Former KCB School Student Shines in Canada

Poppy Trettel as "Clara" in Kansas City Ballet's "The Nutcracker" in 2017.
Poppy Trettel as Clara in Kansas City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” in 2017.

Poppy Trettel has been in love with ballet ever since her mom—a former KCBS dancer—signed her up for a class when she was 2 years old. Poppy trained at Kansas City Ballet School with hopes of becoming a professional dancer, or being cast in a dance movie. “My mom selected Kansas City Ballet School because she attended KCBS when she was young, and she wanted the best teachers for me. She also wanted a live pianist for my classes and great opportunities for me to perform,” Poppy said.

Now age 12, Poppy’s ballet star is quickly rising.

Poppy Trettel (11) and Grady George (12) in Bluebird Pas De Deux from The Sleeping Beauty. First Place winners in Pas De Deux YAGP 2017 Indianapolis, IN

YAGP OPENS A DOOR

One of the inaugural students in KCBS’s Daytime Program which started in 2016, Poppy has worked very hard on her clean classical ballet style and technique. She has participated and ranked in the Youth America Grand Prix competitions for the past few years. This past winter, she did so well she was offered a chance to attend Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) summer intensive.

NBS is the top ballet company in Canada’s school which is comfortably in the upper echelon of worldwide status. Getting to know her over the summer, they saw her potential and invited her to attend for the school year. That meant making a big move to Canada and living in the school’s dormitory.

Happily, she wasn’t alone. Her former KCBS classmate and dance partner, Grady George, also attends NBS.

“We are SO proud of Poppy.  Her work ethic and grace have taken her so far in her young career,” says School Director Grace Holmes. “She has been able to fully embrace all of the training and support our faculty have given her, and has taken it to a whole new level. We look forward to seeing where her talent and hard work takes her!”

NUTCRACKER ROLES

Poppy Trettel (12) performs as Marie in Canada's National Ballet 2018 production of "The Nutcracker".
Poppy Trettel (12) performs as Marie in Canada’s National Ballet 2018 production of “The Nutcracker”.

In 2017, Poppy danced the role of “Clara” in Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker along with two others. Of course she’d grown up dancing roles in The Nutcracker including Bunny, polichinelle, party scene and more.

This year, she was selected to be one of three girls dancing the role of “Marie” (similar to our “Clara”) in The National Ballet of Canada’s production of The Nutcracker Dec. 8-30 and was awarded opening night.

“Watching Poppy grow up while training under the skilled faculty of Kansas City Ballet Academy has been a very rewarding experience,” says KCB Artistic Director Devon Carney.

“Her participation in several of our productions over the years, especially as Clara in Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, has proven to be quite formative for her. It is not surprising that her advancement beyond her years is now being recognized by The National Ballet of Canada. I believe she has a great potential to go far in her future in the dance world. We wish her all the best.”

MORE PHOTOS

Poppy Trettel (12) as Marie in Canada's National Ballet 2018 production of "The Nutcracker".
Poppy Trettel (12) as Marie in Canada’s National Ballet 2018 production of “The Nutcracker”.
Poppy Trettel and Simo Atanasov performing a pas de deux at the 2018 YAGP Finals.
Poppy Trettel and Simo Atanasov performing a pas de deux at the 2018 YAGP Finals.
Poppy Trettel and Simo Atanasov performing a pas de deux at the 2018 YAGP Finals.
Poppy Trettel and Simo Atanasov performing a pas de deux at the 2018 YAGP Finals.
KCB School Marketing Ad from 2014-15 Season featuring a young Poppy Trettel. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
KCB School Marketing Ad from 2014-15 Season featuring a young Poppy Trettel. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Poppy Trettel as Bunny in KC Ballet's "The Nutcracker" in 2014. Photography by Steve Wilson.
Poppy Trettel as Bunny in KC Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” in 2014. Photography by Steve Wilson.

PAST YOUTH AMERICA GRAND PRIX POSTS WITH POPPY TRETTEL

2018 YAGP NY Finals Results

2018 YAGP Results for KCBS

KC Hosts Youth American Grand Prix

KCBS Competes: 2017 YAGP Finals in NY

KC Ballet School has Historic Showing at Youth American Grand Prix

 

 

Student Profile: Joanna Marsh

Joanna Marsh (pictured front-right above) is an avid Kansas City Ballet School Studio Class Student as well as the author of Cantique, a novel following novice dancer Colette Larsen as she is thrust into the world of professional ballet.

