UMKC Conservatory Spring 2007 Dance Concert

Friday, April 13, 7:30pm
Saturday, April 14, 7:30pm
White Recital Hall, Free Admission to students, Open to the Public

Molly Wagner in
Molly Wagner in "Serenade" by George Balanchine

Program (review below)


First Half


Choreography by Paula Weber
Music by Kenji Bunch
Concerto for Piano Trio and Percussion
Lighting and Design by Jennifer Falbo
Costume Design/Construction by Paula Weber and Laura Powell
Molly Wagner and Matthew Carney
Mary Marshall and Erik Sobbe
Chelsie Danner, Jesse Fouts, Katie Metzger


Trying Times

Choreography by Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Music by Norman Whitfield and Barret Strong,
Donny Hathaway and Leroy Hudson and Jimi Hendrix
"War" - "Trying Times" - "Fire"
Lighting Design by
Costume Design/Construction by
Vance Baldwin, Rachel Barnes, Christina Burton,
Ashley Davis, Kristen Loeb, Jennifer Lowe, Elaine Kimble,
Christopher Page, Holly Payne, Sharmaine Perea, Jenna Rome,
Stephane Ruch, Karen Schongar, Ariel Swinney, Erin Taylor,
Skyler Taylor, Lauren Thompson, Kaely Tieri, Mari Watson



Choreography by James Jordan
(Absentia is "dedicated to the memory of my mentor and friend, Todd Bolender")
Original Music by William J. Lackey
Lighting Design by Rocco D'Santi
Set Design by James Jordan
Costumes Courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet
Jessica Sorn, Oboe
Alex Duval, Viola
Mark Stauffer, Cello
Mary Marshall
Molly Wagner
Katie Tripp, Molly Vaeth
Kate Feuer
Jesse Fouts

29 People

Choreography by Jennifer Medina
Music by Zoe Keating
Lighting Design by Andrea Strange
Costume Design/Construction by Jennifer Medina
Chloe Abel, Amanda Artigas, Marlee Bailey, Vance Baldwin,
Rachel Barnes, Stacie Burns, Chelsie Danner, Ashley Davis,
Leila Dilmaghani, Brittany Feiten, Kristen Feldman, Elena Hofer,
Catherine Johnson, Eliane Kimball, Chelsea Klima, Louisa Mann,
Katie Metzger, Holly Payne, Jennifer Phillips, Carissa Ratliff,
Jenna Rome, Stephanie Ruch, Chelsea Shaw, Lauren Sherony,
Erik Sobbe, Erin Taylor, Lauren Thompson, Jo Wertz, Natalie Wise


Second Half

For Ignacio Sanchez Mejias

Choreography by Doris Humphrey
Staged by Mino Nicolas ( TheArtOfTheSolo.Org )
Original Music by Norman Lloyd
Lighting Design by Rocco D'Santi
Set Design by Michael Czaja
Costume Design by Laura Powell

Rehearsal Direction by Mary Pat Henry
Dance Notation by Billie Mahoney
Music Coordinator Steven Schob
Set Construction by Ryan Harp

Text from the poem of the same title by
Federico Garcia Lorca
The drama is intended to signify the stuggle of Ignacio who contends
in the bullring of life and who meets a tragic end to which he is bound by Destiny
and to which he must go alone.

Entrance into the Arena
The Catching and the Death
The Spilling of the Blood
Body Present/Absent Soul

Maureen Duke as "The Figure of a Woman" a witness and Mourner
Rachel Barnes as "The Figure of Destiny" a Guardian
Matthew Carney as "Ignacio" the Contender

Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias

1. Cogida and death

At five in the afternoon.
It was exactly five in the afternoon.
A boy brought the white sheet
at five in the afternoon.
A frail of lime ready prepared
at five in the afternoon.
The rest was death, and death alone
at five in the afternoon.

The wind carried away the cottonwool
at five in the afternoon.
And the oxide scattered crystal and nickel
at five in the afternoon.
Now the dove and the leopard wrestle
at five in the afternoon.
And a thigh with a desolate horn
at five in the afternoon.
The bass-string struck up
at five in the afternoon.
Arsenic bells and smoke
at five in the afternoon.
Groups of silence in the corners
at five in the afternoon.
And the bull alone with a high heart!
At five in the afternoon.
When the sweat of snow was coming
at five in the afternoon,
when the bull ring was covered in iodine
at five in the afternoon.
Death laid eggs in the wound
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
Exactly at five o'clock in the afternoon.

