. Other members of the group include Travis Clark, Chuck Tesner and Randy Rust. Music is primarily guitar, cello, keyboard, didgeridoo and vocals. She is currently creating sound scores for MoShen Dance Modes Company at The Cave Art Venue for Avante Garde Performance Art in Eureka Springs.
Seating is limited and RSVPs are required for the final performance Oct. 28 at The Cave Art Venue, 240 Hunstville Road (Hwy. 23 South), Suite B (across the street from Acord Home Center.) For more information call, (816) 377-9690 or visit the website, www.cavemanandtheballerina.com.