What do you enjoy about ballet?

There are so many things I enjoy about ballet. I love how it combines art and athleticism—beauty and strength. I love the music itself and the creative energy and camaraderie that builds up in the studio. And I enjoy taking part in a tradition that has survived for so long; ballet has such a fascinating history.

The way I started as a teen was rather unconventional. Ballet wasn’t on my radar until I saw Robert Altman’s movie The Company. It opened my eyes to what ballet really is, and I was completely enthralled by it, though it never occurred to me to ask my parents for classes. Not long after that, I went to a party on a whim, and some friends there invited me to take a summer session with them at Legacy School of the Arts. Thanks to The Company, I was primed to accept the invitation, though I had no idea how important ballet would become to me.

What would you tell someone considering taking adult studio ballet classes?

I would tell them that it’s never too late to learn how to dance! And also to remember that it’s okay for adults to be beginners. Ballet is challenging, and it takes a while to catch on—just be patient with yourself. Keep things light, enjoy the music, and you will be surprised by how much you can progress. And don’t worry about other students watching you; we are all busy focusing on our own dancing!

In your book, Cantique, your main character begins taking ballet classes as an adult. According to your website you took ballet at 16 and then came back to it as an adult. What inspired you to return to ballet? 

I returned because I missed it terribly! My ballet training as a teen was very short–only about a year, which was long enough to fall in love with it. I gave it up for various reasons (none of which were very good) and always regretted that decision.

I continued to think about ballet quite often. After taking a couple of dance courses in college, I promised myself I would find some classes once I graduated. Eventually, I found KCB and knew that I wouldn’t let ballet go this time! That was over seven years ago.

How did you go about researching the book?

I didn’t need to do much research because I had already spent years immersing myself in ballet. I had a lot of experience to draw from. I did interview Taryn (Layne-Mulhern) Ouellette, one of my teachers, after my first draft was written. I wanted to gain a little insight from a teacher’s perspective to evaluate what I had already written into Marianne’s character. It was fun to hear about what drives Taryn’s love of ballet, and she is an excellent teacher for adult beginners.

Are there similarities between yourself and your main character Colette Larsen?

Colette and I definitely have some similarities. Obviously, our shared love of ballet is one. She and I are also both creative introverts who love our cats. Otherwise, we have completely different family lives and careers, and I’d like to think that I’m more confident and less neurotic than Colette can be sometimes! Oh, and I’m a terrible seamstress; you will never find me making my own dancewear.

In your book, you describe the Westmoreland Ballet, and it sounds a lot like Kansas City Ballet including the layout of the building. How much did you base this fictional company on KCB?

I actually tried to avoid basing Westmoreland on the Bolender Center, but I’m sure there are some similarities—the “little theater” studio being an obvious one. In the book, Westmoreland is described as a “sprawling, Prairie School building,” “rather plain,” and “subject to several half-hearted renovations.” This is not at all how I would describe the sleek and beautifully restored Bolender Center! Besides this brief passage, I intentionally left the descriptions and setting vague, so readers seem to picture whichever ballet school they are most familiar with.

As for the company itself—I wanted it to pass for any mid-sized, Midwestern ballet company. None of the characters in the book are based on actual KCB dancers or staff members.

The hardware store is called Tempe’s. We have a certain ballerina named Tempe Ostergren… coincidence?

Ha,ha! I knew someone would ask me about that one day! Honestly, it was not intentional, although her name was likely floating around in my subconscious at the time. (I finished the first draft in 2015, after I was a supernumerary in Giselle, so I had watched her perform several times.) In the book, the store is named after the original owner, Walter Tempe, but it didn’t take me long to realize the KCB connection. I decided to keep the name anyway. We can go ahead and say it’s a nod to Tempe Ostergren—she’s an incredible dancer!

Where did you get your inspiration for the plot of the ballet?

