Störling Dance Theater’s Butterfly Artfully Depicts Beauty while Navigating Alzheimer’s

A dance theatre production addressing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease… 

What began as a visit to grandma’s house and a family trip to the Colorful City quickly becomes a pivotal moment in the lives of the family featured in Störling Dance Theater’s Butterfly

Dancers in “The Wedding” scene of Störling Dance Theater’s Butterfly

An Artistic Gamble 

In the brilliantly artful way for which Artistic Director Mona Störling-Enna and her company have become known, Butterfly manages to vividly, yet gracefully, tell the story of a fictional character, Helen Bernard, and her family navigating life amidst an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.  

Premiered in 2004, The Kansas City Star declared the ballet “one of those rare occasions when an artistic gamble really paid off”, describing it as “a very human story with pathos, intelligence, humor and guts” and “a totally successful piece of dance theater.” 

Twenty years after its debut and 13 years after its last performance, Butterfly returns to flight on the Folly Theater stage April 12 and 13.  

Butterfly highlights the beauty of every stage of life, even when that beauty seems to be elusive, as if veiled within a cocoon.  

A Relatable Story 

It tells a story to which many can personally relate. 

For Störling-Enna, creating the production was a deeply personal process. She learned of her own mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis shortly after beginning to craft the production.  

“Doing Butterfly was very… healing, I think, and it was a great way for me to honor [my mother],” Störling-Enna said. 

Through Störling-Enna’s vision – innovative choreography, vivid costuming, expressive lighting and an evocative soundscape led by music from Philip Glass – Helen Bernard’s world, both external and internal, come to life. 

Through the beauty of dance and the power of story, Butterfly aims to uplift audience members and leave them encouraged and hopeful to continue to see beauty even amidst life’s challenging situations. 

Störling Dance Theater has been a force of beauty and impactful art in the Kansas City community since 1996. The neo-classical modern dance company has nearly three decades of experience bringing to life stories that speak to the human experience and connect with diverse audiences throughout the city, country and world.  

Butterfly is just one example of the poignant storytelling for which Störling Dance Theater is known. 

Performances of Störling Dance Theater’s Butterfly are Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m. at Folly Theater in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information and tickets, visit www.storlingdance.org/new-events.  

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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