University of Missouri at Kansas City Department's

Fall Concert 2006

3, 4 November 2006 in White Recital Hall at UMKC
Most pictures from Dress rehearsals 2 Nov 2006

Chloe Abel in "Songs of Love" - Choreography Mary Pat Henry

Klavier Poems

Ben Biswell, Tia Qureshi
Choreography Paula Weber
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Music Sonata for Piano No. 29
in B-flat Major, Op. 109 "Hammerklavier"
III. Adagio sostenuto. Appassionato e con molto sentimento
Lighting Design Jennifer Falbo
Costuming Design Paula Weber
Dancers Friday Night: Ben Biswell with Molly Vaeth, Kate Feuer, Tia Qureshi
Saturday Night: Matthew Carney with Mary Marshall, Skyler Taylor, Molly Wagner


From video capture
Choreography Jennifer Medina
Composer Miriam Shockley
Music Domini
Lighting Design Margaret Spare
Costuming Design / Construction Nina Reed
Dancers Christine O'Neal, guest artist

Aspiring To Evolve (invited student work)
Choreography Chelsie Danner and Stephani Ruch
Composer Zoe Keating
Music We Insist
Lighting Design Rocco D'Santi
Costuming Design Kristy Sook
Dancers Chelsie Danner, Stephanie Ruch, Kristen Loeb, Karen Schongar, Kaitlyn Rader, Ariel Swinney

Syn Shadow
Syn Shadow Choreography Rodni Williams
Composer Kevin G. Anderson, Stewart Walker, Full Circle
Music Shadow Languages,
Grounded in Existence,
Secret Stories
Lighting Design Rocco D'Santi
Costuming Design Rodni Williams, Marlee Bailey, Michelle Nolan
Dancers Ron Belger, Mattew Carney, Anthony DeCarlis, David Long, Christopher Page, Erik Sobbe, Ben Biswell, Cory Hackley, William Smith, Vance Baldwin

Songs of Love
Songs of Love Choreography Mary Pat Henry
Composer James Shearman, Steve Wood, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francesco Sartori
Vocal Artists Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra
Lighting Design Rocco D'Santi
Costume Design/Construction Mary Pat Henry, Paula Weber
Dancers "Siempre Adorarla"
Friday Night: Mary Marshall, Ashley Zimmerman, Chloe Abel, Molly Wagner, Tia Qureshi, Skyler Taylor
Saturday Night: Kate Feuer, Jessi Fouts, Maureen Duke, Caitlin Schuler, Molly Wagner, Tia Qureshi
"Fantasma d'Amore"
Molly Wagner, Christopher Page, David Long, Ron Belger, William Smith
"Solo Amore"
Anthony DeCarlis, Tia Qureshi
"Oltre la Tempesta"

Infinite Pulse

Ben Biswell, Leila Dilmaghani, Matt Carney
Choreography Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Composer Baka Beyond
Music Spirit of the Forest
Lighting Design Andrea Strange
Costume Design/Construction Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Dancers Leila Dilmaghani, Matt Carney, Ben Biswell

Fields in Eternity
Choreography Jennifer Medina
Composer Lisa Gerrad and Peter Bourke
Music Soundtrack to The Insider
Lighting Design Margaret Spare
Costume Design/Construction Paula Weber
Dancers Chelsie Danner, Stephanie Ruch, Kaley Kostas, Jennifer Phillips, Jo Wertz, Holly Payne, Katie Metzger, Karen Schonger, Leila Dilmaghani, Jennifer Lowe, Kristin Loeb

Choreography Jennifer Medina
Composer Kenji Bunch
Music "Grooveboxes" and "Night Flight" from Swing Shift
  by The Ahn Trio
Lighting Design Margaret Spare
Costuming Design Jennifer Medina and Dancers
Dancers Michele Cox, Chelsie Danner, Leila Dilmaghani, Jessi Fouts, Jessica Horvath, Alexandra Keys, Mariko Kumonomido, Katie Metzger, Christina Mowery, Holly Payne, Jenniger Phillips, Carissa Ratliff, Andy Ruch, Stephanie Ruch, Chelsea Shaw, Jo Wertz

UMKC Conservatory Dance Division
Fall 2006 Performance

Production Staff
Concert Director: Mary Pat Henry
Stage Managers: Ashley Davis and Kristen Feldmann
Master Electrician: Rocco DiSanti
Lighting Designers:
Jennifer Falbo, Rocco DiSanti
Andrea Strange, Margaret Spare
Sound Design:
Robert Beck, Ryan Kleeman
Light Board Operator: Jennifer Falbo
Sound Operators: Lauren Thompson, Ashley Trullinger
Curtain: Marlee Bailey, Cory Hackley
Camera Operators: Christina Burton, Erin Taylor
Technical Crew:
Friday Night: Mackenzie Allen, Marlee Bailey, Staci Burns, Emily Hair
Elena Hofer, Jesse Ligon, Mari Watson, Natalie Wise
Saturday Night: Marlee Bailey, Alexas Bell, Jillian Carlile, Brittany Feiten
Elaine Kimble, Rebecca Simer, Michelle Wentworth

Mary Pat Henry, Division Chair
Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Jennifer Medina
Paula Weber
Rodni Williams

Adjunct Professors
Jennifer Owens
Michael Simms
Ann Shaughnessy
Lindsey Walker-Rosemann

Review: By Nicole English

Photos by Mike Strong

On Friday and Saturday, November 3rd and 4th, at 7:30pm, the Dance Department proudly presented its annual Fall performance of it Choreofest concert at White Recital Hall, within the Performing Arts Center, to a nearly full house. The annual Choreofest showcases faculty choreography, but the pieces are typically performed by the dance students themselves.

This year's Choreofest, however, featured a student creation by invitation. The concert also featured a guest artist performing a solo piece.

The show opened with a charming contemporary ballet, "Klavier Poems" choreographed by Paula Weber, which was last performed in 2003. Done to the music of Beethoven, the piece featured a male dancer partnering with a trio of females in a soft, sweetly sentimental suite. This ballet was elegant and attractive, yet challenging, which allowed students to grow and demonstrate their potential.

"It was a very difficult piece, but I felt like these kids could master it," said Weber. "And they did... Both casts did very well... we did two casts so that both set of students could perform"

"The quality of the students we have now is fabulous," Weber added "They are very professional looking."

The next number was a dark and moody piece, "Courtesan", choreographed by Jennifer Medina. The piece featured guest artist, Christine O'Neal, performing a solo in a long purple, taffeta dress, which matched its dark countenance.

This piece was a favorite of UMKC Dance alumnus, Katie Jenkins.

"It was like mourning to music," said Jenkins. It was so heart-wrenching."

Jenkins was also impressed with the rest of the concert.

"The concert went really well," said Jenkins. "The versatility and diversity of the concert makes it very enjoyable... not only is the dancing good, but there was a demonstration of artistry too... not just mastery of skill... this shows that there is a wide range of talent in the Dance Department."

The next piece was an all-female ensemble number, "Aspiring to Evolve", which was an invited student work, choreographed by dance students, Chelsie Danner and Stephanie Ruch. All nine dancers were dressed in white turtlenecks and split skirts, performing a barefoot Modern Dance piece with a very contemporary and timely feel to it.

"This was my favorite piece," said dance senior, Anthony DeCarlis. "I loved the creativity of it."

Next was an innovative piece, "Syn Shadow", created by Dance faculty member, Rodni Williams. He created a piece featuring an all-male ensemble, in several movements. Edgy, yet hip, Williams stretched the boundaries of what people generally expect from male dancers in a concert piece like this one. The piece seemed very experimental, and featured an unusual segment where the male dancers sported a toe shoe on one foot.

When asked about the impetus for the choreography, Williams responded that he does not examine the source of his inspiration, or question his muse.

"I don't normally 'think' about the origin of my choreography," said Williams. "I don't know where the inspiration for a piece comes from.... I just let it flow out of me."

Ron Belger, a junior in the Dance Department, found performing Williams' piece an education in itself, but an exciting one.

"Rodni's piece was exciting to perform because of the storyline, which was unusual... and it was interesting to do because of working on pointe," said Belger. "Now I can understand more of what the girls go through working on pointe... it takes a lot of practice and control."

Chris Page, also a Dance major, enjoyed the experience of performing this piece.

"Rodni's piece went beautifully," said Page. "We were all working together as a unit... and it felt like the audience 'got' what we were trying to do."

After the intermission, the show reopened with a lively and delightful suite of love songs, all in Spanish, that gave this contemporary ballet a decidedly Latin flair. The music was exquisite and the choreography stood up well to the music, matching both timbre and tone. Choreographed by Dance Director, Mary Pat Henry, this suite featured two different casts, one for Friday and the other for Saturday, and both performing well.

"It is much more difficult training two different casts," said Henry. "But we wanted to be able to give more students the opportunity to perform more in the concert.

This suite was followed by "Infinite Pulse", which was choreographed by Sabrina Madison-Cannon. An excerpt from an earlier work, this piece feature a female partnering with two male dancers, in a terpsichorean ménage a' trois dressed in flesh-colored tights. Sensual and primal, this barefoot Modern Dance composition was a very dramatic piece that roused a thunderous applause from the audience.

"This piece was an excerpt from a larger work that inspired by a text on relationship issues," said Madison-Cannon. "Particularly those that deal with power versus passion issues... such as those in a love triangle... and how we deal with those issues."

Madison-Cannon was also pleased at how the students grew under her tutelage.

"Yes, I am happy, pleased, proud, and overjoyed at the performances the students gave in the concert this year," she said. "And they grew so much in the process of learning the numbers... it is such a joy to see them come up to this level of performance."

Next was a very abstract piece, which was choreographed by Jennifer Medina, and that started in complete silence. Movements were angular and uneven, and the dancers often doubled as scenery in this creative piece. The dancers floated rose-petals into the air at the piece's climax, representing pieces of the cosmos.

"The rose petals represented the 'cosmic stuff' that makes up the universe, as well as all of us," said Medina. "The dance is about the interface between that which is human and that which is not human... creation and integration... we are all part of a greater whole."

Medina was very pleased with how the number was performed by the students.

"The dancers were beautiful, she said. "Everything went really well... even the fluttering of the rose petals."

I hate to put words to the piece... or explain too much about my thoughts about it... I prefer to leave it open to interpretation, rather than to impose my own interpretation on someone else's enjoyment of the work....

The closing suite also featured choreography by Jennifer Medina. "Grooveboxes" was performed by the entire ensemble, with females dressed in black tutus and males in black tights and red shirts. This energetic number was Medina's first foray into choreographing a pointe piece, and hopefully, will not be her last one. The piece closed the concert in thunderous applause.

Even Randall Pembrook, Dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance found the concert impressive.

The entire concert can be described in one word: Amazing," said Pembrook. "The variety of performances in the concert was amazing... and the growth of the students is amazing to watch.... and the beauty of their dancing still continues to amaze me."

"We are so proud at the Conservatory of the Dance Department and everything they have accomplished," added Pembrook. "And of their growth in not only the quantity, but the quality, of the Dance students."

Relevant Websites for more information:


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?).