The plot of the ballet came straight out of Song of Solomon and its various interpretations. I basically read through the book and tried to imagine how Colette might structure a ballet from it. Originally, the music was going to be based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, and the plot of the novel was more about Colette searching through archives to discover the origin of the music. (I’m an archivist and mistakenly thought this was a good idea at the time.) Eventually, the novel morphed into a love story and Song of Solomon seemed like a better pairing.

Was there a piece of music you heard in class?

Not specifically. The first scene I wrote is the one where Colette hears a mysterious song in class during rond de jambe and closes her eyes, overcome by the beauty of the music. Her friend Sammy, who is watching her through the mirror, sees this and gently mocks Colette for being overly romantic. This scene just came to me in a flash one day in 2013, and I felt compelled to write it down. So, there was never one piece in class that inspired it. I will say that I’ve had similar moments during rond de jambe before, though. Probably to Chopin’s Waltz no. 7 in C-sharp minor. That one gets me every time!

How long did it take you to write Cantique?

I’d say at least two and a half years. I wrote sporadic scenes as early as 2013 but wrote the bulk of the manuscript in about six months during 2015. It took another year and a half of editing before I published in June 2017.

What was the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was releasing Cantique to the public. I’m a perfectionist and could have kept polishing it for another ten years before I’d let anyone else see it. But I needed it to be done. It’s still difficult knowing that it’s out there and people can interpret it however they want. Understandably, readers have a hard time separating me from the story, which can be a bit mortifying at times. I often have to remind people that it’s a work of fiction!

Tell me more about your blog? How did that come about? Where do you find your subjects to interview?

My blog was a way to connect with fellow dancers and readers. Thanks to Instagram, I realized that there is an ever-growing community of adult ballet students all over the world. I found this really fascinating and chose to interview a variety of people whose stories caught my attention. Adult beginners often feel out-of-place or even embarrassed about their interest in ballet; I wanted the blog to celebrate their efforts and to show people that they’re far from alone. Ballet can be for anyone.

Any plans for more books?

I would love to write more books. I promised my readers a sequel but am working on it at a snail’s pace. I work full time and dance 3-4 nights a week, so finding the time is a struggle!

Does your husband enjoy ballet?

He does! He is nowhere near as obsessed as I am, but he has taken class with me twice and enjoys watching performances. He is a musician and is very understanding of my need for time in the studio. If I’m having an off night and dragging my feet about going to class, he’ll tell me, “You’ll feel better if you go.” And he’s always right.

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Devon Carney Talks Nutcracker

FROM DEVON CARNEY, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:

It seems like only yesterday, we launched this amazing $2 million production of Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker. It seems like only yesterday… but it’s now been three years.

In that time, I’ve seen it nearly 75 times on stage at the Kauffman Center. Last year, in 2017, we even took it on the road to The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. where we performed multiple times to sold-out audiences.

TRADITIONS

Each year I continue to make revisions here and there, always striving to make it just right. I know perfection is impossible, but the art… the art is in the striving. I am excited at the unique opportunity to revisit, reexamine, rethink, re-envision, and renew this production for you each and every year. The magic lives in the details and each performance holds the key to discovering new heights of artistic achievement.

These beloved characters and familiar roles are treasured traditions and even fertile testing ground for identifying the next leading dancers in our company. It’s also an earned rite of passage for our student performers. It’s the chance to see the next generation stepping into the limelight in featured roles, and it’s you and your loved ones bearing witness to it all.

This show is for kids from 2 to 102—and that’s always my goal—to experience the holidays with a childlike heart and sense of wonder. My hope is you walk out of the theatre feeling lighter on your feet and bursting with holiday spirit as well.

May that spirit of the season inspire you to laugh a little louder, hug a little tighter and delight in the special moments that are so wonderful. Let us remember these festive events and give thanks for our blessings.

Happiest Holidays!

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

2018-19 KCB II Profile: Austin Meiteen

KCB II dancer and member of Kansas City Ballet’s Second CompanyAustin Meiteen is from Austin, Tex. He joined Kansas City Ballet last season as a Trainee. Depending on the cast of each show, he performs as the dancing bear, a Trepak, Mother Ginger and more during performances of The Nutcracker through Dec. 23, 2018.

