Arts Corner

WELLSPRING OF DANCE: KC Ballet artistic director draws from many sources for new ‘Nutcracker’

By Paul Horsley
When you create a new Nutcracker, you’re inventing from your own personal ballet experience but you’re also drawing on several centuries of dance history. “Nutcracker has always been a part of my life, from the time I was a child to this very minute,” said Devon Carney during a recent break from choreographing the Kansas City Ballet’s new version of the holiday classic, which opens on December 5th at the Kauffman Center.
“We draw on our background.

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HOLY NIGHT, INDEED: Quality Hill Playhouse keeps holiday show alive with subtlety and sophistication

By Paul Horsley
Keeping a favorite holiday show fresh, year in and year out, requires care and vigilance. Each November J. Kent Barnhart begins the meticulous planning of Quality Hill Playhouse’s “Christmas in Song” by going through hundreds of songs (from his database of thousands) and narrowing the more than 500 Christmas-themed songs to about 100.

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REVIEW: Lyric’s ‘Rusalka’ explores beauties of ‘Little Mermaid’ tale

By Paul Horsley
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City deserves applause for taking on an opera in Czech for the first time in its history, but the opening performance of its Rusalka on November 7th at the Kauffman Center offered mixed results. Dvořák’s shimmering score—with its delicious colors, sophisticated use of motif, and seamless integration of Slavic melodies and rhythms—makes this opera an aural treat, though as a piece of dramatic art it is a tough sell.

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IN A WORLD: Unicorn stages dystopian comedy of ideas and pop culture

By Paul Horsley
What will we do in the evenings when the lights go out? How will we entertain ourselves when the nuclear cataclysm brings down the grid and there’s no electricity: no television, no internet, no cinema? These are questions playwright Anne Washburn asks in her brilliantly provocative Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, which the Unicorn Theatre presents from December 2nd through the 27th.

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