Fall Season Lookahead: Dance

Critic’s Picks

The dance community starts out strong this season with five straight weekends of stunning contemporary dance.

New Dance Partners at Johnson County Community College’s Carlsen Center, which has facilitated some thrilling performances during its tenure, once again brings together the Kansas City Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Company, Störling Dance Theater and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company with national-level choreographers (Sept. 27 and 28).

Wylliams/Henry restages Mary Pat Henry’s 2010 “Southern Exposure” multimedia dance theater piece, reconstructing powerful memories from the South before and after integration, at UMKC’s White Hall (Oct. 4 and 5).

Kansas City Ballet presents the world premiere of Adam Hougland’s “Carmina Burana” to the music of Carl Orff, following a powerful performance of Hougland’s “Rite of Spring” a few years ago. The triple bill includes the return of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s amusing “Tulips & Lobster” and Helen Pickett’s gorgeous-hued, light-infused “Petal” (Oct. 11 – 13 and 18 – 20).

Owen/Cox brings KC-native singer/songwriter Krystle Warren back from her home in Paris to collaborate on a world premiere performance based on her album “Love Songs” at JCCC’s Polsky Theatre (Oct. 19 and 20).

Harriman-Jewell Series presents Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, performing Nicolo Fonte’s highly acclaimed “Where We Left Off,” set to the music of Philip Glass and performed live by pianist Han Chen in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre (Oct. 25).

Dance Calendar

Carlsen Center Presents: Ballet Nepantla – “Valentina”
Sept. 7, 8 p.m.
Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College

Carlsen Center Presents: New Dance Partners
Sept. 27 and 28, 8 p.m.
Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College

Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company: “Southern Exposure”
Oct. 4 and 5, 7:30 p.m.
White Hall, UMKC

Kansas City Ballet: “Carmina Burana”
Oct. 11 – 20, times vary
Kauffman Center

Owen/Cox: Love Songs with Krystle Warren
Oct. 19, 8 p.m.; Oct. 20, 2 p.m.
Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College.

Russian Ballet Theatre presents “Swan Lake”
Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
The Folly Theater

Harriman-Jewell Series: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with Pianist Han Chen
Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Kauffman Center

Carlsen Center Presents: National Dance Company of Siberia
Nov. 2, 8 p.m.
Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College

Kansas City Ballet: “The Nutcracker”
Dec, 5 – 24, times vary
Kauffman Center

Libby Hanssen

Originally from Indiana, Libby Hanssen covers the performing arts in Kansas City. She is the author of States of Swing: The History of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, 2003-2023. Along with degrees in trombone performance, Libby was a Fellow for the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University. She maintains the culture bog "Proust Eats a Sandwich."

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