Event Recap: BARRE KC Pub Crawl

On Saturday, Sept. 15, to kick off the upcoming season, Kansas City Ballet BARRE KC members embarked on an Oz-themed streetcar BARRE crawl through downtown Kansas City. The journey started by watching a rehearsal of The Wizard of Oz at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity and ended at the “Emerald City”, disguised as Our Daily Nada, a new boozy bookstore in the historic River Market.

Several stops on the pub crawl created themed drinks to enjoy.
Several stops on the pub crawl created themed drinks to enjoy.

The streetcar also made stops at Tom’s Town Distillery and the The Chesterfield Bar at Alamo Drafthouse, with their own Oz-themed beverages (Glinda’s Gimlets and Ruby Slippers) and a chance to win Kansas City Ballet tickets or a BARRE KC membership for the 2018-19 season.

BARRE KC is the premier organization for young professionals interested in supporting the Kansas City Ballet. BARRE KC members enjoy the benefits of discounted ticket prices, networking, and special events with insider access to the Kansas City Ballet. They host The BARRE Soiree annually in the spring, which raises funds to benefit Kansas City Ballet’s Reach Out And Dance program, an in-school dance residency program. Last year, the $7,000 raised helped to partially fund 16 new R.O.A.D. Scholarship Schools. The program reaches 800+ kids in the Kansas City Public School and Turner School Districts.

CRAWL PHOTOS

BARRE KC members enjoyed watching "The Wizard of Oz" rehearsal prior to beginning the crawl.
BARRE KC members enjoyed watching “The Wizard of Oz” rehearsal prior to beginning the crawl.
The pub crawling took place along the Streetcar route.
The pub crawling took place along the Streetcar route.
Crawlers enjoying themselves at Tom's Town.
Crawlers enjoying themselves at Tom’s Town.
The Kansas City Ballet BARRE Board.
The Kansas City Ballet BARRE Board.

UPCOMING EVENTS

10/20 | BARRE KC NIGHT
5:30pm Pre-show Party at Our Daily Nada
7:30pm The Wizard of Oz at the Kauffman Center
Backstage Tour directly after performance

BARRE KC tickets on sale now here.  Members can use the promo code sent to them via email to unlock their 50% discount!

2/23 | BARRE KC NIGHT
7:30pm Lady of the Camellias at the Kauffman Center
9:30pm Post-show Party

4/13 | THE BARRE SOIRÉE
Don’t miss the newest Ballet party at Boulevard Brewing Co. — complete with drinks, appetizers, entertainment by KCB’s Second Company and dancing! Proceeds help fund Kansas City Ballet’s Reach Out and Dance Scholarship Program.

3/30 | BARRE KC NIGHT
5:30pm Pre-show Party
7:30pm New Moves at the Bolender Center

5/18 | BARRE KC NIGHT
7:30pm Tharp/Parsons/Forsythe at the Kauffman Center
9:30pm Post-show Party

* Events subject to change

JOIN TODAY

A BARRE KC membership is $45. Your tax-deductible membership earns you:

  • Receive invitations to all BARRE KC events
  • Discounted pricing for Kansas City Ballet performances up to 50% off, including The Nutcracker (restrictions may apply)
  • Save $20 on 20-class packs for KCB School Studio classes (regularly $220)
  • Receive invitations to explore Kansas City on BARRE KC Day Trips
  • Complimentary “plus one” ticket to the BARRE KC Kick Off event in September
  • Backstage tour at the Kauffman Center
  • Networking with other fun-loving young adults who share your passion for the arts
  • Enjoy free drinks and food at receptions.

Join today.

Special thank you to Dora Grote for submitting text about this event.

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Amanda DeVenuta

Meet Kansas City Ballet Company Dancer, Amanda DeVenuta. She’s danced with KCB since the 2014-15 season and will soon be dancing the lead role of Dorothy in Septime Webre’s world premiere of The Wizard of Oz at the Kauffman Center Oct. 12-21, 2018.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BeCAME A DANCEr.

Dancer Amanda DeVenuta rehearsing the role of Dorothy for The Wizard of Oz. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.
Dancer Amanda DeVenuta rehearsing the role of Dorothy for The Wizard of Oz. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.

A: That’s what I was put here to do. It was just something I knew inside myself. I love it more than I’ll ever be able to describe in words. It’s my breathing.

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

A: I’m always researching different perfumes. I love learning more about the world of scents through Nez a French olfactory perfume magazine. I love to sit in a coffee shop and write poetry and read. I like Romanian poetry because it’s dark and beautiful. I listen to Ólafur Arnalds.

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

A: Either that I love doughnuts or that I write poetry. Both usually seem to shock people.

