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Kansas City Ballet’s 53rd Season Closes with Dynamic Mix of American Dance
Final Performances at Lyric Theatre May 5-8 Includes Kansas City Premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Moves, Encore of Twyla Tharp’s The Catherine Wheel Suite and World Premiere of Kansas City Ballet’s William Whitener’s Mercy of the Elements

KANSAS CITY, MO (April 6, 2011) — Kansas City Ballet’s 2010-2011 season closes with a program of American dance including Jerome Robbins’ Moves, Twyla Tharp’s The Catherine Wheel Suite and Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director’s World Premiere of Mercy of the Elements.

The Spring Program May 5-8, 2011, will mark the final Kansas City Ballet season at the Lyric Theatre. The 2011-2012 season will open at the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

“I chose to conclude the 2011-12 season with three works that showcase our splendid dancers,” Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director William Whitener said.

“My new ballet, Mercy of the Elements, has been created for our ensemble and will be performed to an unusual woodwind and piano quintet by Rimsky-Korsakov. The music will be played by our Musical Director, Ramona Pansegrau (at the piano) and a sterling group of local musicians. Jerome Robbins’ daring ballet, Moves, is performed in silence and explores the intricacies of human relationships. The work, created in 1959, is a rare treasure and will receive its Kansas City premiere on this program. The season comes to a rousing finish with the return of Twyla Tharp’s The Catherine Wheel Suite. Ms. Tharp and I worked together to assemble this suite of three dances taken from the full-evening production, with music by David Byrne. The ballet culminates with the thrilling The Golden Section.

As we conclude our final season in the Lyric Theatre and prepare to open next fall in the magnificent Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts, the excitement will only build. The future holds great promise.”

Spring Performances 
May 5-8, 2011 | Lyric Theatre
American dance is highlighted with a program that includes the Kansas City Premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Moves, a World Premiere Mercy of the Elements by William Whitener, and the return of The Catherine Wheel Suite by Twyla Tharp.

Mercy of the Elements – A World Premiere
Choreography: William Whitener
Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Moves – Kansas City Premiere
Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Music: performed in silence

The Catherine Wheel Suite
Choreography: Twyla Tharp
Music: David Byrne

Thursday, May 5                               7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 6                          7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 7                                2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 8                                   2:00 p.m.

About the Spring Performances
The performance features the Kansas City Premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Moves. Jerome Robbins is an American legend; A five time Tony Award winner, two time Academy Award winner and creator of American classics such as West Side Story and Gypsy. The ballet premiered in 1959 at the Spoleto Festival, was a staple of the Joffrey Ballet’s repertory in the 1970’s and premiered at New York City Ballet in 1984.  Danced without musical accompaniment, Moves features the stark clarity of the body as an expressive instrument, placing the focus on precise and changing choreographic patterns.  The ballet is also an exploration of emotional connections and disconnections, beginnings and endings, shown through an intense gesture, a subtle movement, a glimpse of passion contained.  Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times called Moves, “An extraordinarily powerful experience as theater and dance. Mr. Robbins achieves so much in the simplest terms.”

The Spring Performances continue with the World Premiere Mercy of the Elements by Kansas City Ballet’s Artistic Director William Whitener.  In his 12th creation for Kansas City Ballet, Mr. Whitener’s premiere is danced to the music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov performed with live chamber music played by Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau. Whitener says, “I have chosen the rarely performed Quintet in B-flat Major for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Piano as the music for my new ballet because of its unusual combination of instruments and its element of surprise. The score is filled with quirkiness, gorgeous melody lines and great depth of feeling, all of which lend themselves to dancing – especially when played live by musicians at our May performances.”

Closing the Spring Performances will be The Catherine Wheel Suite by Twyla Tharp, creator of the smash hits Nine Sinatra Songs and Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out. With music by pop/rock icon David Byrne (Talking Heads), The Catherine Wheel Suite features a selection of dances assembled specifically for Kansas City Ballet by Tharp and William Whitener – an original cast member of the ballet – from 1981’s original, full-length work The Catherine WheelThe Suite finishes with the renowned and rousing finale, “The Golden Section.”  Arlene Croce of The New Yorker calls The Catherine Wheel, “A multi-level poetic fantasy with a twist of scalawag comedy… a suite of social dances through the ages.”

Sponsors
Kansas City Ballet’s 53rd season is supported by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, the Hallmark Corporate Foundation, the Kansas City Ballet Guild, and the Missouri Arts Council—a state agency. Moves is underwritten in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

About Kansas City Ballet
Kansas City Ballet’s new home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, is scheduled to open August 2011. Located in the historic Power House building on the west edge of the Union Station campus, the facility is named in honor of Todd Bolender, who served as artistic director from 1981 to 1995. The Bolender Center, will be one of the finest dance facilities in the country and will provide a permanent home for the Ballet company and its highly regarded school.

Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet is a 25-member professional ballet company under the direction of Artistic Director William Whitener and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. The company’s mission is to offer our community, region and dance profession, dance experiences of the highest quality. Kansas City Ballet is home to the Kansas City Ballet School which trains 600 children and adults, offering professional training for the career-minded student as well as for those seeking a healthy lifestyle. Through our professional company, school and community outreach programs such as ROAD, Project X, and Dance INFORMances, we seek to nurture and develop our artists, audiences and students in the creativity, diversity and joy of dance. Our new home, Kansas City Ballet’s Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, opening in August 2011, in conjunction with our new stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, is poised to make Kansas City AND Kansas City Ballet a true destination for dance.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Student Discounts
Students may arrive at the Lyric box office one to two hours prior to the Spring Performances and purchase a select seat for just $12 with a valid student I.D.

Social Media
Receive daily updates by joining the KCB Fan Page at www.facebook.com/kcballet and following @kcballet on Twitter.

Footnotes
Artistic Director William Whitener and guest dancers, choreographers, and musicians offer audience members an insider’s view on the story line, choreography, history, costumes, and music prior to each repertory performance. These informal discussions are free for all ticket holders and are held at the theater one hour prior to curtain for Kansas City Ballet repertory shows.


2011-2012 Season At A Glance
Kansas City Ballet at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Season Subscription Information
To make ballet affordable for everyone, Subscription Packages include major savings and benefits including: ticket discounts, savings on single ticket prices, priority seating in the new Kauffman Center, and free ticket exchanges. Subscriptions are available from $84. For ticket information for the 2011-2012 season, please call Kansas City Ballet ticket box office at 816.931.2232 or visit our web site at www.kcballet.org.

WORLD PREMIERE of TOM SAWYER – A Ballet in Three Acts | Director and Choreographer, Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director William Whitener; Composer, Tony Award winner, Maury Yeston (Grand Hotel, Titanic, Nine), with costumes by Holly Hynes, set design by Walt Spangler and lighting design by Kirk Bookman. October 14-23, 2011

The Nutcracker | Kansas City’s favorite holiday tradition continues with the presentation of Todd Bolender’s delightful family classic. December 3-24, 2011

Romeo & Juliet | One of the world’s most compelling stories of young love and the tragic results of family conflicts, featuring the superb musical score by Sergei Prokofiev. Choreography by Ib Andersen. February 17-26, 2012

Masters of American Dance | Presenting four choreographers whose work is not only recognized around the world but has special resonance for Kansas City Ballet – George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins and Todd Bolender. May 4-13, 2012

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Please direct all media inquiries to:  Ellen McDonald at 816.444.0052.

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