Marla Hansen is retiring from a distinguished and enduring career of 33 years at Boise State University. Marla is a Theatre Arts Professor at Boise State in the Department of Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing. She directs the Dance Minor and the BSU-Idaho Dance Theatre Summer DanceFest workshop and is the Artistic Director and founder of Idaho Dance Theatre. Marla choreographs regularly for BSU Theatre and the Music Department.
Marla began her early professional training as a Harkness Ballet company trainee in New York City. She earned her BFA and MFA in ballet at the University of Utah while apprenticing with Ballet West. She danced with the Portland Ballet Company for three years and choreographed for several Northwest companies. She and her husband, Alfred Hansen, then joined the American Festival Ballet performing and choreographing from 1981 to 1989.
Marla and Alfred founded Idaho Dance Theatre (IDT) in 1989. IDT remains as Boise State’s only professional performing arts company in residence. Since starting the company, she has choreographed over 90 ballets for IDT. She has collaborated numerous times with other artists including composers Eric Sandmeyer and David Allen Earnest, pianists Del Parkinson and Mark Hansen, and soprano Laura Rushing Raynes. She has also collaborated with Opera Idaho and the Boise Phil Brass Quintet.
In the past few years, Marla has created highly successful and collaborative dance-on-film performances, including Journey of the Salmon, working with Rulon Wood in the Film Program, Eric Alexander in Music, and the Sierra Club. An acclaimed teacher, Marla was named the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, “Dance Educator of the Year” in 2017. She was also one of the 2015 Women of the Year honored by the Idaho Business Review.
Marla has dedicated her career as a teacher and professional dancer/choreographer to training young, aspiring students who hold the passion and the love for dance that she has.