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!
Learn about the acclaimed guest faculty that will be joining us during Kansas City Ballet School’s 2014 Summer Intensive:
Simon Ball joined Houston Ballet as a principal dancer in July 2003. He studied with School of American Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, The Conservatory of Point Park College, and The School of Classical Ballet (American Ballet Theatre’s training program). Before becoming a professional, he also performed as a guest artist with many companies in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Ball began his professional career in 1995 where he was a member of the corps de ballet, a soloist, and has been a principal dancer since 2003. Mr. Ball has performed leading roles in many important works including: Prince in The Sleeping Beauty; the slave in Le Corsaire (staged by Anna Marie Holmes and Natalia Dudinskaya); Oberon in Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the prince in Cinderella (staged by Michael Corder) among others including many George Balanchine works.
Mr. Ball also received a number of prestigious awards including the Margarite Amelita Hoffman scholarship at the international ballet competition in Jackson, Mississippi (1990); the gold medal at the First International Ballet Competition in memory of Rudolf Nureyev (1994) in Budapest, Hungary; and the gold medal at the international ballet competition in Jackson, Mississippi (1994). He was invited to perform at the Benois de la Danse in Berlin, Germany (1999). LEARN MORE
Frances Perez-Ball trained at Julian E. Blanco School of Performing Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Hartford Ballet School, Eglevsky Ballet, and Point Park College. Frances began her career with Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan . As a principal dancer with Ballet Municipal, she toured the U.S. and Latin America performing various roles in full-length ballets such as Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppelia, and Kitri in Don Quixote.
Frances joined Boston Ballet in 1995. Her performances with Boston Ballet include featured roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle, Dracula and many more. In 2003 Frances was invited to join Houston Ballet under the direction of Stanton Welch. There she performed works by Mr. Welch including Divergence and In the Garden of Myrth, among others.
Frances was the recipient of the 1999 Copa International Capezio Award for her outstanding work in ballet. She has also been on the teaching staff of Boston Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Hope Stone, and the Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive.
Frances is married to Simon Ball – learn more about their story here.
Born in San Francisco, California, Sarah Lane began her dance training in Memphis, Tenn. under the direction of Pat Gillespie at the Memphis Classical Ballet. When her family moved to Rochester, New York, she continued instruction with Timothy Draper and Jamey Leverett at the Draper Center for Dance Education.
When Lane was 16, she received a full scholarship to the Boston Ballet’s Summer Program. She’s received many awards and performed at the Kennedy Center as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Lane joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in August 2003, a member of the Company’s corps de ballet in April 2004 and a Soloist in August 2007. Her roles with the Company include a Shade in La Bayadère, Galya in The Bright Stream, Blossom in Cinderella, Gulnare in Le Corsaire, among many others. She created the Chinese Dance in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker and a role in Demis Volpi’s Private Light.
Lane was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 2007 and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts in 2008. She was the dancing double for Natalie Portman in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ feature film Black Swan.
Anna-Marie Holmes has appeared as a ballerina and has taught in more than 30 countries on five continents. She was born in Canada and received her Grade 10 Certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music in piano. In N.Y. she continued her ballet studies with Felia Dubrovska and trained in Leningrad with Natalia Dudinskaya, Alexander Pushkin and Alla Shelest of the Kirov Ballet. Holmes was the first North American invited to perform with the Kirov Ballet in Russia.
Holmes founded the International Academy of Dance Costa do Sol in Portugal and served as its co-artistic director. She has staged many works, and her staging of Le Corsaire appeared on PBS’s Great Performances, for which it won an Emmy Award.
Holmes joined Boston Ballet in 1985 and in 1997 was named Artistic Director of the company and Dean of Faculty for the Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education. Holmes was Artistic Director of the School of the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1990 and 1994 and, in 1997, she received the Dance Magazine Award for extraordinary and lasting contributions to the art form.
Holmes is very active in her work as a judge for Youth American Grand Prix, travelling throughout the U.S. each year for their preliminary and final competitions. Teaching and staging continues to take her around the globe. She is in constant demand as a judge, guest teacher and choreographer.
To view extensive bios on each guest faculty member, visit our Summer Intensive page and scroll to the bottom.
Loved Dracula? Sad that its run is over at the Kauffman Center?
A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this production. Take a step back in time by watching our behind-the-scenes and production sneak peek videos. Admittedly, they are less intense than seeing it live, but we hope you’ll enjoy the insight provided!
FROM STUDIO TO STAGE
This week we had an exciting adventure at City Hall with our KCB II dancers!
Dressed as the Undead from Dracula, they took over the office of Mayor Sly James! Thankfully, the Mayor was patient with our ‘Undead,’ as they rummaged through his office and even accidentally knocked a few things over….Check out photos and video below to see more of our takeover!
Don’t miss our Undead in Dracula, Feb. 21 – March 2 at the Kauffman Center! Select your own seats online or call the Ballet Box Office at 816-931-2232 to order your tickets today!
It’s no secret that the demand for male dancers is high, no matter the age. Often times girls must perform the roles when there are not enough boys to fill them; such as the battle scene soldiers of The Nutcracker or the boys of party scene. This year was our first production of The Nutcracker in which all of the Party scene male student roles were played entirely by our male students! This is due to dedicated boys from the Kansas City Ballet School, such as 8-year-old Gage Chapman from our Level 2 class.
Gage started taking classes at KCBS two years ago, when he saw his older brother dancing and was inspired to give it a try. Already, Gage has had the opportunity to perform in KCB’s The Nutcracker as a soldier and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the human child. This was Gage’s second year in The Nutcracker and enjoyed his role in the party scene. He says that he enjoys this role because he has more time on stage, and well… “Its a party!” What more needs to be said?
While Gage and his friends aren’t on stage or in the studio, they like to play games such as Pokemon. In particular, you might catch Gage playing soccer or baseball, doing activities for Cub Scouts, or practicing the piano. Even though all his activities keep him extremely busy, he feels that they are all interconnected. His piano lessons help his musicality in dance, while his dance classes help his coordination and flexibility in sports.
Gage is dedicated to all his activities and plans to continue pursuing them all next year. He would like to one day perform the role of the Soldier Doll played by a Company Dancer in the party scene. Until then, his commitment to dance has helped make this year’s production of The Nutcracker one of the best yet!
The familiar music of Party scene, Snow, and Waltz of the Flowers has been filling the studios as the KCBS students rehearse for this season’s production of The Nutcracker. While the company dancers and older students gear up for theater week, the younger students are already planning for next year!
When we visited the Level 1 ballet class to hear why they like to dance, they told us about their love of movement and their dreams of performing the Nutcracker. Most of the class was too young to audition this time around, but that has only increased their excitement and anticipation for next year!
We asked each of the girls: What is your favorite part of ballet class?
Eliana told us that she was inspired to start dancing after seeing the company’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Now that she is taking ballet her favorite step is sauté!
Maddy said her favorite part of ballet is leaps – “I feel like I’m flying when I jump!”
Sophie also likes leaping; she said “they’re good to practice for when I want to grow up, because I want to be in the Nutcracker.” She even has a Nutcracker doll at home as a reminder of her dream to perform in the ballet.
The Level 1 class seems to have a trend of jumpers! And if they have anything to say about it, we will see them leaping around with Mother Ginger or floating like angels in the future!
Susan Bubb and Megan Bubb Cribb: Nutcracker Ball Co-Chairmen 2013
Susan Bubb and Megan Bubb Cribb are honored to be representing the Kansas City Ballet Guild as Chairmen of the 46th annual Nutcracker Ball. The rich tradition of the Ballet Ball and the timeless beauty of The Nutcracker will magically transform the Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom on December 6th for this very special and momentous occasion. Longtime Ballet fans, Susan and Megan are happy to be able to set the framework for this new annual event. With a new date, theme, and location, this is sure to be an evening of enchantment to put you into the holiday spirit. Net proceeds from the fundraiser support both the Kansas City Ballet and Kansas City Ballet School. Susan and Megan are proud to be part of such an exciting time for the performing arts in Kansas City, with the announcement of the Ballet’s new artistic director, Devon Carney, we know you will agree that 2013 is truly a milestone of new direction. Susan and her husband Stephen have enjoyed opening their home for many local organizations, the Junior League of Johnson and WyandotteCounties, the Lyric Opera, The Barstow School, PEO, Fireside, the Ballet Guild and the CarlsonCenter at JohnsonCountyCommunity college. Megan careers as team lead of The Bubb Cribb Team of Reece and Nichols, she shares this team with her brother Eric Bubb and husband Christopher J. Cribb. She has a passion for all things real estate and Kansas City.
This Mother Daughter duo are looking forward to an enchanting evening with family and friends.
This year marks the inaugural season for Kansas City Ballet’s second company, KCB II. Lark Commanday is one of five dancers in this new ensemble. At just 17 years old and from Peoria, Illinois, he’s the only male dancer in this group. Read below to learn more about Lark, his hobbies and what he enjoys most about being part of KCB II.
Q: How did you become involved in dance?
A: I come from a very artistic family and was encouraged to take a few ballet classes to try it out. My appreciation for dance grew as I aged, (still it grows as I age) and here I am.
Q: What attracted you to Kansas City Ballet?
A: I gained interest in KCB when I heard Devon Carney would be taking up the position of Artistic Director, because I had long been aware of his successful career.
Q: How has KCB II affected your dance career so far?
A: KCB II has given me an outstanding opportunity to cultivate my talents in a program which allows me to learn not only from teachers and choreographers, but from my peers in KCB II and mentors in the company.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet?
A: My favorite thing about Kansas City is KCB. My favorite thing about KCB is that the men in the company are always ready and glad to help a rookie out.
Q: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
A: I know how to build a cedar-shake roof. Last year my father and I redid a section of our home’s roof which was leaking.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not dancing?
Reading, cooking, playing chess with my father, or splitting firewood.
Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?
Working and growing as a dancer alongside a world-class company that has greeted me warmly. I am also looking forward to being a part of KCB’s main-stage performances, since I have never been a part of such professional productions before.
This week we had a chance to catch up with our new student apprentice, Maggie Andriani! Between classes, Maggie gave us a glimpse of what it has been like to dance with the company so far and what she is most looking forward to this season.
Maggie has been a student at the Kansas City Ballet School for ten years, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the company this year. When she first found out that she had been chosen as student apprentice, she said, “I was shaking I was so excited!”
Since then she has been taking classes with the company in addition to school, part-time work, regular dance classes and performing with the Kansas City Youth Ballet. Beginning this season Maggie will also be rehearsing and performing with the KCB! She loves the Nutcracker season and is looking forward to learning Dracula, but says she is most excited about the production of Cinderella.
Until rehearsals start, Maggie is enjoying the opportunity to take class with the company throughout the week. On Saturday mornings, when most teenagers might sleep in, she is at the studio striving to learn everything she can from the artistic staff and company dancers. She looks up to all the company members and is inspired by the qualities that they each possess. She hopes “that by watching them that somehow their special talents will transfer over to (her)!”
We are excited to watch Maggie grow in both technique and artistry as she dances alongside the company this year, and we are eager to see where her passion for dance takes her in the years to come!