Guest Choreographer/Stager: Lynne Taylor-Corbett

Our fall show is just around the corner! With three different ballets on the program, our dancers are keeping very busy! Recently we had guest stager/choreographer, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, spend two weeks here at KCB working with our dancers on Mercury.

Ms. Taylor-Corbett spoke with us recently about her inspiration behind her choreography for Mercury and why audiences will enjoy this particular ballet.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i06pNWtmWRc&w=560&h=315]

Behind-the-Scenes: “Mercury”

Our upcoming fall show, Carmina Burana, shares the evening with two other ballets; Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Mercury and Ben Stevenson’s End of Time.

Company dancer Tempe Ostergren was excited to talk to us about preparing for her role in Mercury, along with how it differs from Carmina Burana.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsdd2wa9rcc&w=560&h=315]

You may also recognize Tempe from our season poster!

Production Manager: Amy Taylor

Q: Why did you decide to work at Kansas City Ballet?
A: While I was a graduate student at UMKC, I was offered the chance to come and assist the lighting designer. Joe Appelt, who was head of the program at UMKC, and also a former lighting designer for KCB, knew that my primary interest was in dance. I felt I would be a good fit.

Q: Do you have a previous background in dance or theatre? If so, tell me a little bit about that.
A: Dance has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being something of a show off, my parents enrolled me in ballet and tap classes early; I was four. I continued dancing all the way through college.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to have a role in theatre production?
A: No, my practical side told me to head into business, accounting to be specific; theatre was just a fun sideline. There came a point where I had to make a choice and I decided that I really belonged in the theatre world. As part of my classes I had to take a lighting class and I loved it. My instructors encouraged me to pursue the field further, and I was accepted to the graduate program at UMKC.

Q: What is your main role as Production Manager?
A: My primary role is to oversee the technical aspects for each performance.

Q: What is the most challenging Ballet you have worked on and why?
A: This is a definite tie. One is when “The Nutcracker” was redesigned. There were some challenges with the design that took a lot of time and patience to solve and meet with Todd Bolender’s approval.

The second is “Tom Sawyer.” So much time and thought had been put into all aspects of this production that by the time we reached technical rehearsals in the beautiful new Kauffman Center, there were a couple days that I really just wanted to hide. During technical rehearsals, it is stressful to balance the desires of the entire team while tackling the unavoidable changes that happen once the production hits the stage for the first time. It was tremendously satisfying to know that Bill Whitener and all the designers were pleased and proud of what had been accomplished when the curtain went up opening night.

Q: What has been one of your most memorable moments at the Ballet over the past 20 years?
A: We were invited to perform at Ballet Across America in June of 2008. I had the opportunity to light Todd Bolender’s “The Still Point.” It was thrilling to be part of the festival, and it was a highlight of my design career.

Q: Working for a company for 20 years is quite an accomplishment. What has been your motivation behind your decision to stay with Kansas City Ballet for this long?
A: Ultimately, I love this art form. Being able to contribute my technical skills to bring what the artistic staff and dancers create in the studio to the stage is what keeps me motivated.

The Pas De Deux: Carmina Burana

“Pas de deux” is the ballet term for a type of duet. In Kansas City Ballet’s production of Carmina Burana, Oct. 12-21, two couples were cast to perform a pas de deux. Each couple performs the number different nights of the show’s run, depending on when their ‘cast’ is scheduled.

Learn more about the difficulty of partnering and perfecting the pas de deux in this video from the two casts; Rachel Coats & Anthony Krutzkamp and Angelina Sansone & Geoffrey Kropp.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yqFGDoxUlA&w=560&h=315]

Behind-the-Scenes: “Carmina Burana”

Toni Pimble, the Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer of Eugene Ballet Company spent four weeks at Kansas City Ballet staging Carmina Burana, as well as teaching her original choreography to the dancers.

Watch the video below to find out about the challenges of putting the show together and where she found her inspiration for the choreography. You will also see some behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsal!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zjjHfMrqSs&w=560&h=315]

Don’t forget! Carmina Burana tickets are on sale NOW! Order online or call the Ballet Box office at 816.931.2232.

Dancer Spotlight: Logan Pachciarz

Company dancer Logan Pachciarz is entering his 12th season with Kansas City Ballet. He began his professional dancing career at the age of 15 with Twyla Tharp’s dance ensemble Tharp!. Logan joined Kansas City Ballet in 2001 and is married to fellow KCB dancer, Rachel Coats.

Q: How did you become involved in dance?
A: My mom got me involved in dance when I was young, around 7-years-old. My sister was dancing and my brother and I were across the street at a daycare. Because my mom had to pick us up at different times, she just decided to include my brother and me at the ballet school. So, that’s how we got started. My mom needed a consolidated daycare program. It’s certainly a wonderful job to have.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working in the same place as your wife, Rachel?
A: It’s pretty great because we don’t ever leave each other’s side all day long. I always have somebody to confide in, play off of, work off of, and certainly partnering with her is one of my favorite things to do at work. But just knowing that my wife is so close at hand to take good care of me makes me feel comfortable in the workplace. And she takes very good care of me…and, hopefully, I take good care of her!

Q: What is your favorite aspect about the new Bolender Center building?
A: Space. I think there’ s a lot of space to be able to separate yourself and to be alone to think about what it is to be an artist. There’s a chance to decompress. There’s a chance to get away. I think that’s really important to be able to remove yourself to create a better understanding of what’s going on around you. A lot of times, I’ll go into an empty studio and take Barre. It’s just a very nice experience that a lot of people don’t have… a spacious facility to use.!

Q: This is your 12th season with Kansas City Ballet. What is it about the ballet that keeps you returning every year?
A: I think the Ballet has grown exponentially over the 12 seasons that I’ve been here. Every year it keeps getting stronger it keeps getting better…the quality just keeps growing. It’s fascinating to be a part of this company in a time that for a lot of companies is very turbulent. But we stay very strong, which is very appealing to me because obviously it’s a wonderful time to be a part of a company that is just going through a Renaissance. So it’s very rare to be a part of that and to care about that and to want the company to be better and I think that I’ve always wanted that. I’ve always wanted us to better and to work at our extreme, and I think we’re doing that. I think that this new building and the people that have worked so tirelessly to get us that is just an amazing accomplishment, and that draws me in to stay for a long time, to know that other people are just as committed as I am.

In case you missed our Facebook post yesterday, below is a short video clip of Logan telling us who he thinks is the funniest dancer…and who has the funniest looking hair…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaLNLsQ0K_4&feature=g-upl]

Dancer Spotlight: Jill Marlow

Learn more about Jill Marlow in the video below, as she talks about being married to fellow KCB dancer Anthony Krutzkamp, how she uses her college degree to help other dancers, and what she enjoys doing in her free time. (Hint: she’s a big sports fan!)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfaCMyDFveQ&feature=player_embedded]
To read more about staying healthy as a dancer, check out Jill’s blog, Dance Healthier.