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.

Dillon Milinski began his training at age ten with the Alexandra School of Ballet in St. Louis, Missouri, where he performed many classical and contemporary roles. Milinski was invited to become a member of Houston Ballet II for the 2011-13 seasons. While there, he toured nationally and internationally with both Houston Ballet II and the Houston Ballet, performing works by several internationally acclaimed choreographers. Last season he accepted an apprenticeship with Orlando Ballet where he performed many soloist roles such as Mercutio in Robert Hill's re-staging of Romeo and Juliet.

New KCB II dancers

KCB II, the second company of Kansas City Ballet, is Kansas City Ballet's emerging professionals program, giving extraordinarily talented young dancers a professional company experience. Dancers in the KCB II program are selected from auditions around the country. These talented young dancers receive unparalleled professional experience, performing corps de ballet roles in Kansas City Ballet full-length productions.

KCB II is committed to arts education, community outreach and the professional development of college graduates and undergraduates preparing for professional dance careers. KCB II will provide a platform for emerging performers, teachers and choreographers to hone their technical skills and showcase their artistic talent. KCB II will perform throughout the region through public performances, lecture demonstrations, residencies and workshops, enabling the community to experience live dance in a public setting. Dancers in KCB II will act as ambassadors for Kansas City Ballet.

The new members of KCB II are:

Katherine Sawicki, raised in Louisville, KY, trained primarily with Kristen Wenrick at Louisville Academy of Dance and continued at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy. She has attended summer programs at the National Ballet School of Canada, School of American Ballet, Chautauqua Institution, and American Ballet in New York City. Her 2013-14 season was spent in Cincinnati Ballet's Second Company as a Trainee where she performed with the company in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Artistic Director Victoria Morgan's Bolero. She performed numerous works with the Second Company including those by noted choreographers James Kudelka, Leonide Massine, and Christopher Stowell. Her repertoire includes works by Stanton Welch, Ben Stevenson, Terrance S. Orr, August Bournonville, and Marius Petipa.

Lilliana Hagerman was born in Pordenone, Italy and started dancing at the age of six at Midwest Dance Academy in Illinois. Lilliana spent 2005-2009 at the Orlando Ballet Summer Intensive, where she trained under Fernando Bujones, Julie Kent and Gelsey Kirkland. In 2009 she joined the Orlando Ballet trainee program, where she started her professional ballet training under the direction of Peter Stark. In 2010 she joined the Orlando Ballet Second Company under the direction of Dierdre Miles Burger where her repertoire included Titania from Midsummer Night's Dream, Robert Hill's Maestoso, Dawn variation from Coppelia, and as corps de ballet in the company productions of Giselle, Carmen, Battle of the Sexes, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. In 2012 Hagerman joined The Orlando Ballet, where she performed many roles such as the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel, the Evil Witch inSnow White, Big Swans in Swan Lake, Harlot in Romeo and Juliet and Robert Hill's Carmina Burana and Piano Concerto, Peter Chu's Touching Drops, Abdur-Rahim Jackson's Again for the First Time, and soloist in Telmo Moreira's Barco Negro.

Kelly Korfhage, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, began training under Joanne H. Morscher at the Royal School of Ballet and Ana Lobe at Great Lakes Youth Ballet. She spent summers at CPYB (Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet), BalletMet, Cincinnati Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. She furthered her dance education at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, and graduated cum laude with a BFA in ballet performance. While there, Korfhage performed principal roles such as the lead in Giselle, the Waltz Girl in George Balanchine's Serenade, and the lead in Victoria Morgan's Unseen.

Nathan Weng was born in Taiwan and grew up in Phoenix, AZ. Weng began dance lessons at the age of five. At the age of eleven he began training at the School of Ballet Arizona and studied for six years under the direction of Nancy Crowley. Weng recently graduated from the Pre Professional Program at the School of Ballet Arizona and was trained under the direction of Mr. Carlos Valcarcel. While a student at the School of Ballet Arizona, Weng performed soloist/ principle roles in La Bayadere, Valse Fantasie, Copellia, and Swan Lake. Weng also had the opportunity to perform in Ballet Arizona company performances under the direction of Mr. Ib Anderson. The repertoire included The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Cinderella, and La Baydere. This past year, Weng also was a recipient of a David Hallberg Scholarship for Boys.

