Kansas City Youth Ballet (KCYB) performs their Fall Concert 2011 program on Saturday, November 5th at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 p.m. at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity.
This will be the very first KCYB performance to take place at the Bolender Center, which opened on Aug. 26, 2011. Attendees will watch the performances in The Michael and Ginger Frost Studio Theater, and the program will consist of six ballets ranging from excerpts of classic ballets to brand new works from KCBS faculty.
“Fall Concert 2011 combines classic, neo-classic and contemporary ballets to create a program full of variety for the audience, as well as the performers,” says new KCYB director Hyuk-Ku Kwon.
The show opens with 10 for Bruch, a new ballet set to the music of Bruch and choreographed by former KCB dancer and KCBS faculty member Lisa Thorn Vinzant. The piece features 10 dancers—8 female corps dancers and a lead couple. Local dancewear designer, Lisa Choules, fashioned the costumes for the women which come in hues of blue and have elegant and flowing full skirts that will enhance the music with their movement.
“I was drawn to this music immediately. I felt it would inspire the dancers to move in big, full movements. I wanted to expand the students’ training to get them to bend more, lean more, and fall into the next step,” says Vinzant. “The music is so beautiful. I hope the audience is completely absorbed in the experience.”
The program also includes excerpts from Giselle, Swan Lake, Flower Festival at Genzano∏and Esmerelda Variation. These pieces showcase both individuals and smaller ensembles and are a great chance for the students to perform at their best.
One student in particular, Marissa Richardson, will be performing both Giselle and Esmerelda Variation on her own. Richardson is currently the Student Apprentice with the Kansas City Ballet and has been rehearsing both pieces in preparation for competing at Youth America Grand Prix in Chicago, Ill., on January 2012. Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old.
The program’s finale, which is yet untitled, was choreographed by Suzanne Ryan Strati with help from Kwon. It is a contemporary piece that includes ballet basics. “I’m extremely excited to work with the students to give them a modern influence,” says Ryan Strati.
“The coming concert will show the audience the potential in these fine young dancers,” says Kwon. “Who knows how far they’ll go? They are all so passionate—this event gives them a chance to really express it.”
Single tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased by phone by calling the Kansas City Ballet Box Office at 816-931-2232 or online at http://www.kcballet.org/kcbschool.
KCYB’s engagement is presented with the generous support of the contributions of the Kansas City Ballet. These performances are funded, in part, by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation and the Missouri Arts Council.
About Kansas City Youth Ballet
Kansas City Youth Ballet, previously known as the MidWest Youth Ballet, was founded in the spring of 1997 as a non-profit ballet ensemble comprised of talented and dedicated young dancers. The ensemble’s focus is on excellence in training and developing a professional performance atmosphere for the dancers. The goal has been to promote the art of ballet through education and performance for the dancers and the community. The ensemble is made up of 21 dancers ranging in age from 15-18, who study under the faculty of the Kansas City Ballet School. The Youth Ballet presents two major performances each season as well as several concert series including a bi-annual collaboration with the Kansas City Philharmonia which showcase many original works by local and national choreographers. The KCYB has been blessed to have award winning choreographers Keelan Whitmore, Robert Mills, Patrick Corbin and Paula Weber set multiple ballets for them to perform at RDA festivals and in Europe.
Kansas City Youth Ballet
Fall Concert 2011 Performance at a Glance
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 2011, 2:00 p.m.
Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity
500 W Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108
10 for Bruch
Choreographer: Lisa Thorn Vinzant
Pas de Trois from Swan Lake
Staged by: Hyuk-Ku Kwon
Giselle (Act I Variation)
Staged by: Hyuk-Ku Kwon
Flower Festival at Genzano
(Pas de Deux) Staged by: Peter Pawlyshyn
Music: Helsted / Paulli
Staged by: Hyuk-Ku Kwon
Untitled New Work
Choreographers: Suzanne Ryan Strati and Hyuk-Ku Kwon
Music (song title): Patzivota
Composer: Violaine Corradi
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, and they are available by calling the Kansas City Ballet Box Office at 816-931-2232 or online at www.kcballet.org.
For more information visit www.kcballet.org/kcbschool/kcyb.
Please direct all media inquiries to Ellen McDonald 816.444.0052.
Introducing: Hyuk-Ku Kwon, KCYB Director
Hyuk-Ku Kwon studied ballet at Sejong University in Korea. He took a Silver Medal in 1991, and a Gold Medal in 1993 in the Korean Dance Association Competition, and a Gold Medal in the First Kirov-Universal Ballet Competition. He joined Universal Ballet in 1992, was promoted to soloist in 1994 and to principal in 1996 dancing principal roles. In 2001, he participated as a guest in the World Stars at Opera International Ballet Gala in Budapest. Hyuk-Ku danced principal roles with Ballet Arizona before joining Eugene Ballet. With the company, he has danced many principal roles including Prince DesirÈ in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Charming in Cinderella, Oberon in Toni Pimble’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the title role in Bruce Steivel’s Peter Pan and the Golden Slave in Dennis Spaight’s Scheherazade. He performed at the company’s Alaska Dance Theatre residency and White Bird’s 4X4 Project. In 2009 Hyuk-Ku took on the role of ballet master, teaching and coaching younger dancers in the classics with Eugene Ballet.