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

Staff Profile: Victoria Frank

Victoria Frank calling The Nutcracker at The Kennedy Center in 2017. Photo by John Burke
Victoria Frank calling The Nutcracker at The Kennedy Center in 2017. Photo by John Burke

In just two short weeks, Kansas City Ballet will bring The Nutcracker back to the Kauffman Center stage. Thousands will enjoy watching the production, but there’s one woman calling the shots backstage at every performance. Meet Kansas City Ballet Stage Manager Victoria Frank.

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION.

My introduction to theatre was through my father’s theatre company in Edinburgh, Scotland — the Realistic Theatre Company of Edinburgh. Most people don’t realize I am from England and lived in my hometown of York until I was 16 years old. (I’ve completely lost my accent!) I spent three summers performing in the children’s chorus of various musicals produced by my Dad’s company from age 11 to 15 and learned that I loved theatre but what I really wanted was to be backstage running things. My dad was the stage manager, production manager and company manager, so you could say I followed in his footsteps all the way to Kansas City! When I moved to KC, I had two years of high school left to complete and felt immediately at home in the theatre department at North Kansas City High School. The theatre teacher, Mr. Jackson, encouraged me to follow my heart and let me stage manage and assistant stage manage our high school shows from almost my first day at the school. I gained my first professional experience as a Production Assistant (PA) on A Christmas Carol at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre at age 18 when Jim Mitchell was the stage manager there. I learned so much about stage management from him and still consider him a mentor and friend to this day. It was through working at The Rep that I heard about the BA and MFA programs at UMKC and set my sights on earning those degrees to put me on the right path for my career. My stage management work in opera, theatre, and ballet has taken me across the country and occasionally back to the UK!

Stage Manager Victoria Frank working backstage. Photo by Steve Wilson.
Stage Manager Victoria Frank working backstage. Photo by Steve Wilson.

WHEN DID YOU START YOUR JOB AS STAGE MANAGER AT KCB?

The first time I worked for KCB was in 2008 as a Child Wrangler for The Nutcracker — a seasonal, part time position from October to December that still exists today! I child-wrangled The Nutcracker for four seasons and occasionally served as Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) for other productions throughout those years. I took a couple of years off from ballet to be a freelance opera stage manager (In the summer time, I still try to work in opera) but I applied for and was offered the role of full season Stage Manager when the position opened up in 2013. I started in August of that year.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO TO SOMEONE UNFAMILIAR WITH YOUR ROLE.

Ballet stage managing is a different type of stage management from any other performing arts genre and many people have never heard of a stage manager at all! The easiest part of my job to describe is what I do during performances — I am backstage for every performance at my console and I “call” the show. The console is wired with various switches that connect to lights backstage that I turn on and off to cue the crew when to perform their various moves (rope lights along the wall are used to cue the fly men when to bring drops in or out, light bulbs hanging backstage on each side are used to cue carpenters or props department for scene changes). I also have a headset to communicate verbally with the light and sound board operators, my ASMs, the spotlight operators, deck electricians and some of the backstage crew. Nothing happens onstage unless I say “go”, from the moment the house lights dim at the beginning to when they come back up after bows. I start making pages over a backstage and dressing room intercom system and calling cues an hour before a performance starts!

WHAT DO YOU DO DURING REHEARSALS AT THE THEATRE?

During our theatre technical rehearsals, I am calling all of the same cues but also helping to keep track of when we need to take breaks, when we need to push forward or have time to really figure out a tricky onstage moment with the dancers and crew. If there are students in the production I may be helping the ASMs and Wranglers figure out when to switch to a different cast or return the students who just rehearsed to the stage so they can work on notes with the choreographer. The ASMs and I also create paperwork for the crew to follow during the rehearsals and run of the show that lists where and when each move happens — that paperwork often has to be updated and reprinted as we learn more about the show in tech so that everyone is on the same page for the next rehearsal.

Call book work in progress. So many Post-Its!
Call book work in progress. So many Post-Its!

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE COMPANY ISN’T IN THE THEATRE?

