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

2018-19 Dancer Profile: Kaleena Burks

Meet Kansas City Ballet Company Dancer, Kaleena Burks. She’s danced with KCB since the 2010-11 season and recently danced the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Septime Webre’s world premiere of The Wizard of Oz at the Kauffman Center Oct. 12-21, 2018.

Q: TELL US WHY YOU BeCAME A DANCEr.

A: My mother put me in ballet classes when I was young, and I fell in love with dance from there.

KC Ballet Dancers Kaleena Burks and Amanda DeVenuta. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
KC Ballet Dancers Kaleena Burks and Amanda DeVenuta. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT DANCING?

A: When I’m not dancing I very much enjoy relaxing at home and reading a good book.

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

A: Most people probably don’t know that I’m an avid crocheter.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SNACK?

A: My go to snack while dancing will always be a banana. It’s the perfect food to nourish you and give you energy.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST DANCING ADVICE YOU RECEIVED AND WHY?

A: Someone once told me when I was having a bad day, “Kaleena, everyday can’t be Christmas.” That has really stuck with me throughout my career. As much as we all want to be at our best every single day, sometimes our body fights against us. The key to being a successful ballerina is learning how to make the days special and worthwhile that aren’t Christmas.

PAST PROFILE POSTS

Dancer Profile: Kaleena Burks

Dancer Spotlight: Kaleena Burks

 

Top Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

Event Recap: Guild 2018 Fall Luncheon

Guild President Susan Meehan-Mizer, Susan Sands, Melinda Petet. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Guild President Susan Meehan-Mizer, Susan Sands, Melinda Petet. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.

On September 27, Kansas City Ballet Guild hosted their 2018-2019 Season’s Fall Luncheon at Webster House. Members, new and old, enjoyed a delicious luncheon followed by a welcome from the Guild President Susan Meehan-Mizer.

Event Photos

Artistic Director Devon Carney, Vicki Baxter, Sue Ann Fagerberg, Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Artistic Director Devon Carney, Vicki Baxter, Sue Ann Fagerberg, Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Gigi Rose and Craig Sole. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Gigi Rose and Craig Sole. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Gigi Rose, Juliette Singer, Melissa Ford, Mary Beth Hershey, Kathy Nordhus. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Gigi Rose, Juliette Singer, Melissa Ford, Mary Beth Hershey, Kathy Nordhus. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Pattie Lou Cleary, Glenda Lee Touslee, Lisa Hickok. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Pattie Lou Cleary, Glenda Lee Touslee, Lisa Hickok. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Front row: Sue Ann Fagerberg, Juliette Singer, Guild President Susan Meehan-Mizer, Linda Peakes, Second Row: Barbara Eiszner, Gail Van Way, Gigi Rose, Jo Anne Dondlinger, Edie Downing, Mary Beth Hershey, Back Row: Vicki Baxter, Becky Quinn, Peggy Beal, Cydni James. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Front row: Sue Ann Fagerberg, Juliette Singer, Guild President Susan Meehan-Mizer, Linda Peakes, Second Row: Barbara Eiszner, Gail Van Way, Gigi Rose, Jo Anne Dondlinger, Edie Downing, Mary Beth Hershey, Back Row: Vicki Baxter, Becky Quinn, Peggy Beal, Cydni James. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Gigi Rose and Craig Sole. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
Gigi Rose and Craig Sole. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
New Guild Members: Carrie Kruse, Stephanie Eppler, Cyndi James, Linda Peakes, Becky Quinn, Pattie Lou Cleary, Melissa Cavanaugh, Whitney Hosty. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.
New Guild Members: Carrie Kruse, Stephanie Eppler, Cyndi James, Linda Peakes, Becky Quinn, Pattie Lou Cleary, Melissa Cavanaugh, Whitney Hosty. Photography by Larry F. Levenson.

Photography: Larry F. Levenson.

Cameron Thomas Benched

Kansas City Ballet company dancer Cameron Thomas started playing the piano around 6 or 7 years old. Encouraged by his parents, he took lessons until ninth grade and then continued studying music through school orchestra, music theory classes, and even independently.  Playing music has since evolved into a sort of hobby/passion project. In September, Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau hired him as a part-time accompanist for Kansas City Ballet School.

We asked Cameron about his experience on the piano bench and he had plenty to say.

Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT PLAYING MUSIC?

A: It has always been something I do just for me without pressure or obligation.  Ballet is my passion for sure, but it is also a very demanding and often stressful job.  Don’t get me wrong—dance is well worth it, especially at a place like Kansas City Ballet, but it’s also nice to have music as both an escape and a means to make myself and others smile once in a while…  It’s fun!

Q: MUSIC AND DANCE JUST GO TOGETHER. DOES BEING TALENTED AT BOTH MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO FOCUS ON ONE OR THE OTHER?

A: If I were seriously pursuing music, it would be very difficult to balance it with ballet. Any discipline like ballet demands a fairly exclusive commitment at the professional level.  However, I was fortunate enough to build at least a decent understanding of music from a relatively early age, which has allowed me to more passively improve my own skills at the piano over a longer period of time. I have had stretches where I play often and see improvements, but also times when my workload demands I stop playing for a while. Over several years, I felt I had built a small repertoire of music I could use to play for ballet class, and our music director Ramona Pansegrau was kind enough to give me a shot. So far, so good.

Q: PLAYING PIANO FOR BALLET CLASS IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED MOST ABOUT PLAYING FOR CLASSES?

