New Moves Delivers

Dancer Taryn Mejia in "aBnOrMaL Normal" choreographed by Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancer Taryn Mejia in “aBnOrMaL Normal” choreographed by Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Kansas City Ballet opened its run of 2018 New Moves performances last night at the Bolender Center to a near sell-out crowd. The popular annual performances provide an outlet for creative choreographic expression for up and coming choreographers across the country, as well as, within the company. This year three Kansas City Ballet dancers (Emily Mistretta, Michael Davis, and Christopher Costantini) were awarded the chance to create new works on their fellow dancers along with three choreographers from the field (Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Mariana Oliveira, and Monique Meunier). The show opened with a work by Ballet Master Parrish Maynard set on the Second Company. Limited tickets are still available for this weekend’s performances. Order online or by calling 816.931.8993.

More on the blog about New Moves.

PERFORMANCE PHOTOS

Kansas City Ballet Second Dancers (KCB II) Marisa Whiteman and Gavin Abercrombie in "Fractals" choreographed by KCB Ballet Master Parrish Maynard. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Kansas City Ballet Second Dancers (KCB II) Marisa Whiteman and Gavin Abercrombie in “Fractals” choreographed by KCB Ballet Master Parrish Maynard. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Elysa Hotchkiss, Cameron Thomas, and Humberto Rivera Blanco in "Beyond Blood" choreographed by Emily Mistretta. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Elysa Hotchkiss, Cameron Thomas, and Humberto Rivera Blanco in “Beyond Blood” choreographed by Emily Mistretta. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Emily Mistretta and Joshua Bodden in "Evanesco" choreographed by Christopher Costantini. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Emily Mistretta and Joshua Bodden in “Evanesco” choreographed by Christopher Costantini. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancer Michael Davis in "aBnOrMaL Normal" choreographed by Abdur-Rahim Jackson.Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancer Michael Davis in “aBnOrMaL Normal” choreographed by Abdur-Rahim Jackson.Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers in "Beauty in Chaos" choreographed by Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers in “Beauty in Chaos” choreographed by Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Molly Wagner, Liang Fu and Lamin Pereira dos Santos in "Quatre Pièces de Clavecin" choreographed by Monique Meunier. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Dancers Molly Wagner, Liang Fu and Lamin Pereira dos Santos in “Quatre Pièces de Clavecin” choreographed by Monique Meunier. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers in "You Do You" choreographed by Michael Davis. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.
Kansas City Ballet Dancers in “You Do You” choreographed by Michael Davis. Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Behind the Scenes: New Moves 2018

New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

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.

New Moves Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Dancer Amanda DeVenuta and Gustavo Ribeiro with Kansas City Ballet Dancers and Choreographer Mariana Oliveira. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

2018 Choreographers

It’s a chance to witness new choreography by:

New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancers with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Tickets

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.

New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancer Michael Davis with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling
New Moves Rehearsals. Kansas City Ballet Dancer Michael Davis with Choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Photography by Elizabeth Stehling

Devon Carney Talks Romeo & Juliet

Dear Dance Enthusiasts,

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.

Devon Carney as Romeo at Boston Ballet
Devon Carney as Romeo at Boston Ballet

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.

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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.

Juliet’s Theme

 

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.

Yours,

Devon Carney

Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director

 

Top photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Behind the Scenes: Romeo & Juliet Rehearsals

Dancers Molly Wagner and Liang Fu rehearsing the roles of Romeo and Juliet. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.
Dancers Molly Wagner and Liang Fu rehearsing the roles of Romeo & Juliet. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

Kansas City Ballet opens its 60th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary season with Artistic Director Devon Carney‘s Romeo & Juliet Oct. 13-22 at the Kauffman Center.

Artistic Director Devon Carney in Romeo & Juliet rehearsals. Photographer: Elizabeth Stehling.
Artistic Director Devon Carney in Romeo & Juliet rehearsals. Photographer: Elizabeth Stehling.

Romeo & Juliet Rehearsals

The dancers have been working hard in rehearsals to bring Carney’s world premiere choreography to life.

Company Dancers Molly Wagner and Humberto Rivera Blanco. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.
Company Dancers Molly Wagner and Humberto Rivera Blanco. Photography: Elizabeth Stehling.

Behind the Scenes Video

Below you’ll also find a link to our Romeo & Juliet rehearsal video featuring Devon Carney, Molly Wagner and Liang Fu.

Get your tickets now at kcballet.org or call 816.931.8993.

 

Giselle – Hauntingly Beautiful

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.

A Very Merry Nutcracker!

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.

http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article4188253.html

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KC Star: Click the link below to see Nutcracker by the Numbers.

 http://www.kansascity.com/incoming/article4203809.ece/binary/%E2%80%98The%20Nutcracker%E2%80%99%20by%20the%20numbers

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KC Star: Learn about some Kansas City holiday productions!

http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article3442252.html

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KC Star: Click the link to view a gallery of Nutcracker rehearsal photos! 

http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article4163957.html

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KC Independent: Click the link below to read about the final performance of Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker.

http://www.kcindependent.com/adieu-mr-b-kc-ballet-retires-bolender-nutcracker-after-one-last-set-of-performances/

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KCUR: Click the link to listen and/or read about Kansas City Ballet Dancer, Geoffrey Kropp, and his busy ballet schedule.

http://kcur.org/post/let-it-show-let-it-show-let-it-show-kansas-city-performers-holidays-mean-work

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KSHB TV 41: Click the link to see how reporter, Cynthia Newsome finds out ballet isn’t easy! 

http://www.kshb.com/lifestyle/newsome-has-a-few-sore-muscles-new-respect-for-ballet-dancers-after-nutcracker-workout

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WDAF 4: Click the link to read about this years Nutcracker production! 

http://fox4kc.com/2014/11/24/kc-ballet-unveils-the-nutcracker-at-kauffman-center-for-performing-arts/

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KCUR’s: Click the link for a behind-the-scenes speak peek of The Nutcracker dress rehearsal!

http://kcur.org/post/photos-take-look-behind-scenes-todd-bolender-s-nutcracker

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KKFI: Click the link to listen to radio host, Michael Hogge, talk about our annual production of The Nutcracker!

http://www.kkfi.org/program-episodes/its-a-christmas-spectacular/

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NEW MOVES 2014

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!

 

Join Us for the 3rd Annual KC Dance Day!

590xHeader_KCDanceDay

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.

DanceDayCollage

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!

Kaleena_13-14Season

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!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC85IPxmgcQ]

Rockin’ the House: Spring Performance

The first weekend of our spring performance was a great success! Showcasing three works that featured rock and jazz music, it was an exciting and energizing event full of beautiful dance.

Take a look below at some photos from the past weekend.

Energy Made Visible by Karole Armitage

Common People by Margo Sappington

Hey-Hay, Going to Kansas City by Donald McKayle

If you haven’t seen the performance yet, there is still one weekend left! You can order tickets online at kcballet.org. For a sneak peek, check out the video below which features Margo Sappington’s Common People.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1RfxgmCThY]