The Kansas City Ballet Announces New Artistic Staff and Company Members

The Kansas City Ballet Announces New Artistic Staff and Company Members

Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney today announced the appointment of three new members of the artistic staff: Grace Holmes as the new Director of Kansas City Ballet School, Kristi Capps as the new Ballet Master and Anthony Krutzkamp as newly created position of Manager of KCB II. Carney also announced eleven new members of the Company, increasing the Company from 28 to 29 members for the 2014-2015 season. He also announced the appointment of four new KCB II dancers, which stands at six members. Carney also announced the creation of a Trainee Program with five students, two selected from Kansas City Ballet School.

Carney stated, "With the support of the community, we were able to develop and grow the Company as well as expand the scope of our training programs. We are pleased to welcome these exceptional dancers to Kansas City Ballet and Kansas City. I know our audiences will enjoy the talent and diversity that these artists will add to our existing roster of highly professional world class performers that grace our stage throughout the season ahead. Additionally, I am quite excited to bring on board such highly qualified new artistic staff members. This can only bode well for exceptional artistic growth in both our school and professional company in the years to come."

New Artistic Staff

Grace Holmes, as the newly appointed Director of the Kansas City Ballet School, will oversee all operations for the school including the Kansas City Youth Ballet, the Academy, Studio, Summer Intensive and the Trainee Program. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, she was a soloist with New Orleans Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, England. She created leading roles with choreographers of international fame: David Bintley, Mark Morris, James Kudelka, Lila York, Redha Benteifour, Helgi Tomasson, and Val Caniparoli, and has performed at major theaters across the globe including the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Lincoln Center in New York City, the Royal Opera House in London and Paris Garnier Opera House.

After retiring from the stage, she worked in Education and Outreach for Birmingham Royal Ballet Education (UK) and became the Ballet Education Manager for the Royal Opera House in London, England, where she implemented and managed numerous community and educational projects across the UK. Upon returning to the United States, she became Academy Director for Tapestry Dance Company and was a Professor of Dance at University of Texas at Austin. She completed teacher training with David Howard and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and has taught students age 6-80 for over 20 years in the US and UK. She holds a Master's Degree in Dance in Education and the Community from University of Birmingham, England.

Kristi Capps, as the newly appointed Ballet Master, is responsible for teaching the company daily ballet class, rehearsing the upcoming pieces with the artistic team and scheduling the rehearsals for the company. A native of Charlotte, NC, she received her ballet training at the School of American Ballet, Harid Conservatory and North Carolina School of the Arts. She was a member of the Atlanta Ballet for three seasons and then joined Cincinnati Ballet where she rose to become their top Principal artist. In Denver, she was part of the faculties of Colorado Ballet Academy, Sweatshop Dance, and Colorado Conservatory of Dance. She also taught company class and was a rehearsal coach for Ballet Ariel.

Anthony Krutzkamp has joined KCB II as the newly created position of Manager and will oversee the production needs and community outreach for the second company of Kansas City Ballet. Krutzkamp retired from a performing career with KCB this past spring after nine years with the Company. He is also the co-artistic director of the annual summer performance event titled Kansas City Dance Festival. Krutzkamp holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

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New Kansas City Ballet company dancers

New Members of Kansas City Ballet include:

Danielle Bausinger was born in Ridgewood, NJ, and began her training at Lamorinda Ballet Center under Lynn Homeres from San Francisco Ballet, with Deborah Pitts from Oakland Ballet and Pat Keene from the Royal Ballet. She went on to extend her training by spending the next six years with the San Francisco Ballet School and attended summer programs such as The Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center, The Jillana School, American Ballet Theatre, and International Dance School in Jackson, MS. She also performed with the San Francisco Ballet Company in Helgi Tommason's The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet. Bausinger joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2006, and performed featured roles such as Tinkerbell in Septime Webre's Peter Pan, Myrtha in Devon Carney's Giselle, The Rose in Victoria Morgan and Val Caniparoli's The Nutcracker, The Lead Woman in James Kudleka'sThe Man in Black, Pas de Trios and Big Swan in Swan Lake, and 3rd Movement Principal in George Balanchine's Symphony in C.

Joshua Bodden began his ballet training at the age of ten at the Miami City Ballet School under the direction of Edward and Linda Villella, He also attended The Harid Conservatory and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater's year-round program on a full scholarship. He spent his summers training at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Upon graduating from the Miami City Ballet School program, Bodden was invited to join the Miami City Ballet dancing various ballets such as Stars and Stripes, Jewels, Scotch Symphony, Square Dance, Slaughter on 10th Avenue and Giselle. Bodden also danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Most recently he was a member of Cincinnati Ballet, expanding his repertoire of classical and contemporary works and having the prestigious honor of being the first African American male to perform a ballet boy in Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room.

Alisha Brach is from Albuquerque, NM and began her ballet study at age five. She spent summers training at the Jillana School, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. After training on full scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School, and subsequently at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School for ABT, she began dancing with Los Angeles Ballet. At JKO, she performed Jessica Lang's Oblivion, and Bournonville's Napoli. She enjoyed performing big swan inSwan Lake, and phlegmatic in The Four Temperaments with Los Angeles Ballet. She also was asked to perform with Norwegian National Ballet last spring, in their production of Tornerose.