A: Playing for ballet class is definitely not easy for a number of reasons beyond just knowing how to play the piano. Coming from a background of ballet, my challenge is probably different than that of most accompanists.  Often, the challenging part for a pianist is identifying what the appropriate time signature, tempo, quality, duration, or phrasing of a piece of music should be so that it actually works with a given combination.  Of course, good accompanists do this easily, but I would imagine it is a steep learning curve for those who are new to the vocabulary and structure of a ballet class.  Conveniently for me, I am very familiar with ballet, so that part has come fairly easily!  My challenge is the opposite.  Finding new music or tailoring music I already know to fit the needs of ballet combinations was harder for me as I have far less repertoire than a professional pianist.  Also I’ll openly admit, I have some limitations with how well I can actually play difficult music.  Luckily I listen and learn from the best every single day in class! Ramona has also been very helpful in providing me resources to help me out.

Q: HOW DOES BEING A BALLET DANCER HELP WHEN PLAYING FOR BALLET CLASS?

A: Huge yes, as I said in the last answer.  It’s way easier to figure out what to play for a given combination when you know the dancer’s perspective.  I find I can often anticipate what exercise is coming next, what tempo is appropriate, or how to phrase the music much more easily because I’ve taken so many ballet classes as a dancer.

Q: WHEN YOU HEAR A GORGEOUS PIECE OF MUSIC, WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU, IMAGINING DANCING TO IT OR PLAYING IT?

A: That’s such an interesting question.  Definitely playing it, or at least listening to it in an active, constructive way. Though music is probably the single most significant inspiration for movement, I am usually just listening, not creating original movement.  Maybe that’s why I don’t have the choreographic bug.  Interpreting a choreographer’s vision of that music through movement is the really amazing part for me, but it is often the most challenging.  The way choreographers interpret music is often remarkably dissimilar from the way the music itself is written.  Sometimes it is challenging to hear more complicated music one way and have it set to movement in a contradictory way, but that is the case for all dancers.  Having a deep understanding of music really helps that process.

Q: FOR WHICH CLASSES DO YOU PLAY? HOW DO STUDENTS RESPOND WHEN THEY REALIZE YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL COMPANY DANCER?

A: I play for our community engagement students from the R.O.A.D. (Reach out and Dance) program on Wednesdays and the adult beginner open class on Thursdays.  The R.O.A.D. kids are young (9-10 years old) so honestly they’re not always the most aware of the fact that I’m a professional dancer and what that might mean besides the fact that I dance a lot.  They do love the music though, it does not go unnoticed. The adults really enjoy it; they often ask about how I am doing or what the company is working on. They also know that I am relatively new to accompaniment as they are to ballet, and so it creates a light, fun environment.

Q: HAS ANYTHING SURPRISED YOU ABOUT PLAYING FOR CLASSES?

A: What’s most surprising is how gratifying it has been.  Sadly, and I am guilty of this as well, most professional dancers are so accustomed to live music in the classroom that it has become an expectation.  We are far more inclined to notice when there is either something wrong with the music being played or no live accompaniment at all.  That has not been my experience with my classes thus far.  In the classes I play, live accompaniment is a novelty.  They greet me with smiles and positive feedback, sometimes even between combinations. I am grateful to have the opportunity to play for them.

Q: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES?

A: Live music makes ballet class of all skill levels better. If done well, it changes the entire dynamic of a room and can make the class infinitely more productive and enjoyable.  We are lucky to have it here at Kansas City Ballet and I am so excited to learn how to hopefully bring that to a classroom myself.

 

Top photo by Tom Styrkowicz and 53Tom, LLC.

Event Recap: 2018-19 Season Launch Party

Richard Jensen, Pam and (Artistic Director) Devon Carney, Susan and Zack Hangauer, Gay Dannelly
Richard Jensen, Pam and (Artistic Director) Devon Carney, Susan and Zack Hangauer, Gay Dannelly

Artistic Director Devon Carney and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley welcomed guests to the 61st season of Kansas City Ballet at its annual Season Launch Party on Oct. 12, 2018 at One Park Place and a post-show reception at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Members of the Ballet’s Bolender Society enjoyed an elegant event reflective of the artistic themes of the season. Following the fete, Bolender Society members enjoyed the world premiere of Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz at the Kauffman Center. Upcoming Kansas City Ballet performances include The Nutcracker (Nov. 30 – Dec. 23), Lady of the Camellias (Feb. 15-24), New Moves (March 28-31), and Tharp, Parsons, Forsythe (May 10-19). For tickets or more information, visit kcballet.org.

Event Photos

Julia Irene Kauffman, Thomas and Loren Whittaker, Carol Feiock
Julia Irene Kauffman, Thomas and Loren Whittaker, Carol Feiock
Daniel Rodriguez, John and Angela Walker, Josh Bodden, Septime Webre
Daniel Rodriguez, John and Angela Walker, Josh Bodden, Septime Webre
Jeff and Ashley Crouch, Susan Lordi and Dennis Marker
Jeff and Ashley Crouch, Susan Lordi and Dennis Marker
Howard Rothwell, Lilliana Hagerman, Lamin Pereira dos Santos, Kathy Stepp
Howard Rothwell, Lilliana Hagerman, Lamin Pereira dos Santos, Kathy Stepp
Dr. David S. McGee, Amanda DeVenuta, Mark Sappington
Dr. David S. McGee, Amanda DeVenuta, Mark Sappington

Photography:  Don Ipock

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