Devon Carney Talks Oz

From Devon Carney, Artistic Director:

There are films, plays, musicals, and all methods of performing arts disciplines telling this story of The Wizard of Oz. We are bringing a magical interpretation of L. Frank Baum’s incredible tale to life in dance form.

I’m so glad so many of you will be with us to witness this production on its world premiere run, right here in KC. This project is an elaborate collaboration between three North American ballet companies, Kansas City Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Our combined efforts gave life to this uniquely whimsical experience for audiences and dancers alike.

Kansas City Ballet is honored to first perform the highly anticipated world premiere. It took an amazingly talented team of world class designers to produce this fresh, unique interpretation of a renowned piece of literature. Giving our dancers the chance to perform roles they’ve known since childhood is a remarkable treat.

That said, I’m excited for you to meet Dorothy Gale. The Wizard of Oz is her story. She’s the pivotal character—and what a character she is! A strong young lady full of courage and gumption, she doesn’t let anyone or anything stand in her way.

Courage, compassion, wisdom. Our Dorothy has all three. In short, she’s inspiring.

Dorothy is open to adventure and to making new friends. An adventurous spirit leads one to discover a bigger, broader world. In the end, though, home is where the heart yearns to be.

We hope you enjoy this stellar production and that you feel at home with us.

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Beauty Shines in Hawaii

Devon Carney's The Sleeping Beauty cast performed at Ballet Hawaii Aug. 3-5. Photography by The Smoking Carmera, Joe Marquez
Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty cast presented by Ballet Hawaii Aug. 3-5. Photography by The Smoking Camera, Joe Marquez

Ballet Hawaii, along with special guest dancers, performed Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney‘s The Sleeping Beauty Aug. 3-5, 2018 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in downtown HonoluluThe performances followed three weeks of rehearsals.

“Everyone did so wonderfully and all the Ballet Hawaii young dancers really stepped up! The audiences loved all the performances,” Carney said. “We all had a great time!”

Devon Carney's The Sleeping Beauty cast member Danielle Bausinger (KCB Dancer) performed at Ballet Hawaii Aug. 3-5. Photography by The Smoking Carmera, Joe Marquez
Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty cast member Danielle Bausinger (KCB Dancer) performed with Ballet Hawaii Aug. 3-5. Photography by The Smoking Camera, Joe Marquez

Cast

In addition to Mr. Carney, nine Kansas City Ballet Company members joined him on the endeavor including: Liang Fu, Amaya Rodriguez, Danielle Bausinger, Humberto Rivera Blanco, James Kirby Rogers, Cameron Thomas, Kevin Wilson, Joshua Bodden, and Gavin Abercrombie. Others from Kansas City Ballet included: Kristi Capps, who served as Ballet Master; Kansas City Ballet School Faculty members Dmitry Trubchanov and Pamela Carney, who played the roles of King and Queen; and Victoria Frank, who served as stage manager. Additional special guest dancers were from Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Eugene Ballet, the Ballet Hawaii dancers and more.

Devon Carney Talks Dance Festival

Dear Dance Enthusiast,

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.

Kansas City Ballet Dancers Angelina Sansone and Liang Fu rehearse a world premiere by Andrea Schermoly. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers Angelina Sansone and Liang Fu rehearse a world premiere by Andrea Schermoly. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

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!

Kansas City Ballet Dancer Michael Davis rehearsing The Man In Black. Choreography by James Kudelka. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.
Kansas City Ballet Dancer Michael Davis rehearsing The Man In Black. Choreography by James Kudelka. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

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!

Kansas City Ballet Dancers Taryn Mejia and Michael Davis rehearse Petite Mort. Choreography by Jiří Kylián. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers Taryn Mejia and Michael Davis rehearse Petite Mort. Choreography by Jiří Kylián. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

Yours,
Devon Carney, Artistic Director