A coffin on wheels in his bed
at five in the afternoon.
Bones and flutes resound in his ears
at five in the afternoon.
Now the bull was bellowing through his forehead
at five in the afternoon.
The room was iridescent with agony
at five in the afternoon.
In the distance the gangrene now comes
at five in the afternoon.
Horn of the lily through green groins
at five in the afternoon.
The wounds were burning like suns
at five in the afternoon,
and the crowd was breaking the windows
at five in the afternoon.
At five in the afternoon.
Ah, that fatal five in the afternoon!
It was five by all the clocks!
It was five in the shade of the afternoon!


2. The Spilled Blood

I will not see it!

Tell the moon to come
for I do not want to see the blood
of Ignacio on the sand.

I will not see it!

The moon wide open.
Horse of still clouds,
and the grey bull ring of dreams
with willows in the barreras.

I will not see it!

Let my memory kindle!
Warm the jasmines
of such minute whiteness!

I will not see it!

The cow of the ancient world
passed her sad tongue
over a snout of blood
spilled on the sand,
and the bulls of Guissando,
partly death and partly stone,
bellowed like two centuries
sated with treading the earth.
I do not want to see it!
I will not see it!

Ignacio goes up the tiers
with all his death on his shoulders.
He sought for the dawn
but the dawn was no more.
He seeks for his confident profile
and the dream bewilders him.
He sought for his beautiful body
and encountered his opened blood.
I will not see it!
I do not want to hear it spurt
each time with less strength:
that spurt that illuminates
the tiers of seats, and spills
over the corduroy and the leather
of a thirsty multitude.
Who shouts that I should come near!
Do not ask me to see it!

His eyes did not close
when he saw the horns near,
but the terrible mothers
lifted their heads.
And across the ranches,
an air of secret voices rose,
shouting to celestial bulls,
herdsmen of pale mist.
There was no prince in Seville
who could compare to him,
nor sword like his sword
nor heart so true.
Like a river of lions
was his marvellous strength,
and like a marble toroso
his firm drawn moderation.
The air of Andalusian Rome
gilded his head
where his smile was a spikenard
of wit and intelligence.
What a great torero in the ring!
What a good peasant in the sierra!
How gentle with the sheaves!
How hard with the spurs!
How tender with the dew!
How dazzling the fiesta!
How tremendous with the final
banderillas of darkness!
But now he sleeps without end.
Now the moss and the grass
open with sure fingers
the flower of his skull.
And now his blood comes out singing;
singing along marshes and meadows,
sliding on frozen horns,
faltering soulless in the mist,
stumbling over a thousand hoofs
like a long, dark, sad tongue,
to form a pool of agony
close to the starry Guadalquivir.
Oh, white wall of Spain!
Oh, black bull of sorrow!
Oh, hard blood of Ignacio!
Oh, nightingale of his veins!
I will not see it!
No chalice can contain it,
no swallows can drink it,
no frost of light can cool it,
nor song nor deluge of white lilies,
no glass can cover it with silver.
I will not see it!



Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust ( )
Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
"Serenade for String, Opus 48"
Staged by Jerri Kumery
Costumes inspired by Karinska
Conservatory Lighting Design by Jennifer Falbo
Rehearsal Direction by Paula Weber
Costume Construction by Laura Powell and Paula Weber

Molly Wagner
Mary Marshall
Chelsie Danner
Geoffery Kropp (guest artist from the Kansas City Ballet)
Matthew Carney
Kate Feuer, Caitlyn Schuler, Angela Shipman, Stephanie Shipman
Chloe Abel, Leila Dilmaghani, Maureen Duke, Jessi Fouts,
Jesse Ligon, Louisa Mann, Amanda McMaster, Katie Metzger
Skyler Taylor, Kaely Tieri, Katie Tripp, Molly Vaeth,
Ashley Zimmerman,
Vance Baldwin, Benjamin Biswell, William Smith, Erik Sobbe


Production Staff
Concert Director Paula Weber
Stage Manager Ashley R. Trullinger
Assistant Stage Manager Erin Taylor
Master Electrician Jennifer Falbo
Lead Lighting Designer Andrea Strange
Lighting Designer Jennifer Falbo, Rocco D'Santi
Sound Design Robert Beck, Ryan Kleeman
Light Board Operator Margaret Spare
Sound Operaton Michelle Wentworth, Natalie Wise
Curtain Benjamin Biswell, Amanda McMaster, Christopher Page
First Half Mackenzie Allen, Alexis Bell, Jillian Carlile, Marquita Miller, Kaitlin Rader, Caitlyn Schuler, Angela Shipman, Stephanie Shipman, Ashley Zimmerman
Second Half Amanda Artigas, Marlee Bailey, Alexis Bell, Jillian Carlile, Kristen Feldman, Catherine Johnson, Eliane Kimble, Kristen Loeb, Jennifer Lowe, Lauren Sherony
Conservatory of Music and Dance
Dance Division
Mary Pat Henry, Division Chair
Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Jennifer Medina
Paula Weber
Rodni Williams
Adjunct Professors
Kristopher Estes
Billie Mahoney
Jennifer Owen
Michael Simms
Lindsay Roseman
Jennifer Tierney


"Serenade" - Molly Wagner, Mattew Carney, Chelsie Danner

By Nicole English;

The dance community braved icy rains and forecasts of snow to see a remarkable Spring Concert presented by the UMKC Conservatory of Dance students, at 7:30 PM, on Friday and Saturday, April 13th and 14th, in White Recital Hall. Among the members of the large audience were many from the KC Ballet community to see the challenging program.

