Event Recap: Ballet Bash 2016 & The Benefactors’ Dinner

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the much anticipated Ballet Bash, presented by the Kansas City Ballet Guild, kicked off Kansas City Ballet’s repertory season at the spectacular Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. During this progressive cocktail party, guests enjoyed sampling delicious food and drink, along with whiskey and vodka tastings while enjoying breathtaking decor by Trapp and Company, along with music by Hermon Mehari and the KC All Stars Band. Ballet Bash Co-chairmen Erik Bergrud and Kimberlee Ried, along with Honorary Co-chairmen Jonathan and Nancy Lee Kemper thanked guests for their support of the Kansas City Ballet. All funds raised benefit the Kansas City Ballet and Ballet School.

The Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was transformed into a forest amidst woodland fairies and sprites on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 for the Ballet Bash Benefactor Dinner. Generous patrons of the 49th Annual Ballet Gala were awed by the décor and ambiance courtesy of Trapp and Company and enjoyed a four-course exquisite dinner provided by Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions. The annual presentation of the Pirouette Award was given to Lisa Merrill Hickok for her many years of sharing her time, talent, and treasure toward the Kansas City Ballet.

Photography by Larry F. Levenson


Ball Chairmen Erik Bergrud and Kimberlee Ried with Honorary Co-chairmen Jonathan and Nancy Lee Kemper at the Ballet Bash.


Attendees at the Ballet Bash.


Second Company Manager Anthony Krutzkamp, former KCB Dancer Jill Marlow, current dancers Christopher Costantini and Dillon Malinski, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream choreographer Bruce Wells.


Mixing and mingling in the Benefactor Suite at the Ballet Bash.


Chris and Megan Cribb


Trainee Kathyrn Anderson, KCB II Dancer Cameron Thomas, Mrs. Michael Fenske, Mrs. David Embry, Mrs. Jack Spilker, with KCB II Dancers Marisa Whiteman, and Gavin Abercrombie and Trainee Allison Rainford


The Benefactor Dinner set up among the sets on stage in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre


Mr. Dave Lady, Ms. Julia Irene Kauffman, Mrs. and Mr. Rusty Jandl, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schofer


Artistic Director Devon Carney, Pirouette Award Winner Lisa Merrill Hickok, and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley


KC Ballet Guild Nutcracker Boutique Pricing Party

Volunteers from the Kansas City Ballet Guild spent this morning pricing more than 2,000 nutcrackers in 28 different styles and even more character ornaments. The work is in preparation for the opening of the Nutcracker Boutique at Kansas City Ballet’s Nutcracker performances Dec. 3-24, 2016 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. All proceeds benefit Kansas City Ballet.


Guild members opening boxes and pricing.


A sample of the Clara ornaments.


Guild member Mary Beth Hershey shares a sneak peek of the new Snowman Nutcracker.

Nutcracker 2016 Rehearsals Begin


Here at Kansas City Ballet, there’s no time to lose! The holidays will be here before we know it. Rehearsals are under way to prepare to share our record-breaking, critically-acclaimed Nutcracker with audiences. Tickets are going fast. Order today!

Performances begin Saturday, Dec. 3rd and run thru Christmas Eve.


Photo Credits

(Top) Amaya Rodriguez and Liang Fu work with KCB Artistic Director Devon Carney to learn the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier roles. (Below) Tempe Ostergren and Lamin Pereira dos Santos also rehearse Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier roles.

2016-17 Season Notes: Meet the Second Company


The 2016-2017 season is under way and Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company is ready to make their mark. The second company is made up of KCB II and Trainees.

KCB II has two members in their second year: Goldie Walberg and Nikolas Gaifullin. Of their four new members, Miranda Dafoe and Marisa Whiteman were promoted from Trainees and Gavin Abercrombie and Cameron Thomas were chosen from auditions.

Previous KCB II members Ivan Braatz and Katherine Sawicki were promoted to Company Apprentices for the 2016-2017 Season. Lilliana Hagerman, KCB II dancer in 2014-2015 and Company Apprentice last season, is now a full Company member.

The Trainees have one returning member in Kara Troester. Kathryn Anderson, Scout Inghilterra, Meghan Long and Lukas Pringle were all selected from the Kansas City Ballet School’s Academy and/or 2016 Summer Intensive program. Victoria Brickert, Samantha Huebner, Micaela Maxwell and Allison Rainford were chosen from the national audition tour.

Upcoming public events with KCB II and/or Second Company Performances:

Nov. 18: Jackson County Christmas Lighting Event at the Truman Courthouse at 5:15 p.m.

Nov. 19: Holidays Come Alive at Union Station at 4 p.m.

Nov. 24: 87th Annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony (pre-show entertainment)


Second Company Manager Anthony Krutzkamp is pictured in the center of the photo above with the 2016-2017 Second Company. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

A Midsummer Night’s Dream—It’s a Hit!


Kansas City Ballet’s presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has received rave reviews (links posted below).

KC Metropolis’ Review by Natalie Krahenbuhl: A Majestic Open

The dancing was beautiful and majestic, while also comedic in the right places.

The Star’s Review by Libby Hanssen: Kansas City Ballet’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is Enchanting

There are still three more chances to see this production before it closes this Sunday. Click here to buy tickets.

(Above) Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Tempe Ostergren (center) Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

A Midsummer Night’s Dream–Opens Tonight


Kansas City Ballet opens their 2016-2017 Season tonight with Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Several interviews and articles have been written about the production. We’ve gathered them all in one place for you below. Click here to buy tickets.

(Top Photo) Kansas City Ballet Dancers, Tempe Ostergren & Liang Fu. Photography: Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Opens Friday–A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Check out our TV commericial for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which opens tomorrow night at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It’s not too late to get your tickets, click here to buy or call the Ballet Box Office at 816.931.8993.

Learn more about the production in this interview with the choreographer Bruce Wells.


Happy World Ballet Day 2016!


Like most of the dance world, Kansas City Ballet has been celebrating World Ballet Day 2016 today. Besides social media posts, KCB has aired two live Facebook events. The first was broadcast during company class and the second during company rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which opens at the Kauffman Center this Friday). You can watch them here for class and here for rehearsal.

Excitement for the day is far from limited to the company. Our Daytime Program students gathered in the Ellis conference room to watch live broadcasts of rehearsals while they ate lunch today. (See photo above).


If you’d like to join in on the conversation today or want to share a picture, use #worldballetday.

(Pictured above) KCB Dancers: Tempe Ostergren & Liang Fu