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Backstage And Beyond

DANCING INTO A NEW ERA: Local company marks 30 years of the best contemporary American choreography

If you wish to gain a well-rounded view of American dance during the last century, look no further than the list of works presented through the years by the Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this October 1-2. The sheer volume of this irrepressible group’s repertory is astonishing: 132 professional dancers have […]

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LIVING, BREATHING DANCE: Company remains firm in its resolve to use live musicians

If you want to know the strength of an organization’s guiding principles, observe how it acts during times of crisis. Kansas City Ballet believes that live music is as essential to dance as choreography, set designs, costumes, or lighting: and it will go to great lengths to involve musicians whenever possible. When it became clear […]

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SING, PLAY, MOVE: Charlotte Street makes bold new commitment with music-composition contest

You might at first wonder what artist-poet-filmmaker Michèle Saint-Michel has in common with singer-songwriter AJ Harbison or UMKC Conservatory doctoral student Yunfei Li. All are among the six Kansas City performing artists selected this summer as winners of the Charlotte Street Foundation’s first annual New Music Composition Competition. Each will produce a brand-new work to […]

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HEART OF THE COUNTRY: Local creators strive to make Kansas City a hub for film and television

When David Dastmalchian returned to Kansas City after a 20-year absence, to appear in the independent film he wrote, All Creatures Here Below, it was not just a homecoming. It was more like a revelation. The Shawnee Mission South alumnus and star of movies ranging from DC and Marvel Studio films to Blade Runner 2049, […]

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LOVE IS LOVE: As same-sex weddings gain acceptance, rampant growth shines on the horizon

Not all same-sex couples feel a pressing need to get married, but it begins to appear that most do. The United States is home to a half-million legally married gay couples, an increase of nearly 70 percent since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision ruled in 2015 that same-sex marriage was protected under the […]

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‘ONE GREAT GOOD TRUE THING’: Theater’s love-couples can school us in the art of romance

Theatergoers cherish a good love story. We look at some favorite couples from a range of English-language stage works, all of whom can teach us a thing or two about living and loving.   Cleopatra and Antony (Antony and Cleopatra); History’s first celebrity couple, Cleopatra VII and Marcus Antonius, have generated more “gossip” over the centuries […]

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MAHLER AND MOONLIGHT: Orchestra love stories begin with shared values

During a chilly December walk on the grounds of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Duke Lee stopped, kneeled, and asked Rena Ishii for her hand in marriage. The proposal did not come as a huge surprise. Since Rena’s arrival in Town a year earlier, to fill a temporary post at the Kansas […]

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HIGH-STRUNG: As it celebrates 20 years, local chamber music organization gains momentum

Heartland Chamber Music is not just a festival and it’s not just a music program or a “violin camp.” It’s many things at once, and unless your child has been one of the 80 or so lucky string players admitted into the program each year, you might not fully appreciate the impact it is having […]

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A MOTHER’S WORRY: Chamber opera by two Kansas City-born women is exerting national impact

  Most mothers dread the day that their sons or daughters start to drive, but Black moms are especially fearful when their teenagers, and sons in particular, get behind the wheel for the first time. That fear helped spark the inception of a new chamber opera by two internationally known Kansas City natives, Soprano and […]

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