Announcing 2019 Nutcracker Ball Honorary Chairmen

The 2019 Nutcracker Ball Honorary Chairmen

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Nutcracker Ball Honorary Chairmen:  Dr. Roger and Mrs. Sandy Jackson Photography by:  Jonathon Braswell, Strauss Peyton Photography

Kansas City Ballet Guild is pleased to announce long-time supporters of the Kansas City Ballet and generous members of the Kansas City community, Dr. Roger and Mrs. Sandy Jackson, as Honorary Chairmen for The Nutcracker Ball.

The 2019 Nutcracker Ball Honorary Chairmen Dr. Roger and Mrs. Sandy Jackson and Ball Chairman Peggy Beal invite you to join them for an evening of cocktails, exquisite cuisine and dancing on Saturday evening, November 23, 2019, at The InterContinental Kansas City on the Country Club Plaza.  The Nutcracker Ball, presented by Kansas City Ballet Guild, benefits the Kansas City Ballet and the Kansas City Ballet School.

For more information and ticket purchases, please go to www.kcballetball.org.

Event Recap: KC Ballet Guild’s Spring Luncheon

KC Ballet Guild Spring Luncheon

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Table decor

The Kansas City Ballet Guild held its annual Spring Luncheon on May 9th at the Carriage Club. Hosts Felicia Bondi and Pauline Henne planned the lovely luncheon – Craig Sole provided the beautiful floral arrangements. President Susan Meehan-Mizer recognized special guest, Rene Horne, a retiring staff member after 12 years of service to the Ballet. After, guests were treated to a dance performance by Kansas City Ballet’s Youth Ballet, Susan introduced the 2019-2020 Guild Board and passed the gavel to her successor, incoming President John Walker.

SPECIAL GUEST

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Rene Horne, Outgoing President Susan Meehan-Mizer

2019-2020 GUILD BOARD

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2019-2020 Guild Board – (front row) Christine Waldschmidt, Carol Blum, Cathy Bourne, Juliette Singer, Incoming President John Walker, Peggy Beal, Francie Mayer, (next row back) Teresa McKinney, Cyndi James, Gail Van Way, Edie Downing, (next row back) Nan Lippincott, Gigi Rose, Karen Yungmeyer, Penelope Vrooman, (back row) Angela Bedell, Jo Anne Dondlinger, Melissa Ford, Sarah Ingram Eiser, Sarah Bent, Angela Walker. Out of camera range: Crissy Dastrup, Carol Marr, Lisa Hickok, Tempe Ostergren Elsberry.

EVENT PHOTOS

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Kansas City Ballet Board of Directors Chairman Julia Irene Kauffman, Artistic Director Devon Carney, Dr. Roger Jackson, Sandy Jackson

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Gigi Rose, Juliette Singer, Susan Meehan-Mizer

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Teresa McKinney, Stephanie Eppler
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Sue Ann Fagerberg, Suzanne Shank, Joyce Whitehead, Carolyn Parkerson
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Susan Bubb, Karen Downing, Kathy Anderson, Joan Brisimitzakis
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Penelope Vrooman, Vicki Baxter, Susan Sands, Francie Mayer
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Christine Waldschmidt, Julia Steinberg

KANSAS CITY YOUTH BALLET

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Kansas City Ballet Youth Dancers Talia Lebowitz and Timothy TV Cao
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Kansas City Ballet Youth Dancers Morgan Dunham and Tristan Hanson
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Kansas City Ballet Youth Dancers Kathryn Benson, Grace Campbell, Colleen McKenzie, Jordan Noblett, Sara Radka

Photography: Larry F. Levenson

KANSAS CITY BALLET SCHOOL PARTICIPATES IN 2019 YAGP NY FINALS

KANSAS CITY BALLET SCHOOL PARTICIPATES IN 2019 YAGP NY FINALS

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Kansas City Ballet School Students Timothy TV Cao and Hannah Zucht performed at the 2019 YAGP NY Finals. | Photography by VAM.

Kansas City Ballet School participates in 2019 YAGP NY Finals for the third year in a row. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). Kansas City Ballet School has been competing for the last four years.