Kansas City Ballet Dancers Austin Meiteen, Javier Morales, and Angelin Carrant. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers Austin Meiteen, Javier Morales, and Angelin Carrant. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.

A: My older sister started dance when we were younger, and for car pool reasons, it was just easiest to take me to the studio with her when she had class. They saw me dancing around the waiting room and asked if I wanted to join classes too. I haven’t stopped since.

Q: WHAT QUESTION DO YOU GET ASKED MOST ABOUT BEING A DANCER? 

A: “Can you do the splits?” And then, depending on how sore I am or what pants I’m wearing, I usually drop and show them.

Q: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE DANCING IN PROFESSIONAL COMPANY PERFORMANCES?

A: Kind of surreal. It’s something you work for for so long, and then one day it just happens. It never feels possible to stop growing within a performance either. I want everything to be of the best of its ability for every performance, for every new crowd. Knowing now that people are paying to see me makes me want to be that much more.

Q: WHAT’S SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

A: My family had four dogs and two sugar gliders when I was growing up. Animals are highly valued to me.

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

A: Never be afraid to want more.

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

2018-19 Trainee Profile: Sidney Haefs

2018-2019 KC Ballet Trainee and Second Company Member Sidney Haefs. Photography by Savanna Daniels.

Trainee and member of Kansas City Ballet’s Second CompanySidney Haefs grew up in Santa Clarita, Calif. Sidney is a graduate of the University of Utah School of Dance where, in three years, she earned a B.F.A. in Ballet as well as a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She performs as a snowflake, a flower and more during The Nutcracker performances through Dec. 23, 2018.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.

A: I started dancing when I was 3 ½ years old and then moved on to ice-skating! After a few years of skating, my mother, who had studied ballet through her young adult years, thought it best to transition me towards that path. At first I didn’t really enjoy it. I continued with it because I felt like there was something keeping me connected to the art form. After a while I started to enjoy the structure and self-discipline required to strengthen ones technique. After getting to perform in many productions with my home studio, I fell in love with how, as dancers, we are able to tell a story through movement. Then, when I attended Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program, I knew I wanted to pursue dance as a professional career!

Q: WHAT QUESTION DO YOU GET ASKED MOST ABOUT BEING A DANCER? 

A: I think the most common questions I get asked are: “Are your feet really ugly?” and “Doesn’t it hurt to dance on your toes?” Everyone always wants to see how my feet are holding up! I usually end up explaining how my toes have become so accustomed to the discomfort that after so long, pointe shoes just feel normal. It just takes time to find what works for you when it comes to the correct padding!

Q: WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

A: Vanilla milkshakes seem to be my go to! These are definitely not that great for you, but they always seem to make me feel better.

Q: HOW DO YOU STAY FIT AND HEALTHY OUTSIDE OF THE STUDIO?

A: Some of the ways that I cross train outside of the studio would be Pilates, cycling, and weight training! I try to stick with these modes of exercise because I really enjoy them which, in turn, keeps me motivated to actually do them after dancing so many hours a day!

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

A: One of my professors at the University of Utah told me to never let a bad performance get you down. I had fallen during a show and it was really devastating. You put in so much work to prepare for performances and the hardest part about live theatre is that anything can happen. She explained to me that I couldn’t let that moment onstage affect my work in the classes or rehearsals that followed. I just needed to pick my self up and keep moving forward. This was great advice because it really showed me that there is something to learn from both success and failure and without those experiences we cannot continue to grow as dancers and artists.

 

Top Photo by Savanna Daniels.

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Lilliana Hagerman

Lilliana Hagerman was born in Pordenone, Italy, and started dancing at the age of 6. She joined Kansas City Ballet in 2014 as a member of KCB II and climbed the ranks from there. She will dance the role of the “Sugar Plum Fairy” along with her husband Lamin Pereira dos Santos as “Her Cavalier” Dec. 9th at 5 p.m. and Dec. 16th at 1 p.m.

Kansas City Ballet Dancers Lilliana Hagerman and Lamin Pereira dos Santos rehearse the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier for The Nutcracker. Photo by Elizabeth Stehling.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers Lilliana Hagerman and Lamin Pereira dos Santos rehearse the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier for The Nutcracker. Photo by Elizabeth Stehling.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.

