Special “Swan Lake” Performance Added for Local Girl Scouts

Thanks to a generous donation from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City Ballet added a special performance of Swan Lake just for local Girl Scouts, their leaders and adult chaperons last Wednesday, Feb. 24.

The invitation to this exclusive performance was extended to local Girl Scouts in NE Kansas and NW Missouri. Within one hour of opening the box office phone lines, the show was sold out. In addition to attending Swan Lake, each girl scout in the audience received a Swan Lake badge to add to their sash.

Kansas City Ballet was absolutely thrilled to offer local troops this opportunity to experience the arts. The turnout was excellent, and the laughter and excitement that followed made Wednesday an unforgettable night for all in attendance.


Troop1157 GS audience2






GS with Swan Patch


KC Ballet School has Historic Showing at Youth American Grand Prix


For the first time, Kansas City Ballet School sent a large group of students to Chicago to compete in the annual Youth American Grand Prix which holds competitions in more than 17 cities across the United States and six cities around the world. The Chicago competition took place Feb. 4-7. School Director Grace Holmes accompanied the students and teachers.

“I am SO proud of our students who performed at Youth American Grand Prix,” Ms. Holmes said. “We brought 18 students (our 19th injured her foot the week before the competition), aged 9-19. KCB School has made a big impression this year. Not only did the students dance well, they also acted as gracious ambassadors for our organization.

Our students began working on their solos and duets in September and have been diligent about refining their technique and artistry through private lessons that fell outside of their already rigorous Academy schedule.  You can imagine how difficult it was for them (and us) to make time for rehearsals during The Nutcracker.  It can also be an overwhelming experience to work for four months on something and then have only 1-2 minutes of performance time to show off your hard work. There were more than 600 entries in this competition, so we are thrilled to have our students perform so well under pressure and to place so highly.”

Kansas City Ballet students performed quite well earning the following rankings:

Junior Classical Solos (167 competitors):

Top 24 – Melody Sasser (12 yrs, Level 6)

Top 12 – Leah Reiter (13 yrs, Level 6)

Junior Contemporary Solos (112 competitors):

3rd Place – Leah Reiter (13 yrs, Level 6)

Duets and Ensembles (43 competitors):

Top 12 – Aurora Wessel (9 yrs, Level 4) & Grady George (11 yrs, Level 4), Leah Reiter (13 yrs, Level 6) & Lukas Pringle (19 yrs, Level 8), Penelope Guezuraga (9 yrs, Level 3) & Poppy Trettel (9 yrs, Level 3)

Two of our dancers have been chosen to participate in an ensemble piece in the Gala performance at the New York City Finals (April 22-29):

Melody Sasser (12 yrs, Level 6), Leah Reiter (13 yrs, Level 6)


Two of our Pas de Deux couples have been chosen to compete in the New York City Finals (April 22-29):

Leah Reiter (13 yrs, Level 6) & Lukas Pringle (19 yrs, Level 8)

Aurora Wessel (9 yrs, Level 4) & Grady George (11 yrs, Level 4) [both pictured below]


Ms. Holmes would like to thank all of the coaches: Racheal Nye, Ryan Nye, David Justin, Dima Trubchanov, and everyone else who contributed to this wonderful opportunity.  And she would like to extend a second extra big THANK YOU to Racheal Nye, who put in literally hundreds of hours coaching, sewing, doing makeup and hair, and organizing the ‘behind the scenes’ in addition to making sure KCBS students were fully prepared to dance their best.

“Swan Lake” Premiere Tonight!

Kansas City Ballet presents Swan Lake, with choreography by KCB’s Artistic Director Devon Carney after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and the mesmerizing score of Peter I. Tchaikovsky. This will be the first full-length presentation of Swan Lake in Kansas City Ballet’s history. Artistic Director Devon Carney said,

“I am so thrilled to see our dancers get the opportunity to perform this defining work for our audiences. To this day, the dual role of Odette/Odile is world famous and a major milestone in a dancer’s career. Additionally, the group of swans that compromise the corps de ballet must breathe and move almost as one—the quintessential example of precision and timing. It isn’t any wonder this spectacular ballet has withstood the great test of time, and it’s an honor and a privilege to present it to our Kansas City community on the Kauffman Center’s stage!”

KCB Company

Performances will run Feb 19-28 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. To buy tickets, CLICK HERE!

For more exciting information on the work that went into this production, please visit the links below.

The Kansas City Star, by Patrick Neas: Hard work makes Kansas City Ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’ look effortless

KCUR 89.3, by Laura Spencer & Julie Denesha: Kansas City Ballet’s ‘Swan Lake’ Allows Dancers To Spread Their Wings

The Independent, by Paul Horsley: Two Hearts That Beat As One: KC Ballet Presents its First Full-Length Swan Lake

KC Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season Announced

Last Saturday, Feb. 13th, Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney unveiled our 2016-2017 Season to an enthusiastic crowd at the Bolender Center. Thank you to BNIM and Mass Medical Storage for supporting sponsorship of KC Ballet’s Exclusive Sneak Peek Event.



Steve McDowell, Maria Maffry and BNIM guests


Devon Carney, Trad Burns and Sallie and Aubrey Guezuraga

Photo credit: Larry F. Levenson

KC Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season:

To learn more about the programming, read Patrick Neas’ announcement article in The Star.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oct. 7-16, 2017; The Sleeping Beauty, March 31-April 9, 2017; and The Lottery (Based on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”), May 12-21, 2017

Plus, don’t miss these add-on performances:

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The Nutcracker, Dec. 3-24, 2016; and New Moves, Feb. 16-19, 2017

Click here to purchase 2016-2017 season tickets.