This is a very exciting time in the history of Kansas City Ballet. How wonderful to say we are 60 years old—celebrating our age, maturity and staying power in the cultural landscape of KC! So, in honor of our 60th I’ve brought together six incredible, challenging and inspiring works for our KCB artists to perform. These ballets represent the incredible diversity of works in the field of dance and help showcase the talents within our current assemblage of world-class artists.
Given a dancer’s career is only so long, it’s important to seize opportunities to perform a variety of ballets to experience it all, or as much as one can! This diverse collection of works in a compact time period is just that chance. Performing both Jirí Kylián’s Petite Mort and also the highly regarded Balanchine’s Diamonds is a treat, then to turn around and dance contemporary work like James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and Stanton Welch’s Play is incredible, but that’s not to mention the thrill of being in on the creative genesis of two new works from Matthew Neenan and Andrea Schermoly. This will be two weekends for the books!
As an audience member, these experiences can equate to a fabulous banquet where you find lots of
tasty treats to delight your palate. This magnificent variety of dance has been produced in the latter 20th century right up until today. What’s more… all but one of these choreographers are still living. I applaud you for taking a risk to see this program. The payoff can be priceless: enjoying more entertainment diversity, developing a deeper love and appreciation of dance and being able to share that personal experience with those close to you. Thank you for trusting us and earning your hypothetical dance pioneer badge.
Kudos to our dancers for their extraordinary efforts in presenting this series. It’s an arduous undertaking for us and unprecedented for our company to tackle six works in this short amount of time. But we believe the risk is worth it. The dancers are thrilled and we think you will be, too!
Rehearsals have begun for the 2018 New Moves performances. The Bolender Center is buzzing with a variety of musical styles that differ widely from the usual melodies drifting from the studios. It’s time for New Moves when up-and-coming choreographers (including a few company members) get the chance to create their own visions on the dancers of Kansas City Ballet. Performances take place at Kansas City Ballet’s home the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity in the Michael and Ginger Frost Studio Theater.
Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company will open the performance with choreography by company Ballet Master Parrish Maynard.
New Moves open Thursday, Feb. 15 and run through Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Bolender Center. Sell outs are the norm, so ordering tickets early is a must. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling 816.931.8993.
It’s an incredible story that Shakespeare wrote so many years ago, a timeless tale about the powers of love and fate. Two young lovers from rival families are destined for a tragic end which will finally conclude their parents strife… uniting their houses through grief.
Performing these roles is an experience dancers never forget—I certainly haven’t, especially dancing the title roles—the mutual journey of these two: Romeo and Juliet. There is so much opportunity to create three-dimensional characters. The beginning of the ballet highlights the vibrancy of youth, the naiveté. But then the growth of these two individuals in less than a week is just astounding. The incredible scope of innocence to tragedy and the emotional weight and aging they experience… it’s critical to be able to communicate all of this as dancers and artists.
You’ll also be spellbound by the music as well. Written in 1935 by Prokofiev, it’s a brilliant score that’s not even 100 years old yet. At 82, it’s still spry. Especially of note is the clarity of Romeo, Juliet and the Capulets’ themes.
And Juliet’s theme gets me every time. I keep discovering new things about Prokofiev’s score. That’s what I love about this art form… you’re always learning. You’re experiencing this gorgeous piece of music that keeps returning to the themes that grow more and more tragic. For example, when we first meet Juliet we hear a simple lighthearted flute and by the time she wakes in the crypt her theme has grown complex and heartbreaking.
Sets and Costumes
This ballet is a visual stunner as well. I just love these sets from Boston Ballet. They are the same sets and costumes that were produced in 1984 when I danced with them as Romeo. I know them like the back of my hand. In fact, lots of companies use these sets and costumes, including Kansas City Ballet when we last performed another version in 2012.
Now everything has come full circle as I present my world premiere choreographic interpretation on these same gorgeous sets. I’ve thought about my version for a long time and now was the right moment to make it—the beginning of my 5th season leading Kansas City Ballet into its 60th Anniversary. It’s an honor to be part of this significant moment in the company’s history. And I hope you’ll join us for more great dance this season including a new Anniversary Dance Festival in April with two different programs on back-to-back weekends, and a world premiere of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in May, plus crowd pleasers The Nutcracker in December and New Moves in February.
This past weekend, Artistic Director Devon Carney’s production of Giselle opened at the Kauffman Center! We want to congratulate our dancers, production team and staff on a fantastic job making this beautiful production come to life.
Below you can view a short video featuring highlights from this past weekend’s shows.
Click here to read the Kansas City Star’s review of Giselle.
There are still three performances left – March 20-22! Get your tickets online at kcballet.org or 816.931.8993.
What has Kansas City said about Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker? Click on the links below for exclusive interviews, videos, and pictures! There’s still time to buy tickets! Click HERE for more information!
KC Star: Click the link below to read about the last performance of Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker.
NEW MOVES opened this past weekend here at the Bolender Center. This choreographic showcase allows company dancers and outside guest choreographers to create new works on our dancers. This year six new works premiered, of which four were created by company dancers Charles Martin, Travis Guerin, Anthony Krutzkamp and Ian Poulis, and two by outside guests, Erin Lustig of Seamless Dance Theater and Ilya Kozadayev, former principle dancer with Houston Ballet.
Take a look below to see some highlights from this past weekend. If you’re in the area, you still have a couple chances to catch this great performance! Get your tickets for April 4 or 5 by visiting our website or calling 816.931.2232!
Our 3rd Annual KC Dance Day will be taking place on Saturday, August 24! Hundreds of people will flood the hallways and studios of the Bolender Center to take FREE dance classes and watch FREE performances all day long!
From 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. this event will offer a variety of classes for kids and adults of all ages. From Zumba, Yoga, and Ballet to creative movement and pre-ballet for younger children, we provide something for everyone.
Pre-registration is encouraged, and is available online.
You also will be able to take world dance classes from the very performers you’ll see live in our Michael & Ginger Frost Studio Theater! Irish, Spanish, Indian and Hawaiian are just a few of the cultures that will be represented. You can find a more detailed list of cultures and times of performances and classes on our website.
The day will conclude with an exhibition by the company dancers of Kansas City Ballet, followed by a brief autograph signing! You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to meet our professional dancers along with our new Artistic Director Devon Carney and pick up your FREE 2013-2014 KCB Season Poster!
We welcome everyone to come at 9 and stay all day, and to help with that, there will be food trucks outside of our building for you to purchase food. The trucks will be outside of the Bolender Center roughly between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (subject to change).
This event is sure to be a great time, and we hope to see you all there! Be sure to come early, as we’ll be giving away free goodie bags to a select number of people! Be sure to check out the video below and see for yourself what KC Dance Day is all about!