Event Recap: The Emerald City Ball

Honorary Chairmen Mr. and Mrs. W. Anthony Feiock, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Rose, Executive Director Mr. Jeffrey J. Bentley. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Honorary Chairmen Mr. and Mrs. W. Anthony Feiock, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Rose, Executive Director Mr. Jeffrey J. Bentley. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.

On Saturday, October 6, the Kansas City Ballet Guild presented the Emerald City Ball, a celebration of Kansas City Ballet’s world premiere of Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz, at the beautiful InterContinental Kansas City At The Plaza. Guests enjoyed a lively cocktail party, delicious cuisine, breathtaking decor by Larry Wheeler and Craig Sole Designs, crowd-pleasing entertainment by Michael Beers Band, and a spectacular runway show featuring the fashions of Oz narrated by costume designer Liz Vandal. Gigi Rose chaired the event. Carol and W. Anthony Feiock, whose involvement with Kansas City Ballet has been long and noteworthy, served as honorary chairman. Guild President Susan Meehan-Mizer and Kansas City Ballet Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley presented the 2018 Pirouette Award to Frank Byrne, executive director of the Kansas City Symphony, for his outstanding contribution to the performing arts.

EVENT PHOTOS

Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Cohen, Mr. Devon Carney, Ms. Liz Vandal. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Cohen, Mr. Devon Carney, Ms. Liz Vandal. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Mrs. John Walker, Trainee Miss Leah Upchurch, Mr. John Walker, Trainee Miss Juliana Kuhm. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Mrs. John Walker, Trainee Miss Leah Upchurch, Mr. John Walker, Trainee Miss Juliana Kuhm. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Ms. Kristina Klug, Ms. Kim Stevens, Mrs. Cliff Illig, Ms. Kathy Fallon, Ms. Collette Harrison, Ms. Sandy Pummill, Ms. Charmaine Pummill, Ms. Rachel Thompson, Ms. Leah FitzGerald, Ms. Gretchen FitzGerald. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Ms. Kristina Klug, Ms. Kim Stevens, Mrs. Cliff Illig, Ms. Kathy Fallon, Ms. Collette Harrison, Ms. Sandy Pummill, Ms. Charmaine Pummill, Ms. Rachel Thompson, Ms. Leah FitzGerald, Ms. Gretchen FitzGerald. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Beautiful ambiance, floral by Mr. Larry Wheeler and Mr. Craig Sole. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Beautiful ambiance, floral by Mr. Larry Wheeler and Mr. Craig Sole. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Mr. Ian Spinks, Ms. Juliette Singer, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Dondlinger, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Rose, Chairwoman, Mr. Septime Weber, Mr. and Mrs. Randy Downing. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Mr. Ian Spinks, Ms. Juliette Singer, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Dondlinger, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Rose, Chairwoman, Mr. Septime Weber, Mr. and Mrs. Randy Downing. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Costume Fashion Show announced by Costume Designer Liz Vandal (middle). Members of Kansas City Ballet's Second Company walked the runway. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Costume Fashion Show announced by Costume Designer Liz Vandal (middle). Members of Kansas City Ballet’s Second Company walked the runway. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
KCB Trainee Mr. Jeremy Hanson, Company dancer Ms. Tempe Ostergren, Mr. and Mrs. Josh Rowland, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Stowers, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Parkerson, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Esrey. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
KCB Trainee Mr. Jeremy Hanson, Company dancer Ms. Tempe Ostergren, Mr. and Mrs. Josh Rowland, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Stowers, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Parkerson, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Esrey. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Executive Director Mr. Jeffrey J. Bentley, Pirouette Award Winner Mr. Frank Byrne, Ballet Guild President Ms. Susan Meehan-Mizer. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Executive Director Mr. Jeffrey J. Bentley, Pirouette Award Winner Mr. Frank Byrne, Ballet Guild President Ms. Susan Meehan-Mizer. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.

 

Photography by Larry F. Levenson

Guild Book Club

When is a book club more than a book club? When it’s organized by Mark Sappington.

Sappington has filled many roles with Kansas City Ballet over the years including Board President and Member, Guild President, former chair of the Patrons Society, Bolender Center Campaign Co-chair, and longtime subscriber and donor. His most recent position is leader of the Guild’s Book Club/Movie Nights. The Guild is a group of over 180 members who serve as advocates for dance and ballet in the Kansas City community.

