“For a professional ballet company in a midsize city in our country to be able to celebrate a 60th anniversary is almost startling.”

Reflecting on this noteworthy anniversary of the company he has led for nearly the past two decades, Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley says this, “It takes many committed people over a long period of time to mold a small, cheeky company into a community cultural institution.  But that is in fact what has happened here.  Volunteers, board members, artists, staff, businesses, philanthropic leaders and so many more have staked a claim for this company’s success long before there was reliable evidence of its eventual arrival.  It took faith.  And this year, as we reflect on where this company has traveled and where it has arrived and where it continues to move, we see the resounding benefit that faith has wrought.”

In addition to a stunning series of performances in Kansas City to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee Season, the Company was invited to tour to Washington D.C. and present seven The Nutcracker performances at the world-renowned John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, November 22, 24-26, 2017. The Kennedy Center selects one outstanding ballet company to present their unique version of the cherished ballet. In recent years, The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet West and American Ballet Theatre have brought their Nutcracker to The Kennedy Center — and now Kansas City Ballet joins this group of esteemed American ballet companies.

interactive Timeline

The story of Kansas City Ballet is one of daunting challenges transformed into exciting opportunities. Incredibly, what began 60 years ago as a civic ballet company has now come to embody the collective talents, dreams and passion of an entire community.

Click below to experience a visual telling of Kansas City Ballet’s history starting with the early years. We will unveil new sections over the upcoming months. Scroll down to see the various moments.


era videos

On April 8, 2018, Kansas City Ballet celebrated 60 years with videos presenting each artistic director era – Tatiana Dokoudovska, Todd Bolender, William Whitener, and Devon Carney. Please enjoy watching these videos below.