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

A: Yoga, Pilates, swimming. I recently opened the door to gyrotonics and I love it. It’s medicine for my body.

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

A: Honestly, it’s just to be grateful for what I have, but always be pushing myself to improve. I can want great things for myself while still remaining gracious.

PAST PROFILE POSTS

Dancer Profile: Amanda DeVenuta

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Behind the Scenes: The Wizard of Oz

In just a few short weeks, Kansas City Ballet will perform the World Premiere of Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz!

We anticipate 10 sold-out performances, so be sure to share that you’re seeing this fantastical new show with your friends.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

The scale of this world premiere is impressive:

  • The all-new music composed by Matthew Pierce, the same composer for Alice (in wonderland), is 471 pages long and features three percussion players playing 35 different percussion instruments.
  • This is a unique collaboration with Kansas City Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. We worked with an internationally-recognized creative team to create a major new work of outstanding quality.
  • A total of 120 stunning costumes and 112 hats, designed by Liz Vandal, in the production and our costume shop will paint 220 shoes. There are at least 60 costume changes throughout the production.
  • Upwards of 20 puppets, designed by Nicholas Mahon, including a mechanical Toto, are involved in the production. One of Mr. Mahon’s most recent projects was for the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.
  • A first for Kansas City Ballet, this show will feature incredible projection technology, designed by Aaron Rhyne, using a combination of three state-of-the-art projectors. This will add an integral design element that helps provide atmosphere and dimensionality, and enhance the experience.
  • More than 300 light cues, designed by Trad A Burns, will take place using over 1000 channels of lights.
  • There will be eight flying effects executed by multiple characters.
  • At least 120 people, not including dancers, were part of this collaboration team including designers and makers.
  • In Kansas City, 30 company dancers and 15 second company dancers will make up the cast, not counting children.
  • There are 23 children’s roles and two casts for a total of 46 children performing in The Wizard of Oz, providing a huge asset to the development and growth of the Kansas City Ballet School.

ABOUT THE MUSIC

wATCH REHEARSALS

UPCOMING FREE EVENTS

The Wizard of Oz Photography: Story lines and visual elements from the classic motion picture by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta. Photographer Kenny Johnson.

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Daniel Rodriguez

Meet Kansas City Ballet Company Dancer, Daniel Rodriguez. Born and raised in New York, Daniel is a proud Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School graduate (the school FAME is based on), and just recently married. He’s also big into Marvel comic books, and generally a self-professed pretty nerdy guy.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BeCAME A DANCEr.

A: I was introduced to dance by a not-for-profit organization named National Dance Institute (NDI). It was founded by the incredible Jacques D’ Amboise former New York City Ballet super star principal. He created NDI to expose children to the arts for free, and I was in a school that had the program. Before I knew it, through the program, I was exposed to ballet, jazz, tap and more serious dance forms, and here we are. I always loved the technical aspect to it, the rigor of the discipline, and the fun I had with my friends.

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

A: I spent a year training and teaching ballroom dance! As much as I love ballet, I’m also pretty well versed in social dance, I’m great at weddings!

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DANCE BAG ITEM AND WHY?

A: I love ‘rolling out’ which is technically stretching, so my foam roller is my favorite dance bag item! Rolling out the overused muscles in my legs really help me get through the demands of a ballet season.

Q: WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED DOING IN KC?

A: My wife and I went to a Sporting KC game, and I am now forever a fan! Great stadium, great team, and great supporters! I love when a city rallies around a team. It makes sporting events all the more exciting!

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST DANCING OR LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED AND WHY?

A: One of my favorite quotes of all time is “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” by Aristotle. That quote has guided me through life and dance. I truly believe in constant, thoughtful work. I will never be the greatest dancer in the world, but I want to be known as someone who worked their butt off to improve. You’ll be amazed where all those good habits will get you, I sure am.

 

Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

You’re Invited: Kickoff to Oz at Union Station

Join Kansas City Mayor Sly James as he leads a procession to announce the Kickoff to Oz with an official proclamation about Kansas City Ballet’s World Premiere of The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy’s ruby slippers will be put on display and attendees will enjoy a performance by the Second Company, and an educational dance workshop for kids will follow.

Selfie Contest

Take a selfie with Dorothy’s ruby slipper pointe shoes before they make their world premiere during Kansas City Ballet’s The Wizard of Oz, October 12-21 at the Kauffman Center.

Upload to Kansas City Ballet Social Media Channels and type the hashtag #OZsomeKC. Be sure to like or follow us anytime before September 30. We will announce the winner on October 1.