Trainee Program Created

The Trainee Program, which is tuition based, aims to nurture and develop young aspiring post graduate dancers' technical skills and artistry, ultimately preparing them for a professional dance career by bridging the gap between the student and the KCB II (Kansas City Ballet Second Company). Trainees participate in some company classes and have the opportunity to be considered for performances with Kansas City Ballet Company during the season and also perform in tandem with the KCB II in their own educational and community outreach performances throughout the year under the name of Kansas City Ballet Second Company.

The new members include Aimeé Cover, Emily Ryall, Kristin Smith, Marisa Whiteman and Shane Horan who is also a student with UMKC.

Nine Company dancers will not be returning this season. Aisling Hill-Connor, Josh Spell, Anthony Krutzkamp and Nadia Iozzo have retired. Anthony Krutzkamp remains affiliated with Kansas City Ballet as Manager of KCBII and Nadia Iozzo will remain as a faculty member with Kansas City Ballet School. Also moving on to other career opportunities are Eric Mazzie, Caroline Arnold, Arielle Espie and Ian Poulis.

About Kansas City Ballet

To make Kansas City a destination for dance

Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet is a 29-member professional ballet company under the leadership of Artistic Director Devon Carney and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. The company's mission is to establish Kansas City Ballet as an indispensable asset in its community through exceptional performances, excellence in dance training and quality community education programs for all ages.

Kansas City Ballet is home to Kansas City Ballet School with an enrollment of 600+ children and adults offering professional training for the career-minded student as well as for those simply seeking a healthy lifestyle.

Through its professional company, its second company (KCB II) and its many community service programs such as Reach Out and Dance (ROAD) and DanceINFORMances we seek to nurture and develop our artists, audiences and students in the values inherent in the creativity, diversity and joy of dance.

Our home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity on the campus of Union Station, in conjunction with our Resident Company status at the world-class Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has truly positioned Kansas City as a Destination for Dance.

Kansas City Ballet

2014-2015 Season at a Glance

@The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

1601 Broadway

Kansas City, MO 64106

Alice (in wonderland)

October 10-19, 2014 | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | Music performed by Kansas City Symphony

Take an incredible, magical journey of misadventures when you tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice (in wonderland).

Alice (in wonderland) Choreography: Septime Webre Music: Matthew Pierce

Fri., Oct. 10 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 11 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 12 2 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 17 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 18 2 p.m. (*) & 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 19 2 p.m.

* No subscriptions are available for this performance

The Nutcracker

December 6-24, 2014 | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | Music performed by Kansas City Symphony

Kansas City's favorite holiday tradition continues with the presentation of Todd Bolender's delightful family classic The Nutcracker. Sponsored by Bank of America.

The Nutcracker Choreography: Todd Bolender Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky

Fri., Dec. 5 Nutcracker Ball

Sat., Dec. 6 2 p.m. (*) & 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 7 1 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 12 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 13 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 14 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

Thurs., Dec. 18 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 19 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 20 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 21 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

Mon., Dec. 22 7:30 p.m.

Tues., Dec. 23 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Weds., Dec. 24 1 p.m.

* Sugar Plum Fairy Children's Ball

New Moves

February 6-14, 2015 | Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity

New Moves is a unique performance event designed to search out, develop and showcase new emerging choreographers from both the local and national dance scene.

Fri., Feb. 6 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 7 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 13 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 14 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.


March 13- 22, 2015 | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | Music performed by Kansas City Symphony

This stunning production of Giselle from Artistic Director Devon Carney, choreographed to the enchanting music of Adolphe Adam, is a rare opportunity to enjoy one of ballet's true romantic classics.

Giselle Choreography: Devon Carney Music: Adolphe Adam

after Marius Petipa

Fri., Mar. 13 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 14 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 15 2 p.m.

Fri., Mar. 20 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 21 7:30 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 22 2 p.m.

Dances Daring (then and now)

May 8-17, 2015 | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | Music performed by Kansas City Symphony

Presenting classics from Balanchine, plus two exciting Kansas City premieres, and a beloved work of Todd Bolender to celebrate his centennial.

The Four Temperaments Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Paul Hindemith

Wunderland Choreography: Edwaard Liang Music: Philip Glass
Kansas City Premiere Choreography: Amy Seiwert Music: Arcangelo Corelli

The Still Point: 3rd Movement Choreography: Todd Bolender Music: Claude Debussy

Fri., May 8 7:30 p.m.

Sat., May 9 7:30 p.m.

Sun., May 10 2 p.m.

Fri., May 15 7:30 p.m.

Sat., May 16 7:30 p.m.

Sun., May 17 2 p.m.

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