"Serenade" by George Balanchine - Ben Biswell

The dancers were very excited about the high profile pieces they were presenting, and were very positive about each other's performances.

"Serenade" Molly Wagner

Christopher Page, a dance major appearing in the second piece said about his peers in the concert, "The performances were amazing... the kids were really on their legs... everything really came together."


"Unplugged" Ben Biswell and Kate Feuer

The concert opened with "Unplugged", an unconventional, face-paced modern ballet piece choreographed by Paula Weber, and music by Kenji Bunch. Dressed in jazzy short skirts and shorts, dancers performed angular movements to driving music, pushing the envelope on what most people picture as ballet into an innovative and contemporary realm.


"Trying Times"

"Trying Times" - Chris Page

Next up was a politically-themed suite choreographed by Sabrina Madison-Cannon to rock and blues standards, Edwin Starr's "War!", "Tryin' Times", and Jimi Hendrix's "Fire!". This suite was a hit with the audience as it ranged from dancers in cammies doing martial arts moves, into bluesy angst dealing with death and loss, to psychedelic dancing reminiscent of the late 1960s protest era. Madison-Cannon has a knack of making dance very relevant as a medium for political speech, which is also approachable, engaging, and entertaining, even for audiences unfamiliar with dance. The cast was relatively large at 20 dancers, because the faculty want to include as many dancers as possible so that they might have performance experience.

"Trying Times"

"The students work very hard... and they deserve an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned," said Madison-Cannon. "It also gives them the opportunity to gain more stage experience which ultimately makes them better, more seasoned dancers when they graduate."


"Absentia" Alex Duval (viola), Mark Stauffer (cello), Mary Marshall

Next came a moving piece, "Absentia", choreographed by Kansas City Ballet's own ballet master, James Jordan, and performed to original music composed for oboe, viola, and cello by William J. Lackey. The musicians performed live on stage as the six ballet dancers performed around them. This original piece is dedicated to the memory of Jordan's friend and mentor, Todd Bolender, who had recruited Jordan for the Kansas City Ballet. To Jordan, this piece represents the loss of Bolender, and the absence of his presence and influence.

"Absentia" - Mary Marshall

"The project has been a wonderful process," said Jordan. "When I met the composer at a Young Audiences fund-raiser last May, we hit it off, and we collaborated over the summer.... then we worked with the dancers weekly since mid-January... I am very pleased with how it turned out."


"29 People"

The last piece in the first half was "29 People" choreographed by Jennifer Medina to "Exurgency" by Zoe Keating. The dance was a phenomenological piece that featured a large cast of 29, which is where the piece gets its name. The choreography reflects the experiences the dancers had when trying to coordinate choreography for this number of people.

"What I ended up with was 29 people, so that is what I called the piece," said Medina blithely. "We wanted the students who came regularly to feel they were participating in, and important to, the piece.... So, all 29 dancers are onstage throughout the eight minute piece."

The piece represents the phenomenological experience of the creation of the choreography, as it was happening, for both for the choreographer and the dancers.

"We are all individuals and yet we are all part of a community, a collective, as well... I tried to represent that experience in the choreography," explained Medina. "At times it is like the 29 dancers represent 29 different phrases in the music through dance.... We are all searching for the meaning of life in our own way, yet relate to each other at the same time... I told the students to take a moment to take a breathe, to take stock of themselves... and the dance also reflects that meditative moment."

"With that many people, it was really quite challenging to put together," Medina added. "But the students worked hard and we really managed to pull it together."


"Lament" - Rachel Barnes

After intermission, the concert presented two master works that were brought in for students to learn as an enriching, professional-level experience. In order to be able to perform these works, the students have to demonstrate a level of dance competence in order to execute the choreography. Thus, it is a great honor to have permission to perform these works.

"Lament" - Matthew Carney, Rachel Barnes, Maureen Duke

Although an obvious product of its time, the first piece, "Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias", was performed with great seriousness by the dancers. Based on a translated poem of the same name by famed Spanish author Federico Garcia Lorca, the dance drama portrays a bullfighter meeting his destiny of being killed in the arena which is projected as a metaphor for the inexorable struggle each of us has in facing our own mortality and death. Presented in the style of a Greek tragedy, this innovative piece blends music, drama, and spoken poetry in classical style. This work is a standard in the dance world as a masterpiece choreographed by modern dance icon, Doris Humphrey, and staged for the Conservatory by Minos Nicolas, in order that it could be notated by UMKC faculty member Billie Mahoney.