Christopher Costantini a native of Milan, Italy, started his dance training at Princeton Ballet School, at the age of 12. After attending summer courses at American Ballet Theatre in New York City, he completed his pre-professional studies at San Francisco Ballet School. Upon graduation, he appeared with the Paris Opera Ballet in Maurice Béjart's Bolero for the company's 2012 North American tour. Costantini subsequently joined Oregon Ballet Theatre, where he danced for two years under the direction of Christopher Stowell and Kevin Irving.

Amanda DeVenuta is from Carmel, NY, and began her training under the direction of Gina Chiavelli. At the age of 13, she continued her training with Fabrice Herrault and then joined Boston Ballet's pre-professional program under the direction of Margaret Tracey until she became a trainee in 2012. She performed in the company's season as Snow & Flower Corps in Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, Mazurka in Petipa's Sleeping Beauty, 4th movement corps in Symphony In C, and Swanhilda's friends in Balanchine's Coppelia. She then was sent on exchange for the summer to National Ballet of Canada, and the following summer to represent Boston Ballet at the Banff performing arts center. She attended summer programs including American Academy of Ballet, Fabrice Herrault at Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet. DeVenuta spent this past year as an apprentice with Minnesota Dance Theatre where she performed the role of snow queen in Loyce Houlton's Nutcracker Fantasy.

Liang Fu was born in Qingdao, China. He received his dance education from Beijing Dance Academy. Upon graduating in 2001, he has danced with Singapore Dance Theatre, Universal Ballet Company, and previously, a Senior Soloist with Cincinnati Ballet. Fu had the honor to perform at the Gala of Benois de La Danse Competition at The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia 2003, as well as winning the first prize at the 10th Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition in Tokyo, Japan 2005. Fu has danced many leading roles in classical ballets such as Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Albrecht in Giselle, James in La Sylphide, Cavalier and Snow King in The Nutcracker. He has also enjoyed dancing contemporary works by Jiri Kylian, Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin, Stanton Welch, James Kudelka and Val Caniparoli.

Whitney Huell trained at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities under the tutelage of Stanislav Issaev and Robert Barnett. She then attended Indiana University where she earned a B.S. in Ballet and Psychology before joining Ballet West under the directorship of Adam Sklute. In her seasons with Ballet West, Huell enjoyed performing featured roles in Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Petit Mort and Balanchine's Jewels and The Four Temperaments. In January 2011 she was featured as one of Dance Magazine's Top 25 to Watch and was also featured in the September 2012 issue of Pointe Magazine.

Hannah Keene of Wellesley, MA, trained with the Boston Ballet School from 2000-2012. She received the Mikko Nissinen Artistic Director Scholarship in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 Hannah joined Boston Ballet II and danced with Boston Ballet in London in 2013 and in New York City in 2014. Hannah performed with Boston Ballet in Nissinen's The Nutcracker, Symphony in Three Movements, Balanchine's Coppelia, La Bayadere, Symphony in C, Ashton's Cinderella, Jewels, Études, The Sleeping Beauty, Jerome Robbins'Fanfare, and Jorma Elo's Lost by Last. As a Boston Ballet School student, she danced Balanchine's Raymonda, Konservatoriet, and Balanchine's Scherzo la Russe.

Lamin Pereira dos Santos was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and started dancing at Centro de Danca Rio under the direction of Mariza Estrella and coaching of Maria Angelica Fiorani. In 2007, Lamin was hired by The Ballet of Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro to perform in Dalal Achcar's production of The Nutcracker as a soloist. Pereira dos Santos was awarded a Full Tuition Scholarship to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. In 2008 he was also awarded the first ever 2008 Northern Trust Award for Excellence. In 2011, he joined The Washington Ballet Studio Company where he was able to perform Prince Desire in Sleeping Beauty. He performed in the company's production of Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire by Anna-Marie Holmes, Carmen and The Nutcracker. From 2011-2014, he joined the Orlando Ballet where he performed leading roles such as Romeo, Paris, Prince Sigfried, Prince Desire, Escamillo, Don Jose and contemporary works by Robert Hill, Peter Chu and Abdur-Rahim Jackson. In 2013, he performed a World Premiere by Helen Pickett at the Opening Night Gala and at the Inside Out Stage he performed a work by Devon Carney, the variation of Solor from La Bayadere and the White Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lakecoached by Devon Carney.

New Company Apprentices

Company Apprentices are offered intensive training and the unique opportunity to learn from, be a member of and perform with the company under the tutelage of the artistic leadership as part of their professional training. The new company apprentices are:

Laura Gunder, from Cold Spring, NY, began her ballet training at age four at Ballet Arts Studio in nearby Beacon. At 12, she was invited to become a full-time student at The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, where she trained for five years. As an SAB student, she danced in Balanchine's Scherzo à la Russe in New York City Ballet's 2012 fall season, and Cortège Hongrois,Tombeau de Couperin, and Walpurgisnacht in SAB Workshops, as well as the lead role in Untitled by guest artist Daniel Baker in the New York Choreographic Institute. Laura has danced in summer intensives with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Academy East, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Rock School of Dance Education. She continued her training as a full-scholarship Professional Division student with Pacific Northwest Ballet, performing with the company in Stowell & Sendak's Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Giselle.