When not in the theatre, I spend about half of my time in my office and half of my time in the studio watching or helping with rehearsal. If it’s a big new show, like The Wizard of Oz, I spend most of my day in the studio learning the technical aspects of the show along with the dancers so we are all as prepared as possible when we get to the theatre. In the 15-minute break between the end of the dancer’s morning class and the beginning of rehearsal, I make sure the studios are set up with the things the dancers and staff need for the day — CDs, archival DVDs, props, rehearsal costumes… I spend a surprising amount of time tracking down chairs for people to sit in! Our Ballet Master (Kristi Capps) and I have lunch every day in her office while she works on finalizing the rehearsal schedule for the dancers and it’s my job to make sure it gets posted and distributed to all the right people at the end of lunch. At the end of the day, I clear the studios again in time for the school’s evening classes starting. The rest of the day is spent responding to emails, helping to schedule various events (interviews, meetings, costume fittings, student rehearsals), preparing and updating show paperwork and drinking a cup of tea. No two days are the same lately, but that’s one of the things I enjoy most about stage managing — there’s no time to get bored!

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL PERFORMANCE? HOW IS NUTCRACKER DIFFERENT?

The Nutcracker is different from a typical production because the run is so much longer. A typical show has between six and 10 performances over a two-week span, for The Nutcracker this year we have 27 performances and are in the theatre for four weeks. For the dancers, this means they have opportunities to dance a wider range of roles within a production — we have between five and seven different casting combinations, during the rest of the season our productions have two or three casts. This is also a production where there is an opportunity for the ASMs and I to learn each others tracks so we can rotate or sub in if someone is out for a show. We have a total of six people on the stage management team for The Nutcracker — myself (the SM), two Assistant Stage Managers, a Student Stage Manager and two Assistant Student Stage Managers, by far the biggest staff we have all year. I am the only full-season, salaried Stage Manager on staff. Our first ASM is with us for most of the season and two of the Student Stage Managers were also with us for The Wizard of Oz but because The Nutcracker is a big show with a lot of students, we bring in more staff to make sure the show runs smoothly.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU?

As a stage manager, it can be tricky to maintain a good work/life balance when you’re in the middle of preparing for a production or in the theatre. Luckily, I have a very understanding husband (we just got married in June!) who is a freelancer, so we try to take advantage of our time off together when we can.

WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU THE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I was most surprised that as a ballet stage manager, you’re not expected to be in rehearsal all the time. Opera and theatre stage managers are in rehearsal and are running rehearsal from the very beginning and it’s a different set up with ballet — the Artistic Staff runs the rehearsal and the Ballet Master assigned to the piece is responsible for knowing the details of the staging. I go to rehearsal to set up the props and costumes, learn the show technically, to have my own blocking notes for reference and occasionally to take archival video or help with the students.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?

I love calling shows. It’s hard to describe but I think it must be how a performer feels when they are onstage doing what they love. Calling the first cue to start a performance, especially on opening night, can be so thrilling. It’s like flipping the switch to start a roller coaster and there’s no getting off until it’s over!

 

Photography provided by John Burke, Steve Wilson, Kansas City Ballet and Victoria Frank.

Special KCPT Documentary to Air

The Documentary

Me, Dorothy…and This Road to Oz is an unprecedented immersive trip down the yellow brick road with the Kansas City Ballet as the cast and crew prepare for the world premiere of Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz. Audiences will follow composers, choreographers, costume builders, set designers and dancers from first read through the final bow and beyond using multi-platform and multi-media storytelling that will engage and enthrall people of all ages.

Kansas City PBS had unfettered access to show the process of creating a brand new ballet from a timeless classic, as well as to celebrate an iconic Kansas City arts organization commemorating 60 years of excellence. The Wizard of Oz premiered October 12 and closed October 21, 2018 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

AIR DATES:

See the documentary this Friday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. or midnight on KCPT. (It will be simulcast at 8 p.m. on KCPT’s Facebook page.) It airs again on KCPT Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 and 4 p.m. KCPT2 will air it on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 and 11 p.m. or Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. After this weekend, stream it for free at KCPT.org under the menu tab ‘LOCAL SHOWS’.

Learn more:

Watch interviews with the major players involved in creating this new ballet here.

Find more from KCPT on their Twitter handle #MeDorothyDoc.

 

Photos courtesy of KCPT and FlatLand.

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Angelin Carrant

Originally from Paris, meet Company Apprentice, Angelin Carrant. Angelin danced with KCB II last season but this is his first season as a member of Kansas City Ballet.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.

A: My mother actually made me take my first few ballet classes. I started to really enjoy it when I took classes with more male dancers. From then on I knew I wanted to be a ballet dancer.

From 2017-18 as KCB II members, dancers Divya Rea and Angelin Carrant. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
From 2017-18 as KCB II members, dancers Divya Rea and Angelin Carrant. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

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

A: I like to relax and listen to music. Music is a little therapeutic for me, or I’ll play video games.

