Event Recap: Dance Speaks—Male New Moves Choreographers Talk

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the four male choreographers for Kansas City Ballet’s upcoming New Moves program (Feb. 16-19) participated in a panel discussion moderated by KCB Artistic Director Devon Carney at the ballet’s home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. The choreographers, Yury Yanowsky, Michael Davis, Gustavo Ribeiro, and James Kirby Rogers, are all creating world premiere works on the company. With the exception of Yury, all panelists are current KCB dancers. This discussion was an opportunity for the community to learn more about the choreographic process and to ask questions of these rising talents.

Male New Moves Choreographers from R to L: Yury Yanowsky, Gustavo Ribeiro, Moderator/KCB Artistic Director Devon Carney, Michael Davis, and James Kirby Rogers.

Upcoming Event

Next month, the female choreographers, Gabrielle Lamb, Molly Wagner, and sister team, Andi Abernathy and Stephanie Ruch, will be sharing more about their works for the New Moves program. Dance Speaks: New Moves Female Voices takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Hilliard Gallery, 1820 McGee, KC MO, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $20 here. Seats are limited.

Upcoming Performances

New Moves performances will be held Feb. 16-19, 2017 at KCB’s home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity (500 W. Pershing Rd., KCMO). Tickets are on sale now for $35 by calling 816.931.8993 or clicking here.

Student Auditions for The Sleeping Beauty

Last Sunday more than 90 Kansas City Ballet School students auditioned for roles in Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty. There are roles for young boys and girls as pages for kings, queens and fairies, and roles for older girls in the garland waltz— a total of 30 to 40 student roles per performance.

Those selected will be notified Tuesday evening via email and will jump in with both feet, as rehearsals begin Wednesday. The Sleeping Beauty will be performed March 31-April 9 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

A group of male students audition for the role of king pages.
KCB Artistic Director Devon Carney leads a student audition for the role of queen and fairy pages for “The Sleeping Beauty.”
KCB Artistic Director Devon Carney leads a student audition for the role of queen and fairy pages for “The Sleeping Beauty.”

Photography by Andrea Wilson

New Moves 2017 Rehearsals Begin

Kansas City Ballet’s annual New Moves performances are set for Feb. 16-19 at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. The program consists of brand new works. Choreographers from the national and local scene, as well as many from within the company will present their world premieres. Tickets are $35 and are on sale now. Watch the blog for more updates on this exciting line up.

KCB Dancer Kelsey Hellebuyck rehearses a new work choreographed by James Kirby Rogers for New Moves 2017. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

KCB Dancer Kelsey Hellebuyck rehearses a new work choreographed by James Kirby Rogers for New Moves 2017. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

School Notes: 2017 Summer Intensive Auditions Begin

Auditions are under way for Kansas City Ballet School’s 2017 Summer Intensive program. This Saturday, Jan. 14, the first of two Kansas City auditions will be held at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity located at 500 W Pershing Rd. Click here for more information about this, and all other auditions.

Guest faculty includes: Karin Averty, Laszlo Berdo, Tina LeBlanc, Iliana Lopez, and Connor Walsh. Read their incredible bios: here.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Summer Intensive program.

Artistic Profile: Parrish Maynard

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This past fall, Kansas City Ballet invited Parrish Maynard to join the ranks of Ballet Master for the company. We spent a few minutes with Mr. Maynard to see how the transition has gone.

He has really enjoyed getting to know KC. He spoke of the energy of the city, the friendliness of its residents and the many outstanding arts amenities, and of course, about the BBQ!

Mr. Maynard was visiting Kansas City Ballet School over the summer as a guest teacher for the Summer Intensive program. He had been working with and choreographing for students since his dance career was cut short by an injury. “I retired after I broke my foot dancing,” he said. “I was devastated. My artistic director, Helgi Tomasson, asked me to try teaching in the San Francisco Ballet School. He said he wanted me to choreograph. In my time there I choreographed 23 ballets. It opened up my eyes to choreography.”

And, after 12 years, Mr. Maynard felt it was time to move onto something else.

“I was excited for the opportunity to work with professional dancers,” he said. “I’m so amazed by how much work they do for each show. Often they learn so many different roles and their days are difficult and their stamina is strong. Devon is great. He’s such a positive energy and so generous!”

He believes the company has very good energy and a positive atmosphere every day—which makes the job easier. He’s looking forward to The Sleeping Beauty. “I performed these roles at American Ballet Theatre, so this a bit of the passing of the torch. I’m also very excited about Balanchine’s Theme and Variations coming up this spring. I’ve done it my whole career. I’m happy to be passing my knowledge and experience on,” Maynard says.

Mr. Maynard’s Motto: Never stop working or learning.