A: When I was young and before I even knew what ballet or dance was, I used to “dance” around the house all the time my parents told me. So, when we moved to the States my parents enrolled me in ballet class. The rest is history.

Q: HOW DO YOU STAY FIT OUTSIDE OF THE STUDIO? 

A: I love swimming. It’s the only other kind of work out besides dancing that I find fun.

Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

A: I was born in Italy because both of my parents were in the military and I lived there for four years.

Q: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PROFESSIONAL DANCER WITH A BALLET COMPANY?

A: It’s surreal. Not many people can say their dream came true, but I can and that is something I am thankful for everyday.

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

A: To always stay humble. If you get to the top by stepping on other people, it’s because you couldn’t do it with your own talent. So, it’s not worth it.

PAST PROFILES

Dancer Profile: Lilliana Hagerman

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

2018-19 KCBII Dancer Profile: Wojciech Ogloza

Wojciech Ogloza is originally from Ridgefest, California. He started dancing at age 15. This is his first season dancing with KCB II, part of Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.

A: I started out dancing because a studio needed assistance with some performances. After I experienced life on stage, I found a love for inspiring and invoking a change of emotion from an audience. I wanted to fly and have others feel something they haven’t ever felt while watching a ballet. It’s a hard goal to see progress in, but when you do, it’s the most rewarding part of the job.

Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT DANCING? 

A: To be honest, what I love to do more than anything is to just get away from people. It sounds terrible but just being on a walk alone in the wilderness is amazing, or being with friends and family. We have to be around so many people on a day-to-day basis in our work environment, so getting away from it every now and again can be very pleasant. Just enjoying some good old-fashioned TLC.

Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

A: I guess something that people figure out over time from me is that I come from a pretty large family. I have five blood brothers, and a bunch more we kinda took in over time. (Family friends have been with us so long they are now brothers.) In total it’s six boys from mom and dad, and a couple more adopted. Out of all of us, only two of us ever sought out to do ballet. So far it’s been quite a ride.

Q: WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PROFESSIONAL DANCER WITH A BALLET COMPANY?

A: Being a professional dancer isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, it is a lot of hard work and a lot of time, sweat and blood put into an art form. While it might seem very glamorous from an onlooking perspective, it is one of the most challenging adventures one person can embark on. In a professional environment, you’ll meet amazing people and have wonderful opportunities. The hard part about it is getting past all of the bumps in the road that come with being a dancer. We work long days all week, and you are always striving to be better in a professional environment.

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

A: The best tips I ever got about my career would be from two teachers at PNB. Both had some pretty influential things to say. One said you need to train and work on yourself so much that you know you can sell it for what you’re worth. The other teacher told me that no matter what happens, try and carry as much positive energy with you as you can. You’ll need it for later in your career. The reason this was so influential was that it made me realize how I needed to do things instead of letting things happen on a whim.

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

New Sensory-Friendly Nutcracker Performance

KCB Company and School Dancers. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a cherished holiday tradition for many. But for some families whose loved ones have sensory sensitivities, this experience has seemed out of reach… until now.

Partnering with Autism Speaks, Children’s Mercy Hospital and Breedlove Family Foundation, Kansas City Ballet is pleased to present a sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker for children, families and adults with sensory sensitivities, autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome or other special needs. Appropriate changes have been made to the performance on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, to create a welcoming and safe space for all in attendance.

What makes this performance sensory friendly?

• Reduced sound levels, especially loud and surprising noises.

In order to create a more calming atmosphere, Music Director Ramona Pansegrau will be leading the Kansas City Symphony in a softer version of The Nutcracker score geared towards anyone with sound sensitivities. Artistic Director, Devon Carney, also has worked to make any necessary changes to parts of the performance that may be alarming or frightful for this audience such as cannon shots, etc. All of these changes are intended to create maximum enjoyment for our audience.

• House lights will remain half lit.

Keeping the lights in the theatre on at about 20% will allow just enough light for family members to see each other therefore making many of our guests feel more comfortable in this space.

