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Kansas City Ballet Announces Season in Kauffman Center

courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet
The Kansas City Ballet presents "Tom Sawyer - A Ballet in Three Acts" in its inaugural season at the Kauffman Center.

The Kansas City Ballet is the first of the resident companies to announce its inaugural season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – When the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens in 2011, its three resident companies will include the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet.

The ballet's inaugural season in the Kauffman Center includes a world premiere full-length ballet called "Tom Sawyer ? A Ballet in Three Acts." It's set to original music by Tony award-winning composer, Maury Yeston, who's known for musicals like "Nine," "Grand Hotel," and "Titanic."

The Kansas City Ballet's artistic director William Whitener, who's creating the choreography, says Mark Twain's classic story about Tom Sawyer is a perfect fit for a ballet. Whitener describes Yeston's score as full of wit and beauty.

"The music is multifaceted," says Whitener. "There is the sweep of the Mississippi...the grandeur of the great outdoors."

Whitener says the production will mark the first full-length ballet with an American subject, conceived by an American composer, and presented by an American company.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is scheduled to open in September 2011.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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