"Serenade" - ensemble (with Mary Marshall behind in jeté)

The last piece was the George Balanchine ballet, "Serenade", done to the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and staged by Repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust, Jerri Kumery. Ms. Kumery made a number of trips to Kansas City to work with the students directly, and then to view the performances on behalf of the George Balanchine Trust. A small segment of the ballet was presented in a previous concert, but this performance was the first time the dancers presented the ballet in its entirety.


The ballet was well received by the audience, receiving a standing ovation and a host of commentary from the ballet community.

Ms. Shirley Weaver, long-time Conservatory ballet faculty, commented, "It was a good performance... I was very pleased."

"They have really grown over the last year or so.... you would not know they were students," commented Westport Ballet founder, Elizabeth Hard. "It was a wonderful show... it was a challenging show but they managed... and the faculty did not water it down for them and the students were up to it."

"Serenade" - Molly Wagner and Geoffrey Kropp

Chris Barksdale, a lead dancer in the Kansas City Ballet company, commented, "Because I have performed in this ballet professionally myself three times, I am very picky... but I must say that I liked it... I liked what the students did with it."

These last two performances were part of the "Great Works Project", and made possible by the generosity of the Nottberg Foundation. They are both considered master works that any professional dancer would be privileged to be part of and are impressive works to add to their vita.


Perhaps the greatest compliment came from Randall Pembrook, Dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance.

"What I couldn't help but think was what an amazing challenge the program was and how satisfying it was to watch the results," said Pembrook. "This program tonight moved the whole dance department forward... they took on a challenge that was monumental and pulled it off... I could not be more pleased... it took my breath away."

"Serenade" - ensemble

"Trying Times"

"Serenade" - Chelsie Danner

For related information:

UMKC Conservatory of Music:
Conservatory's Performance Calendar:


Mino Nicolas (regisseur) - TheArtOfTheSolo.Org

The George Balanchine Trust -

Nicole English

Unless otherwise noted photos and copyright 2024 Mike Strong KCDance.Com and Mike Strong Photo Gallery and CV Site - Email This Page

UMKC Dance Division page links on this site

UMKC Dance Division moments between studio classes

Dance Division moments between studio classes

Fall Concerts
 With staff and guest choreography 

November 2017
November 2016
November 2015
November 2013
November 2012
November 2011
November 2010
November 2009
November 2008
November 2007
November 2006
November 2005

Spring Concerts
 Held every April with staff and visiting choreography. A showcase for the year. 

April 2017
April 2016
April 2014
April 2012
April 2011
April 2010
April 2008
April 2007

Other Dance Concerts and Dance Division Events at UMKC
 Held every April with staff and visiting choreography. A showcase for the year. 

Carmina Burana
CORPS de Ballet 2011 Conference with the introduction of the Tudor Curriculum
Battleworks Concert - 25 October 2008
UMKC Master Class with Robert Battle - 20-24 Oct 2008
Note: as of spring 2011 Robert Battle took over as Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey from the retiring Judith Jamison.
Master Class with Donald McKayle - August 2006
100th Year Anniversaryof the Conservatory - April 2006

Senior Recitals
These are held in the winter semester and the graduating seniors begin signups and rehearsals early in the fall semester. This is one of their last graded works. Each senior choreographs and directs a group piece and performs in a solo which may be self-choreography or another's and may also be a duet if there is a large enough mix of solo to duet.

There are a number of recital concerts, depending on the total number of seniors. Generally the mid-week concerts have in-town seniors while those with families out of town are scheduled for Saturdays so relatives can attend.

Senior Recital 2012
Senior Recital 2011
Senior Recital 2008
Senior Recital 2007
Senior Recital 2005

Related Links
 Non-UMKC events which have UMKC dancers, staff or visiting artists. 

Don McKayle talk 24 Jan 2008 at Public Library, KCMO about Kansas City Ballet piece he was commisioned to create.
UMKC guys in Romeo and Juliet at Kansas City Ballet Spring 2008 backstage in costumes.
Wylliams/Henry Sept 2006 and "Games ," choreography Donald McKayle.

For some of the least expensive, good dance entertainment in Kansas City the University of Missouri Kansas City's Conservatory of Dance and Music's Dance Division offers some of the best young adult dancers in the area. UMKC's Dance Division is among the top dance schools in the country. Those of us who live in this area often miss that distinction but people elsewhere know (isn't it always so?).