Instagram: @kc.ballet

Facebook: @kcballet

Twitter: @kcballet

One lucky fan will WIN 4 tickets to Kansas City Ballet’s The Wizard of Oz! We will randomly select a winner from one of our social media sites.

Tickets

For tickets visit KCBallet.org or call 816.931.8993.

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Courtney Nitting

Please welcome new Kansas City Ballet, Company Dancer Courtney Nitting.

Q: WHAT DOES JOINING kcb MEAN TO YOU?

A: Joining KC Ballet this year as a new dancer officially makes my dream come true. Though I have had experience as a professional dancer prior, I never could personally call myself a professional. I didn’t feel as though I earned that title, not receiving a main company position. However, this year I have now accomplished what my 3-year-old self has been waiting for. I’m so appreciative for this opportunity and very excited to now say that I am a professional ballerina with my one of my biggest dreams in life accomplished.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCER.

A: I became a dancer because…well, the story is a bit out of the ordinary. I was 3 years old and told my mom I wanted to go to a real ballet school. I had never really seen ballet or knew what dance was but something inside me said this is what I was going to do; this is what I wanted to be when I grew up. From that moment on, ballet has always been my main focus and my true passion; the more I learned and got challenged in the art, the more I fell in love with ballet. I just knew it was my calling; it’s my air, my heart, and my soul.

Q: wHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A PROFESSIONAL DANCER?

A: Being a professional dancer with a professional company is a dream. It’s the greatest feeling to call what I love most in life my career. Not many people can say they love their job and that they’ve achieved one of their biggest aspirations in life; I am lucky to say I have. From daily class every morning, to rehearsals that run all hours of the day and finally ending with a performance for the public to enjoy, are experiences I wouldn’t change for the world. It doesn’t feel like work because you are living in every moment. Each of these moments make everyday being a professional dancer a gift.

Q: WHAT QUESTION DO YOU GET ASKED A LOT AS PROFESSIONAL DANCER?

A: The question I get asked most about my job as a dancer is if our toes hurt from being on pointe. The answer to this is quite simple: YES! Dancers feet hurt all the time and most of the time. We get blisters, bruised toe nails, aches and pains like all other athletes. The difference is that while we are in this pain, we have to look like we are walking on clouds; effortless and calm. However, while we might look like beautiful fairies on top, our insides could be screaming with boiling pain. On the contrary, this pain doesn’t stop us from dancing our hearts out because the moment that curtain goes up, all your pain goes away. Its the magic of the stage that sweeps us off our feet; sometimes quite literally.

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

A: One thing most people wouldn’t know about me is that I wear two different sizes in pointe shoes; one for each foot. I have always had one foot bigger than the other for as long as I can remember. I have tried for so many years to wear one size but I would always go back to wearing two. So in order to get one pair of shoes I order two pairs in the differing sizes. Then I take one shoe from each size to make a full pair. I am not the only dancer ever to wear two sizes, but it has created some uneven challenges when I am dancing. I just look at it as another reason to work even harder.

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST DANCING OR LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED AND WHY?

A: The best dancing and life advice I have ever received comes from my mom. She is my biggest support and always knows the right things to say at the right times. However, there is one thing we have always kept close between us no matter what life has thrown at us. This is to “never give up.” I have had some ups and downs when it comes to dancing and life in general, but keeping that little phrase in the back of my mind always helped to keep moving forward. I treasure those three words and will live by them forever.

 

Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Whitney Huell

Now in her fifth season with Kansas City Ballet, Company Dancer Whitney Huell, opens up about her interests.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BeCAME A DANCEr.

A: I started dancing after seeing my older sister perform in a recital. When I took my first ballet class I was hooked. I loved learning to do new and challenging movements and working to improve them every class. The constant work to improve steps intrigued me.

Q: wHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A PROFESSIONAL DANCER?

A: Being a professional dancer is a blessing because we get to pursue our passion of dance in the form of a job. Doing what you love for a living is a wonderful feeling. There are definitely ups and downs within one’s career but this profession is an exciting one.

KC Ballet Dancer Whitney Huell

Q: WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

A: Food! I love dining out. I am very frugal but it is very hard for me to turn down a restaurant invitation.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SNACK?

A: My favorite snacks during a rehearsal day are fruit strips. They are tasty, sweet and give you a bit of a sugar boost. I like the strawberry and peach flavors from Whole Foods.

Q: WHAT WAS THE BEST DANCING OR LIFE ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED AND WHY?

A: Don’t compare yourself to others. Being the best dancer you can be is the goal. I think this is important and has helped me grow as an artist.

 

Other blog posts about Whitney Huell:

Dancer Profile: Whitney Huell

Dancer Spotlight: Whitney Huell