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

A: That I’m French and Taiwanese.

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

A: It’s pretty incredible. This is my first year as an actual ballet dancer in a company and I’m thrilled to be able to call myself a professional dancer.

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

A: Some of the best advice I’ve gotten is to simply breath and relax a little. I’m very uptight and stiff when I dance.

PAST PROFILE

KCB II Profile: Angelin Carrant

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Event Recap: The Emerald City Ball Private Dinner

Generous patrons of the 2018 Ballet Ball, The Emerald City Ball, were guests at a private dinner on the stage of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. The Emerald City scene from The Wizard of Oz ballet provided the perfect setting for the event underwritten by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. The exquisite four-course dinner was served amid the lovely table décor provided by Craig Sole and Larry Wheeler. Guests enjoyed  Kansas City Ballet Second Company Dancers and Trainees performing a number from The Wizard of Oz.

Event Photos

Mr. and Mrs. Gary Rose
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Rose
Mr. Michael Fields, Ms. Julia Irene Kauffman, Mr. Cliff Illig, Mr. Terry Dunn
Mr. Michael Fields, Ms. Julia Irene Kauffman, Mr. Cliff Illig, Mr. Terry Dunn
Mr. and Mrs. John Walker flank Mr. Devon Carney, Artistic Director
Mr. and Mrs. John Walker flank Mr. Devon Carney, Artistic Director
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Whittaker, Mr. Jeffrey J. Bentley, Executive Director, Ms. Nancy Murdock
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Whittaker, Mr. Jeffrey J. Bentley, Executive Director, Ms. Nancy Murdock
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Frost
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Frost
Mrs. James Eiszner, Mrs. Bill Dondlinger, Mrs. Gary Rose, Ms. Susan Meehan-Mizer, Mrs. Andrew Beal, Mrs. Randy Downing, Ms. Juliette Singer
Mrs. James Eiszner, Mrs. Bill Dondlinger, Mrs. Gary Rose, Ms. Susan Meehan-Mizer, Mrs. Andrew Beal, Mrs. Randy Downing, Ms. Juliette Singer.
Mr. Devon Carney, Artistic Director, Ms. Joan J. Horan.
Mr. Devon Carney, Artistic Director, Ms. Joan J. Horan.

Photography by Larry F. Levenson

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Christopher Costantini

Originally from Milan, Italy, and now in his fifth season with Kansas City Ballet, meet Company Dancer, Christopher Costantini.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BECAME A DANCEr.

A: My mom, having always been a huge fan of the ballet, introduced me to dance when I was very young. Growing up in Milan, I would regularly go to performances at La Scala, one of the premier opera houses in Europe. One of my first memories of ballet was watching a performance of Cinderella with Alessandra Ferri in the title role.

It took quite a bit of prodding on my mom’s part for me to finally agree to take a ballet class. I instantly fell in love with it: the discipline and the physical progress you can see when improving your technique. Most of all, I enjoyed being able to assume a character on stage. The opportunity to express my ebullient personality on stage is magical. I quickly realized that ballet was a calling and I did everything to make my aspirations of a professional career a reality.

KC Ballet Dancers Amaya Rodriguez and Christopher Costantini. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.
KC Ballet Dancers Amaya Rodriguez and Christopher Costantini. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling.

Q: WHAT QUESTION DO YOU GET ASKED MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A DANCER? 

A: Most people ask how often we rehearse for performance. They are almost universally shocked to find out that the we have a full 9:15 a.m.-6:00 p.m. work schedule. More impressive to them is that we are pushing our bodies to their physical limits for 40+ hours per week.

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

A: I have a passionate love for reading. It’s hard to find time to do so during the season (I usually spend my commute and free time keeping up with my favorite podcasts), but I indulge over the summer months. I usually spend the summer with five or six good books. Over the past summer I read a fantastic four-part biography series on Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro that I highly recommend.

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

A: It’s absolutely fantastic. You’re sharing a storied art form with the public and hopefully instilling an appreciation for ballet and creativity more generally. It’s particularly special for me when we perform student matinees. The theatre is filled with excited school children and their energy is infectious. They are the most genuine in their reactions to our performance and it’s poignant that the future of our art form is being cultivated in that audience.

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

A: “Just say yes.” I think my parents instilled that in me. If an opportunity presents itself, don’t hem and haw too much. Say yes and make it work. Over the long run, that will build up the depth of experience you have and serve you well.

PAST PROFILE

KCB Dancer Profile: Christopher Costantini

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios