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Kansas City Ballet
Carmina Burana

Content Rating: Suitable for Everyone

Type of Performing Arts: Dance

Written by <Unknown>
Directed by <Unknown>
(Rating: 4.0 | 1 Vote: Rating Closed) | List the 1 Review!

Not Always about the Title Piece

Posted on Oct 14, 2012
by watchNwrite

4 out of 5

The Kansas City Ballet opens its season with "Carmina
Burana," a piece cemented in ideologies such as the
changing seasons, triumphant and tragic love, and fate
and fortune as the unyielding forces that move us all.
The short ballets preceding the title work are
"Mercury" and "End of Time." The company members are
exquisite in technique and physical story-telling, and
a few moments throughout the evening are truly

The opening short piece, "Mercury," choreographed by
Lynne Taylor-Corbett and costumed by Holly Hynes, at
first glance, seems to represent the many changing
seasons and temperaments of the Earth. Upon closer
review, though, it becomes much more than that, moving
through many different choreographic styles (abrupt and
odd, light and airy, strong and romantic, and fun and quirky). It becomes unclear as to what aspect of life
these dances are supposed to speak to -- all that’s
clear is that it does speak rather directly to many
different ones. Some of the men had trouble dancing
completely in sync, and the costumes were rather
unimaginative, but ultimately, this piece was more
enjoyable than not.

"End of Time," the second short ballet, was, without a
doubt, the most enjoyable and valuable part of the
whole evening. Choreographed by Ben Stevenson and
staged by Li Anlin, this outrageously-beautiful piece
danced by Angelina Sansone and Geoffrey Kropp was a
show-stopper, with the pianist and cellist
accompanying the dancers onstage. To believe that these
two people were, indeed, the last two people on the
Earth was to completely fall into the trap of never
looking away from the stage while these two dancers
were on it. The perfect repetitive nature of the
choreography coupled with the portrayal by the dancers
made for higher-than-normal expectations for "Carmina

"Carmina Burana" started off with what is one of the
most famous songs in the world, "O Fortuna." And though
the excellence in collaboration between the onstage
presence of the chorus and the dancers was a high
point, Toni Pimble’s choreography just seemed too easy
for these dancers. The pas de deux works, were, indeed,
beautiful and well-danced, but the solo dances left
something to be desired in terms of the difficulty of
movement -- this is excluding the lovely roast swan
piece danced by Jill Marlow. The harness holding her
securely is not readily identifiable, so the trickery
of the piece paired with the charm of the aerial
choreography made it a superb viewing. The group
numbers, for the most part, had peasant-court-yard
natures to them, and the dancers danced them with
proper timing and partnering. Sarah Tannehill Anderson
proved especially valuable when it came time for the
Court of Love section of poems; with a crystal-clear,
heart-breaking tone and breath-taking stage presence,
Tannehill Anderson delivers beautifully.

The set of works was really more of a commentary on and
exhibition of the nature of things and the human
experience the way it was observed back in the 11th,
12th, and 13th centuries A.D. That would seem
unreachable and not-quite-graspable by audiences today,
but the ideologies are not as far-removed as many
humans tend to think. "Carmina Burana" performs through
the 21st of October at the Kauffman Center, and if for
no other reason, let the promise of the beauty of "End
of Time" drag you there to see it.

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