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Dance Festival: Why Dancers are Excited

Kansas City Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Dance Festival kicks off Friday, April 6 and runs through April 15. Find out why our dancers are excited for these upcoming programs.


Angelina Sansone | Company Dancer Since 2005

“I am happy to be sharing my 13th and final season with Kansas City Ballet’s 60th anniversary.

As many dancers would agree, Working on Jiří Kylián movement has always been something I’ve wanted to do before I retire.  I’ve been inspired by Andrea Schermoly’s work for some time as well, but this entire program is jam packed with moments I’m excited for. I love mixed rep programs. It allows us to be in the studio working on so many different things, with multiple stagers and choreographers. We are constantly changing gears and pushing ourselves mentally and physically.

Over my career the KC audiences have watched me change and learn, trying on many styles and adapting to different characters. They’ve seen me with everything stripped away, vulnerable, joyful, scared, strong, passionate… a dancer and a human. I honestly just can’t wait to get out there on that stage, give my all, dance unabashedly, and go on that ride with my fellow dancers, the musicians, and the audiences. Happy 60th!!!!” Bio


Whitney Huell | Company Dancer Since 2014

The Man in Black is the ballet I’m most looking forward to performing. I’ve never done a ballet in boots before! It’s also rare to remain onstage for an entire ballet.  I’m thrilled to experience the connection between four dancers onstage creating movement to six cover songs by Johnny Cash. The rehearsal process has been eye opening for me and I’ve learned how to move my body in many new and fulfilling ways.” Bio


James Kirby Rogers | Company Dancer Since 2016

“Truthfully this 60th Anniversary Dance Festival has been a dream come true for me. I have wanted to dance Petite Mort since I was 14 years old. I remember watching the iconic video for the first time and being in rapture. The simplicity of the piece, the cohesiveness of the props, music and choreography blew me away. Each element intermingled to form something that even through a small computer screen was mesmerizing. Now I have the chance to make it my own which is an incredible gift. If that wasn’t enough I remember when I was a student in Houston Ballet Academy watching a video of Stanton Welch’s Play and thinking how it looked like pure fun. I am honored to get to perform the pas de deux in Play and dance to music that I personally love and listen to regularly.” Bio


Marisa Whiteman | KCB II, Kansas City Ballet Second Company

“I have been very excited about rehearsing Play because it brings me back to growing up in New York City, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life with everyone going about their daily routines. The work is set to music by Moby, and the music helps take you on a journey of feelings and emotions throughout the ballet. You are going to love it!” Bio


Georgia Fuller | First Year | Trainee, Kansas City Ballet Second Company

“What I am most excited about for the Anniversary Dance Festival is the diverse repertoire being presented. The varied and eclectic dance styles in the program really show off the many strengths of Kansas City Ballet’s company dancers. I especially love the contrast between the very intimate and contemporary Petite Mort verses the very classical and elegant Balanchine’s Diamonds. I look forward to seeing these beautiful pieces take the stage and leave the audience awestruck!”


It’s not too late to get tickets or learn more about the Diamonds (April 6-8) or The Man in Black (April 13-15).


Photography by Tom Styrkowicz of 53 Studio.


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