Kansas City Dance Season Closes with Enticing Performances

Choreographic Invention, Movement and Ingenuity:

The 2014-2015 Kansas City dance season is winding down, but the coming months continue to offer an array of high-caliber dance performances. This past season featured many plot-based balletic works, but the finale performances concentrate primarily on non-narrative pieces, highlighting movement, choreographic invention and performance ingenuity.

A huge snow globe that he saw in a hotel in Russia was part of choreographer Edwaard Liang’s inspiration for Wunderland, part of the Kansas City Ballet’s “Dances Daring” program, May 8-17 in the Kauffman Theatre. The featured performers include Kaleena Burks, Molly Wagner and Sarah Walborn.
A huge snow globe that he saw in a hotel in Russia was part of choreographer Edwaard Liang’s inspiration for Wunderland, part of the Kansas City Ballet’s “Dances Daring” program, May 8-17 in the Kauffman Theatre. The featured performers include Kaleena Burks, Molly Wagner and Sarah Walborn.

“I find it interesting to create an abstract dance that doesn’t have to be about a story,” said Jennifer Owen, co-artistic director and choreographer for Owen/Cox Dance Group. “Through the use of the human body and through the relationships the dancers have with each other, the movement tells a story in itself – the viewer can interpret it however he or she wants. There is meaning to be found in that.”

Owen/Cox Dance Group premieres two works for their season closer in UMKC’s White Hall June 7. They’ll perform the first fully choreographed version of Paul Hindemith’s contrapuntal masterpiece Ludus Tonalis with pianist Kairy Koshoeva as well as an interpretation of J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 3 with violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane.

Kansas City Ballet ends their season May 8-17 in Kauffman Theatre with a mixed-repertoire of contemporary beauties from George Balanchine, Todd Bolender, Edwaard Liang and Amy Seiwert. Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Bolender’s The Still Point are repertoire favorites. Liang’s 2009 Wunderland is a sophisticated jewel, set to the music Philip Glass. Seiwert’s Concertino premiered September 2014 as a commissioned work for Johnson County Community College’s New Dance Partners.

The ever-eclectic Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company presents their spring program May 22-23 at University of Missouri-Kansas City’s White Hall.

Parsons Dance completes the 50th anniversary season for the Harriman-Jewell Series. Artistic director and choreographer David Parsons, a Kansas City native, returns with his acclaimed modern dance company to the Kauffman Center June 6 for their 12th appearance with the series.

About The Author: Libby Hanssen

Libby Hanssen

Originally from Indiana, Libby Hanssen covers the performing arts in Kansas City. She’s written for KCUR, “KC Studio,” “The Kansas City Star,” “The Pitch” and “KCMetropolis.” Libby maintains the culture blog “Proust Eats A Sandwich” and writes poetry and children’s books. Along with degrees in trombone performance, she was a Fellow for the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University.

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