This year the Guild’s book club had five books on their list and for each one, Sappington arranged for some additional educational component or special guest to be part of the discussion.

“I believe you have to provide different portals of entry for ballet. This is a way of reaching out to people who are interested in exploring the history of dance,” Sappington says.

JULY: A BIOGRAPHY OF SERGEI PAVLOVICH DIAGHILEV

Last July, the group started off by choosing their own books about Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev the Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes. They ranged from art picture books to various biographies. “It was fascinating to see which books people chose and to discuss the life of this ballet aficionado.”

SEPTEMBER: NO WAY HOME

In September, they read No Way Home by Carlos Acosta. Acosta, a Cuban dancer, was considered to be one of the world’s greatest performers. He began life in the slums of Havana before grueling hard work took him around the world. It is his story of the price he paid for success. It was noted that former Kansas City Ballet dancer Juan Pablo Trujillo was friends with Carlos Acosta.

NOVEMBER: THE PAINTED GIRLS

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan from 2014 was the choice for November. This historical novel about two sisters her served as muse for Edgar Degas, touched on ballet in a different setting in 1878 Paris. As part of the discussion, the book club took a special tour of Degas’ sculptures and drawings of ballet dancers that was on display recently at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, led by Nelson-Atkins docent and KCB Guild Member Barb Nicely.

JANUARY: APOLLO’S ANGELS: A HISTORY OF BALLET

The history of ballet was revealed in Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans. Homans is an historian, critic and former professional ballerina devoted to all things ballet. As part of the discussion, Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau joined the group and shared her wealth of knowledge about amazing historical stories.

MARCH: THE MASTER’S MUSE

Guild Book Club at Emilie's French Teas to discuss "The Master's Muse" by Varley O'Connor.
Guild Book Club at Emilie’s French Teas to discuss “The Master’s Muse” by Varley O’Connor.

In March the group discussed The Master’s Muse by Varley O’Connor—a novel about the love affair between George Balanchine and Tanaquil Le Clercq. In 1956, Tanny is a gorgeous young ballerina at the top of her game and married to the legendary Balanchine. She falls ill and loses the ability to walk. Kansas City Ballet Archives revealed a letter from Tanny to Kansas City Ballet’s former Artistic Director Todd Bolender she’d dictated to her mother around the time of her illness. Several Guild members also shared their interactions with Tanny and others mentioned in the book.

MAY: WHEN BALLET BECAME FRENCH

The final book in this season’s lineup is When Ballet Became French by Ilyana Karthas, associate professor at the University of Columbia. The book explores the correlation between ballet and French nationalism. The author will attend the discussion in May.

WANT TO JOIN?

Interested in joining the Guild Book Club? Become a Guild Member. Click here to learn more and to join.

Event Recap: Diamond Ball Private Dinner

Dinner was served in "Verona" on the stage. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Dinner was served in “Verona” on the stage. Photography by Larry F. Levenson

The Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was transformed into Romeo and Juliet’s Verona on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 for The Diamond Ball’s Private Dinner. Generous patrons of the 50th Annual Ballet Gala were awed by the décor and ambiance, courtesy of Larry Wheeler and Craig Sole, and enjoyed an exquisite four-course dinner.

Ball Chairman Melanie and Mike Fenske. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Ball Chairman Melanie and Mike Fenske. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Honorary Chair Tom Whittaker, Pam and Devon Carney (Artistic Director), Honorary Chair Loren Whittaker. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Honorary Chair Tom Whittaker, Pam and Devon Carney (Artistic Director), Honorary Chair Loren Whittaker. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Guild President Gigi Rose and Pirouette Award Winner Elizabeth Hard Simms. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Guild President Gigi Rose and Pirouette Award Winner Elizabeth Hard Simms. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
David and Amy Embry, Claire and Joe Brand, Nancy Murdock and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
David and Amy Embry, Claire and Joe Brand, Nancy Murdock and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Gary and Gigi Rose, Ian Spinks and Juliette Singer Spinks, Bill and Jo Anne Dondlinger, Peggy Beal, Jim and Barbara Eiszner. Photography by Larry F. Levenson
Gary and Gigi Rose, Ian Spinks and Juliette Singer Spinks, Bill and Jo Anne Dondlinger, Peggy Beal, Jim and Barbara Eiszner. Photography by Larry F. Levenson