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Kansas City Ballet Tops Out, Gears Up for August Opening of Bolender Center

Balletmaster James Jordan
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR
Balletmaster James Jordan

The Kansas City Ballet on Monday held a "topping out" ceremony at its new home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. Construction work continues on the former Power House building at Union Station but the August completion date is drawing near.

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, Mo. – Balletmaster James Jordan's history with the late Todd Bolender, the Kansas City Ballet's former artistic director, goes back many years. Bolender recruited him to dance with the company. Jordan says, "I was 21 years old, fresh out of school at North Carolina School of the Arts."

Plans for a new dance center to house the company's studios and school facilities have been under discussion for about a decade. In 2004, the ballet announced it would name its new home in honor of Todd Bolender at a celebration of the dancer and choreographer's 90th birthday.

"He would love to ask me: 'How's my building?' And how many people get to ask that?" says Jordan. "It gave him such joy."

The grand opening of the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity is scheduled for August 26.

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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