• Relaxed house rules…

freedom to get up and move around, and permission to talk freely during the performance. Trusting families to behave in the most appropriate way that works for them is the goal. To help with this, audience numbers will be limited so that families can spread out in the theatre, as needed.

• Designated quiet space will be available throughout the evening.

Those that need a respite from the entertainment, for whatever reason, will be able to access areas to relax and recharge.

• Trained staff, ushers, and volunteers to assist patrons.

The Kauffman Center and the Ballet will have plenty of cheerful staff, ushers and volunteers available for whatever needs arise.

“We want everyone to feel welcome and to see the theatre as a safe space,” Artistic Director Devon Carney said. “We want the audience to let their imaginations soar and experience the magic of The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker: What to Expect

Very soon, you will be taken to the Kingdom of Snow and Land of the Sweets in The Nutcracker!

27 holiday performances at the Kauffman Center • Souvenir Photo Booth • Nutcracker Holiday Boutique

The scale of this production is impressive:

• Last year, Kansas City Ballet presented seven sold-out performances of The Nutcracker at the world-renowned John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to rave reviews.

This bright, colorful production bursts forth on the stage with its abundance of joy and holiday cheer, which is immensely satisfying …” – DC Metro Arts

  • Featuring dozens of colorful characters, Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker is one of the region’s most successful presentations, all led by the extraordinary professional Kansas City Ballet Company, Second Company and 212 students selected from Kansas City Ballet School.
  • Kansas City Ballet has been performing The Nutcracker annually since 1972.
  • Kansas City Ballet engaged designers with international credentials to create this new The Nutcracker. The design team included Devon Carney (choreography), Holly Hynes (costumes), Alain Vaës (sets), and Trad A Burns (lighting).
  • The production, which cost $2 million to create, took over one year to build, with four studios building sets and backdrops and 27 costume studios from all over the United States.
  • The Sugar Plum Fairy tutu has 254 stones on it as well as velvet leaves hand-pressed over a fire. The lace on the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu cost $100/yard.
  • The snow is made up of specially coated and cut paper and approximately 50 lbs. are used for each performance.
  • Approximately 55 people work backstage to coordinate scenery, lighting, costumes and other duties during each performance.
  • New this season is a family-friendly sensory performance, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. This special performance of The Nutcracker is geared towards children, families and adults with sensory sensitivities, autism spectrum disorder or other special needs. To learn more, click here.
  • Kansas City Ballet Guild Nutcracker Boutique. When you attend, shop at the boutique for fun holiday items, including a variety of festive Nutcrackers and ornaments.
  • Nutcracker Souvenir Photos are available in the lobby with characters before and after the show. To pre-purchase, click here.
  • In 2015, The Nutcracker reached over 95% sold to capacity and $2.56 million in sales, smashing records and generating $700,000 more in ticket sales over the previous year.
  • That same year 37,752 people of all ages attended The Nutcracker marking it as the highest attendance in its Kansas City Ballet history.

REHEARSAL TO STAGE: VIDEOS

Tickets are still available click here or call the Ballet Box Office at 816.931.8993.

 

Photography: Top image – Dancer Whitney Huell. Photographer: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Nicholas Keeperman

In his first season with Kansas City Ballet, meet Company Apprentice, Nicholas Keeperman. This Illinois native is getting to know KC.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BeCAME A DANCEr.

A: I got started by watching my sister dancing in the studio when I was little. I was attracted to how hard it was and enchanted by the feeling of performing.

Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT DANCING?

A: I like to relax and read books and unwind from the day as best I can. I feel it is important to get a clear head space before everyday at work.

KC Ballet Dancers in the recent "The Wizard of Oz". Nicholas Keeperman on the far left. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
KC Ballet Dancers in the recent “The Wizard of Oz”. Nicholas Keeperman on the far left. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: WHAT WOULD MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?

A: I’m very good at puzzles and I have three older siblings and have lived away from home since I was 13.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STRETCH?

A: I love rolling out my muscles before class. It’s important for me to stay loose for my dancing.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST DANCING ADVICE YOU RECEIVED AND WHY?

A: To keep my head up and never doubt myself. It’s important to believe in yourself because you’re the only person that can decide your future.

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios