University of Missouri at Kansas City
Conservatory of Dance and Music

Dance Department's

Fall Concert 2007

2, 3 November 2006 in White Recital Hall at UMKC
Most pictures are from studio work in October and dress in November with a couple from performance.

A CD of Proofs for this concert will be available for dancers and their friends and relatives for $20 each very shortly.

Miyesha McGriff

From Studio Rehearsal

From Dress Rehearsal

Dress: "Le Petite Suite" by Mary Pat Henry

Mary Marshall and Matthew Carney in studio for "Variations with Episodes" by Paula Weber

"Variations with Episodes" by Paula Weber

Miyesha McGriff rehearsing "Dance Symphony No.7" by Paula Weber in the studio

Miyesha McGriff in "Dance Symphony No.7" by Paula Weber


Choreofest showcases faculty works, student performances

by Nicole English

UMKC dance students rehearse original ballet piece for upcoming Choreofest.
Media Credit: Mike Strong
UMKC dance students rehearse original ballet piece for upcoming Choreofest.

Each fall, the UMKC dance division presents its annual Choreofest Dance Concert to showcase original works created by the UMKC dance faculty, and to showcase the skills of the UMKC dance students performing the works. This year's concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3, in White Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center.

"The entire faculty is choreographing for this performance," said Paula Weber, professor and current chair of the dance division.

This year's concert will feature original works created by former chair and current Assistant Dean Mary Pat Henry, as well as faculty works by Jennifer Medina, Rodni Williams and Paula Weber. There will be eight pieces presented, including four ballets and four classical modern pieces.

Weber, who teaches ballet and pas de deux in the dance division, will be presenting two classic ballet "tutu" pieces. The "tutu" refers to the short fluffy skirt traditionally worn by ballerinas while performing classical ballet dances.

These pieces were originally choreographed for the Midwest Youth Ballet (Alecia Good, director), and were recently performed at the National Regional Dance America Festival. Weber has staged the ballets with both UMKC and Midwest Youth Ballet students.

"Alecia Good and the Midwest Youth Ballet were also kind enough to loan us their tutus for the piece," Weber said.

Weber also choreographed a contemporary ballet. This ballet will feature a "pas de deux," or duet, for each combination of couples.

"Since I teach pas de deux in the dance division, I wanted to create a piece using the skills of our men and women," Weber said. "There are seven pas de deux, with some of the duets appearing singly, and some appearing together ... with a very contemporary flare."

Williams choreographed two pieces for the concert, one titled "Shared" and the other "The Last Sunday." Both pieces are contemporary modern dance pieces that express deep feelings and profound meaning for Williams.

"'Shared' is based on how we all share the same blood, no matter the color of our skin," Williams said. "The other piece, 'The Last Sunday,' is based on the last Sunday that I spent in church with my mother ... before she died."

Medina will be presenting two works as well. One is an abstract contemporary ballet,

titled "Innerworkings," which is set to original music.

"The contemporary ballet was a collaborative work between myself and Conservatory graduate student composer Jacob Gotlib," Medina said.

The other is a contemporary modern piece titled "Blaise Bailey Finnegan III." It is a contemporary modern piece inspired by the music by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR.

"We have such great students," Weber said. "They work very hard to put on a good performance....It will be well worth seeing."

Regular tickets are $8, or $6 for seniors. UMKC faculty, staff and students will be admitted free with UMKC or student ID.

Performance in Concert

Friday/Saturday - 2, 3 November 2007

UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
Dance Division - Fall Concert
Choreofest 2007

White Recital Hall, University of Missouri Kansas City




Skyler Taylor and Miyesha McGriff

Dance Symphony No. 7

Choreography Paula Weber
Music Ludwig von Beethoven
"Symphony No. 7, 4th movement"
Lighting Design Jeff Roudabush
Costume Design Prima Donna on loan from MYB
Dancers Christina Hill, Caitlin Schuler
Miyesha McGriff, Skyler Taylor
Pamela Auinbauh, Marie Buser, Willa Dock, Meghann Martens, Amanda McMaster, Angela Shipman, Stephanie Shipman, Kaely Tieri


Caitlin Schuler in "Dance Symphony No.7" by Paula Weber



Chloe Abel

Welcome To Holland

Choreography Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Music Khadja Nin "Mwana wa mama"
Lighting Design Jeff Roudabush
Costume Design Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Chloe Abel
Skyler Taylor

Emily Perl Kingsley is a writer on Sesame Street since 1970. In 1974 her son Jason was born with Down's Syndrome. In 1987 she wrote "Welcome to Holland"

"Welcome to Holland"

Emily Perl Kingsley.

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.


Chloe Abel in "Welcome to Holland" by Sabrina Madison-Cannon



The finale (dress)

Le Petite Suite

Choreography Mary Pat Henry
Music Claude Debussy
Lighting Design Jeff Roudabush
Costume Design Paula Weber
Dancers Will Smith and Skyler Taylor,
Sam Lopp and Amanda McMaster,
Vance Baldwin and Caitlin Schuler

Pamela Auinbauh, Marie Buser, STaci Burns, Willa Dock, Maureen Duke, Abi Engelhardt, Miyesha McGriff, Katie Metzger, Sharmaine Perea, Angela Shipman, Stephanie Shipman, Kaily Tieri
We would like to thank Michael Schall of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre for the use of the chandelier prop for "Le Petite Suite"



Blaise Bailey Finnegan III

Choreography Jennifer Medina
Music Godspeed You Black Emperor
"Blaise Bailey Finnegan III"
Lighting Design David Diaz
Dancers Chelsea Danner, Chloe Abel, Jayna Lucia, Kristen Loeb, Katie Metzher, Stephanie Ruch, Christina Burton, Mari Watson, Michael Tomlinson, Eri Harbin, Sam Lopp, Erik Sobbe, Jered Solace, Vance Baldwin, Christopher Page, Karen Shongar, Kristen Feldman, Jenna Rome, Erin Taylor, Ashley Davis, Natalie Wise, Ariel Swinney, Amanda Artigas, Chelsea Klima, Jessi Fouts, Elaine Kimble, Marlee Bailey, Jennifer Lowe

Music underground group Godspeed You Black Emperor! emerged in 1998. The group is anti-interview and anti-photograph and so little is available to see. Still the group, a collective, received a lot of attention, maybe because of the deliberate low-profile stance. This piece is from their second release: "Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada."

"Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" starts with a taped interview of a Rhode Island street preacher commenting on the impending doomsday of America.

"Blaise Bailey Finnegan III" - overall lighting for the piece



Variation With Episodes

Choreography Paula Weber
Music Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat, 2nd Movement"
Lighting Design E. J. Reinagal
Costume Design and Construction Paula Weber
Dancers Mary Marshall and Matthew Carney

Jessi Fouts and Erik Sobbe
with Molly Vaeth and Christopher Page

Chelsie Danner and Sam Lopp

Kelanie Murphy and William Smith
with Meghann Martens and Michael Tomlinson

Katie Tripp and Ben Biswell



(left to right) Chloe Abel, Mari Watson, Christopher Page

The Last Sunday

Choreography Rodni Williams
Music Laurie Anderson with Peter Gabriel
"Excellent BIrds," "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"
Lighting Design Jeff Roudabush
Costume Design Rodni Williams
Dancers Chloe Abel, Mari Watson, Christopher Page

Mari Watson and Christopher Page in "The Last Sunday" by Rodni Williams

Mari Watson in "The Last Sunday" by Rodni Williams

Christopher Page in "The Last Sunday" by Rodni Williams




Choreography Jennifer Medina
Music Jacob Gotlib
Lighting Design Jessica Bertine
Costumes by Jennifer Medina and the dancers
Dancers Mary Marshall (fri) Chelsie Danner (sat)
Matthew Carney (fri) Benjamin Biswell, Sam Lopp, Molly Vaeth, Katie Tripp, Kaely Tieri, Amanda McMaster, Staci Burns, Jessi Fouts, Chloe Abel, Ariel Swinney, Skyler Taylor, Katie Metzger, Vance Baldwin, Christopher Page, Maureen Duke, Kelanie Murphy, William Smith
About the music, quoted from:
"Sensed Presence (2007) is a phenomenon that often occurs in the state between waking and sleeping (“hypnagogia”), where one is still slightly conscious, but uncertain if a sensation is wakefulness disappearing or dreams beginning. In this state it is common to feel very strongly that you are not alone, that someone is there in the room, watching you or perhaps speaking to you, despite knowledge to the contrary. Sensed Presence was a collaboration with Kansas City choreographer Jennifer Medina, under the title Innerworkings. This piece is dedicated to her, and to all the dancers who performed at its premiere in November 2007."

"Innerworkings" by Jennifer Medina




Choreography Rodni Williams
Music The Gwinnett Festival Singers
"O Lord, In Thee Is All My Trust," "Hallelujah, Amen"
Lighting Design Delinda Pushetonequa
Costumes by Rodni Williams
Dancers Stephanie Ruch, Ariel Swinney, Chelsea Klima, Chelsie Danner, Elaine Kimble, McKenzie Allen, Brittany Feiten, Katie Metzger, Kelanie Murphy, Erin Taylor, Mary Marshall (Friday only), Katie Dalzell




Paula Weber, Division Chair
Mary Pat Henry, Interim Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs
Sabrina Madison-Cannon
Jennifer Medina
Rodni Williams

Victor Tan, Head of Lighting Design Program

Adjunct Professors

Tamara Carsen
Jennifer Owen
Michael Simms
Lindsay Rosemann

Robert Beck, audio adjunct professor
Rocco D'Santi, lighting adjunct professor


Production Staff

Concert Director Jennifer Medina
Stage Managers Brittany Feiten, Jennifer Lowe
Assistant Stage Managers Mackensie Allen, Marlee Bailey
Master Electrician David Diaz
Lead Lighting Designer Jeff Roudabush
Lighting Design Jeff Roudabush, David Diaz, E.J. Reinagal, Jessica Bertine, Delinda Pushaetonequa
Sound Design Robert Beck, Jason Scheufler
Sound Operator Catherine Johnson
Light Board Operator David Diaz
Curtain Kaylee Douglas, Christina HIll, Katie Dalzell, Jayna Lucia
Crew Dancer of the Conservatory Dance Division


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?).