KCB STUDENTS WHO ATTENDED THE YAGP FINALS IN NY

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Kansas City Ballet School Student Kathryn Benson performed at the 2019 YAGP NY Finals. | Photography by VAM.

Soloists

Juniors Division (Classical and Contemporary): Kathryn Benson

Seniors Division (Classical and Contemporary): Hannah Zucht

Pas de Deux Division: Hannah Zucht and Timothy TV Cao

Ensemble Division: Claire Duritza, Madeline Duritza, Colleen McKenzie, and Hope Wampler
The group performed Fractals choreographed by Kansas City Ballet Master Parrish Maynard.

WHAT IS YAGP?

At its essence, YAGP is the world’s largest dance scholarship audition and a global network for dance. It fulfills its mission through scholarship auditions, master classes, alumni services, educational and outreach activities, performances and films. Worldwide, more than 100,000 students have participated in YAGP’s workshops, scholarship auditions and master classes. Through regional semifinals results, students are selected to participate in the New York Finals each spring.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

YAGP is an opportunity for the biggest dance and ballet schools in the world to see the talent that is out there. Often scholarships and other styles of ballet and forms of training are offered to students which can be nice validation for all of their hard work. In some ways, these judges watch these kids grow up year after year.

“Being part of this competition is great for students,” KCBS Principal and YAGP Coordinator Racheal Nye says. “It shows them what is possible with dedication and determination, but it also offers them a chance to cross state and country borders, as well as continental divides, to see what similarities and interests connect them to this global ballet community.”

This year’s seminars for students and coaches included:

  • How to be Noticed by Artistic Directors
  • Dancer Wellness
  • Career Guidance
  • How to Use Time in Class to Your Advantage
  • Dance in Higher Education

BENEFITS FOR KCBS

Nye says: “I’m always really proud about how we present ourselves overall as a school. The things I learn I get to bring back to our school to improve and grow for the betterment of all. My kids know when I come back from NY I’m excited and ready to implement here, so everyone benefits. When ‘spring-itis’ rears its head, it is the perfect time for an infusion of enthusiasm. I’m already turning my attention to next year.”

FINAL THOUGHTS FOR 2019 YAGP

“Every year that we participate in YAGP, I am more and more impressed by our students.  It is wonderful to see the fruition of their hard word and dedication as they perform for peers, family and friends, and judges,” says School Director Grace Holmes. “The growth of our dancers is exponential when given the opportunity to work towards a performance goal. And the one-on-one work with coaches gives the students insight into how they can be their best dancer and artist. I am SO proud of their work and accomplishments!”

Devon Carney Talks Tharp / Parsons / Forsythe

Devon Carney Talks Tharp / Parsons / Forsythe
Artistic Director, Devon Carney

Tharp / Parsons / Forsythe

Any ONE of these choreographers on a program is exciting, but all three? Well, Tharp / Parsons / Forsythe together is quite something! This is such an exciting moment for the company. We are thrilled to present two of the best-known works by living choreographers William Forsythe and Twyla Tharp combined with a world premiere from David Parsons. All three are absolutely incredible and brilliant.

David Parsons, the prodigal son, came home to create his first brand new work just for us [KCB]. The program begins with his original comedy gem A Play for Love, based on renowned Shakespeare characters. David Parsons’ choreography is always inventive, exciting, off-center, vibrant, challenging, and grounded (low-weighted movement). This is no exception!

If that wasn’t enough, this is our very first time performing a Forsythe work. He’s one of the greatest living choreographers on the planet and we get to perform his most-known work. It was a chance meeting with him, that conversation, when he gave us permission to perform his signature work In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. We join top ballet companies around the world performing this work.

And, finally, I have a few words about our final piece on the program: Aerobic. Powerful. Hard. Exhilarating!

Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room is a huge finale for the season from a major choreographic legend. The Philip Glass music gets inside you until your nerve endings are on fire—in a good way. Tharp does an incredible job of weaving together classical ballet and contemporary dance, two very different dance disciplines, into a single signature energy. The last movement, when the dancers are firing on all cylinders and then some, leads up to a brilliant and spectacular conclusion.

This program is THE way to finish the year—a wonderful year of artistic growth. This program demonstrates that today’s dancers have to be able to do it all. And our KCB dancers deliver. Ballet doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Top photograph by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios