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Have you ever wondered how the dancers learn all of the ballets you see them perform onstage? While the Artistic Director, Ballet Master & Mistress definitely help in teaching different ballets, it’s impossible for them to know the choreography of EVERY ballet out there.

For most productions, a stager is brought in to teach the choreography to the dancers. They are experts on the piece – they have performed that particular ballet, and also worked directly with the choreographer.

Judith Fugate, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, has been in Kansas City staging two different pieces for Kansas City Ballet; Fancy Free by Jerome Robbins, and Allegro Brilliante by George Balanchine. Ms. Fugate danced for both Mr. Balanchine and Mr. Robbins during her time with NYC Ballet.

Ms. Fugate is a stager for the Balanchine and Robbins trusts. She travels around the country ‘setting’ their ballets on different companies, ensuring the steps, style, and placement are all in accordance with how Mr. Balanchine and Mr. Robbins intended them to be.

Check out the video below to hear Ms. Fugate talk about her time here staging these pieces for KCB, and why audiences will love Fancy Free and Allegro Brilliante. To order tickets to see these two pieces on Kansas City Ballet’s Fall Program, Oct. 11-20, visit kcballet.org.

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