Arts Corner

Tale of Two Yuris

Kansas City Ballet presents shimmering, sincere version of classic Firebird
The final seconds of Yuri Possokhov’s Firebird contain a simple event that is so natural, so poignant and dramatically satisfying that it made my heart clutch up. Naturally I’m not going to spoil it: You’ll just have to see the Kansas City Ballet’s winter program that opened Thursday at the Lyric Theatre.

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Paths of Beauty

Kaleidoscopic new Chen Yi composition gets auspicious local premiere
Chen Yi’s musical world is a cheerful place teeming with activity and populated by stately emperors, raucous villagers, artful calligraphers and lovers boating through lotus blossoms — always against the backdrop of the gorgeous Chinese landscape.

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Perfect 12

Best Dozen 2008 Moments in Local Music and Dance
Competition was fierce this year for the best of 2008, for one simple reason: Kansas City’s culture remains on such an upward trajectory that it’s not out of line to say this might have been the city’s best-ever year for classical music and dance. I mean ever, as in, during Our Town’s 155-year history. Whoa, baby. So here are my choices for the concerts this year that made me feel alive again.

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Elegant, sumptuous, eclectic to a fault

Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker opens to acclaim

One local holiday tradition that changes little from year to year is the Kansas City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, and that will be either good or bad news depending on whether you’re a traditionalist or an adventurist.

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Recital As Séance

Ukrainian Pianist Seeks New Paths For Old Music
Konstantin Lifschitz, the Ukrainian-born pianist, is one of those restless musical spirits who sails uncharted waters seeking ever-elusive truths behind musical masterpieces. There was a mystical, almost séance-like atmosphere to his Friends of Chamber Music recital on Friday, the 31-year-old pianist’s only appearance in the United States this season.

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