Choreography: William Whitener
Music: Various Artists
Mr. Whitener chose the title “Jaywalk” because it is defined as “walking in or across the street without regard to traffic rules and signals.” His dance makes reference to the Beat Generation and the advent of its “hipsters” who came in two varieties: “hot” (enthusiastic, fun-loving) and “cool” (withdrawn, nihilistic). The music ranges from classic jazz to a contemporary Eastern Indian composition to the spoken word. Jaywalk contains parts of two previous Whitener works: a solo set to Miles Davis’ classic, Blue in Green, which was originally created for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal in the early 1990’s and excerpts from Beat, originally created for the University of Kansas dance students in 2004.
The mavericks of the Beat Generation altered literature, music, fashion, and vocabulary and explored the philosophies of the Eastern Culture. They were a mix of artists, intellectuals, free thinkers and misfits – a cultural group whose values and norms were at odds with those of the social mainstream.
Kansas City Ballet World Premiere: February 23, 2006, Lyric Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri