ARTISTIC LEADERSHIP

Founder and Director

Abigail Henninger 

Abigail grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania where she trained at the Lake Erie Ballet. At the age of 18, Ms. Henninger received her first contract and immediately started performing professionally. Ms. Henninger has danced professionally with Madison Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theatre, and Sarasota Ballet, and has had guest appearances with Hosanna Sacred Arts, Master Works Festival, Neglia Ballet, and Suzanne Farrell Ballet in conjunction with the Sarasota Ballet. Abigail has also had the privilege of performing at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Henninger has had the opportunity to perform some of the great works of renowned choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, John Cranko, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Mathew Bourne, Andre Prokovsky, and many more. She has been blessed to perform lead roles in ballets such as "Who Cares", "Giselle", "Swan Lake", and "Les Patineurs". Some favorite ballets from her repertoire include: "There Where She Loved" by Christopher Wheeldon, “Nuoto” by W. Earle Smith, "Zelophehad" by Steve Rooks and "Checkmate" by Ninette de Valois’.

 

As a choreographer, Abigail has been able to set original works on Missouri Ballet Theatre, Hosanna Sacred Arts, Saving Grace Dance Ensemble, Arova Contemporary Ballet, Dancers of the Madison Ballet and various schools across the country.

 

She is the founder of Magnum Opus and serves the company as both a dancer and the artistic director. During the premier season of Magnum Opus, she was able to set eleven new works and one full length ballet. While in their second and third seasons Ms. Henninger set several  brand new pieces, a full-length production and the expansion of multiple existing works. During the fourth season of Magnum Opus Ms. Henninger transitioned the season to making films, performing outdoor works, and created unique ways for the company to perform throughout the entire season during the pandemic. 

 

Ms. Henninger has quickly developed a choreographic presence in Madison as "Having a knack for creating pleasing shapes with the dancers’ bodies and exploring the nuances of the score" mentioned by Madison's Isthmus. Ms. Henninger is thankful for the support of so many loved ones who have helped her put Magnum Opus into being and is elated to begin season five in the fall of 2021. Abigail wants to give all the glory back to her Creator for giving her the beautiful gift of dance.    

Trainee Leadership Team

Alexsandra Rockman, Trainee Coordinator 

Alexsandra began her dance training at age three in Sun Prairie, WI. At age eight, she moved to Dance Studio 3-D where she stayed through high school. She has been called “fearless” in her dancing. Her training consists of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, and acrodance. Alexsandra has participated in multiple summer programs throughout middle school and high school. These include Dance Masters of Wisconsin in Madison for six years and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters in Chicago for three years, as well as many master classes. Alexsandra choreographed her first solo at age nine. Since then, she has choreographed for musicals, other solo and group work. Alexsandra was accepted to and attended the Ruth Page Summer intensive in 2018. 

 

While still in high school, Alexsandra started teaching classes at Studio 3-D in Deerfield Wisconsin. She taught a range of ages from eight to eighteen in the same class. Alexsandra has also taught summer classes in ballet and pointe. 

 

At Northern Illinois University, she studied with Judith Chitwood, Paula Frasz, Richard Grund, Marc Macaranas, and Jessica Tomlinson. Her previous training was with Debra Griggas, Josh Hayes, Palmer Mathews, Liz Sexe, and Jennifer Stewart. While at NIU, she was cast in classical, contemporary and modern works. She had the honor of being selected by Susan Wincek as one of seven dancers to be part of a traditional Spanish dance utilizing shawls and castanets in 2018. In 2019, she was one of eight dancers to be cast in Joel Hall’s “Etude in Jazz #6” that was set on NIU students. 


Alexsandra thanks God for her many blessings and is excited to be part of Magnum Opus and work with the trainees for another season!

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Photo Credit: Halo Digital Photography

Kristen Kroll

Kristen Kroll grew up in South Florida and was called into missions at the age of 16. Her university years she participated in Campus Outreach, and mentors trained her how to study the Bible, do outreach, mentor others, and live missionally. She spent a summer sharing her faith in Thailand as a college student, then after graduation taught in Vietnam for a year. After completing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology and practicing in the public school system in Florida for several years, and marrying Jesse in 2002, the Kroll family was called overseas to Thailand from 2007 to 2011, to study the Thai language and help run an outreach center for Thai and tribal university students. After a two-year home-assignment, the Krolls returned to Thailand in 2013 to work in missions mobilization among churches in North Thailand.

 

The Kroll family has been serving in international student ministry since September of 2019 in Madison. Kristen and Jesse have two teenage daughters who love music, theater, art, and dance. Kristen is thrilled to have the opportunity to be the spiritual mentor of the dancers in the trainee program.

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Karen Chu

Karen grew up in Ames, IA, where she began her dance training at the Robert Thomas Dancenter. She fell in love with ballet there and has been dancing ever since, even through university and graduate school. While living in Chicago, IL for graduate school she continued advanced ballet training as part of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts Young Dancer Program. She loves both the technical challenge of ballet, as well as dance as a form of expression, and especially hopes to pass that on through her teaching. When she isn’t in the dance studio, Karen also enjoys doing graphic design and illustration, as well as music production, and singing and playing the piano. 

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