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Kansas City Ballet Reception
A retiré at 20 years (won't say retirement, as her position changes) of

Kimberly Cowen

May 2012, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri

http://www.kcballet.org

Dancer Kimberly Cowen is now retired from active dancing at KCB. She performed with the Kansas City Ballet for 20 years. Now she will switch positions at the ballet. She will be the new Principal and Associate Director of the Kansas City Ballet School and also the director of the Kansas City Youth Ballet which is the KC ballet school's performing group. Kimberly will be working as a partner with Emily Simpson, the school director.

Kim Cowen flowers on stage - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

Immediately after the hilarious "Souvenirs" farce by Todd Bolender, wonderfully (I don't say wonderfully a lot) staged by James Jordan, great period costumes of the 1920's and deeply saturated set colors and lighting by Kirk Bookman, one person after another presented her with flowers from young students to former dancers spanning her two decades.

Above, ballet master James Jordan presents his flowers to Kim. On the left are cast members Kaleena Burks, Rachel Coats and Stayce Camparo. Actually this caught me a bit unprepared as I fumbled to get to my camera in the dark from where I was seated. I had the thing in a small camera bag expecting not to use it until after at the reception. I should have known.

The program began with Serenade by Ballantine, a beautiful piece marred only by a couple of off steps, not really noticeable for the most part. Serenade is so starkly clean and beautiful that the tiniest error is very obvious, unlike other pieces where it might not be noticed. Indeed the better it is performed, the smaller the error needs to be to be noticed. Serenade was staged by Elyse Bourne, in from the Ballantine organizaton.

The lighting was exquisite, again, Kirk Bookman. I tell lighting designers to look at Bookman's lighting if they really want to know how to light a stage. Unfortunately most of them say they've never gone to the ballet. No wonder. His light works for both human eyes and cameras, is even all the way across, and never announces itself at a lighting show. His lighting gives you the content of the show.

Kim appeared in two of the four pieces, Serenade (opening piece) and Souvenirs (closing piece), showcasing her range and experience gained across 20 years of performance. From the exquisitely stark and flowing beauty of Serenade to the campy, lucious and hilarious laugh-out-loud comedy of Souvenirs, dancer and actor, able to span that range in a single show.

The two pieces in between were
1) a precise, delicate and fun duet in Jerome Robbins interpretation of "Afternoon of a Faun" with Rachel Coats and Logan Pachciarz (also staged by Elyse Bourne) and
2) a celebration of men in ballet, "Les Gentilhommes" by Peter Martins (NYCB). Russell Kaiser, Boston Ballet, who work with NYCB and Martins for more than 20 years came in to do the staging.

The reception for Kimberly was held in the Kauffman Center's main glassed in mezzanine area just after the performance during which dancers and partners and others she's worked with across the span of those two decades came on stage to present her with flowers.

retire - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

Below are some of the pictures from the reception.

Kimberly descends the stairs with KCB executive director Jeffrey Bentley at right - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Kimberly descends the stairs with KCB executive director Jeffrey Bentley at right

Retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

Julia Kauffman - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Julia Kauffman

KCB artistic director William Whitener - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
KCB artistic director William Whitener

Retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

Retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
A quick bow

Angie Sansone readies a signed plaque from the company dancers for Kim - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Angie Sansone readies a signed plaque from the company dancers for Kim

Retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

Kim, Bill and Jeff - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Kim, Bill and Jeff - top of the line

Larry Levenson photographs the reception line for Kimberly - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Official photographer Larry Levenson (link) photographs the reception line for Kimberly
(Here she seems to be getting in baby-hugging practice to run for office?)

Ballet master James Jordan - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Ballet master James Jordan

Nadia Iozzo (back, left), Anthony Krutzkamp, Geoffrey Kropp, Yoshiya Sakurai - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Nadia Iozzo (back, left), Anthony Krutzkamp, Geoffrey Kropp, Yoshiya Sakurai

Arielle Espey and ballet mistress Karen Brown - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Arielle Espey and ballet mistress Karen Brown

Stayce Camparo gives a hug to Nancy Murdock - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Stayce Camparo gives a hug to Nancy Murdock

Angie Sansone, Logan Pachciarz, Rachel Coats (Caitlin Mack behind, between Angie and Logan - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Angie Sansone, Logan Pachciarz, Rachel Coats (Caitlin Mack behind, between Angie and Logan)

Retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

Retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen

The entrance to the reception - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
The entrance to the reception

Steve Wilson (Hallmark photographer and long time KCB photographer) with Bill Whitener. Steve's pictures are the wonderful performance pictures from KCB. Great shots, always. - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Steve Wilson (Hallmark photographer and long time KCB photographer) with Bill Whitener
Steve's pictures are the wonderful performance pictures from KCB. Great shots, always.

Tempe Ostergren (left center), Lisa Thorn (right) - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Tempe Ostergren (left center), Lisa Thorn (right)

Paula Weber - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Paula Weber

Alejandro Siqueiros, Cultural and Economic Attaché, Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and his wife Patricia with Nicole English - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Alejandro Siqueiros, Cultural and Economic Attaché, Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City
and his wife Patricia with Nicole English

 

Posters in the south entrance hallway of Kauffman Center, the left one showing Kim Cowen - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Posters in the south entrance hallway of Kauffmann Center, the left one showing Kim Cowen

 

Also, the UMKC dance students who were in Serenade
Pam Auinbach (grad 2011) or Taylor Ohman (2012)
Danielle Glynn (2012) or Daley Kappenman (2013)
Alyssa Gold (2012)
Megan Squires (2102)

Rose Taylor-Spann (left), Claire Gardner-Dale, Danielle Glynn, Alyssa Gold - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Rose Taylor-Spann (left), Claire Gardner-Dale, Danielle Glynn, Alyssa Gold

Daley Kappenman and Danielle Glynn - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Daley Kappenman and Danielle Glynn

Megan Squires with proud grandparents - retirement reception for Kimberly Cowen
Megan Squires with proud grandparents


 

 

To send email to this website, kcdance.com click here and add message text:
To send someone a link to this page click here and fill in their email address

See these KCB pages at KCDance also:
Kim Cowen Retirement reception May 2012
Tom Sawyer Oct 2011
Slaughter On Tenth Avenue - Oct 2010
KC Ballet Features UMKC Faculty Work Oct 2005

Donald McKayle talk at KCMO library
UMKC dancers in Romeo and Juliet - 2008

See these links at KCB's website:
http://www.kcballet.org
School reference link: http://www.kcballet.org/school


Julia Symanski, 4/19/2016
I know this is a very old article, I was at Kim's last performance (amazing), but you really need to change "Ballantine" to "Balanchine"! Yikes!!


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