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Many thanks to Joanne Sandorfi with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet for submitting this guest post. Don’t miss these wonderful performances!


Missouri Contemporary Ballet is proud to present its seventh annual fall show, THIRST, at Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts. THIRST will feature six works, four of which are world premieres. With a wide variety of dance and music, this family friendly show has something for everyone to appreciate.

The show will open with guest choreographer, Thang Dao’s piece S.O.S. The piece explores abandonment and trust through intricate group partnering to examine the freedom of confinement, as we sometimes experience as a cog in the machine. Thang Dao also set a second piece, Lenore. Inspired by Basil Rathbone’s spoken text of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, Dao uses the rhythm of the words along with the images depicted in the text. Dao explains, “The poem is both narrative and abstract, and together they develop the images I see.”

Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, Shannon Lee West, will be debuting her new work, proximity, which was created for the whole company. In this piece, West’s choreography exploits the ideas of boundaries, apathy, and intensity.

A fourth piece was developed by New York-based guest choreographer, John-Mark Owen.  This new piece, minore al maggiore (minor to major), is a balletic exploration of sculptures compelled by a musical narrative. The ballet derives from an image that Owen created for his feature-length ballet, Requiuem. He departs from the original purpose of that image and explores what else can come from one sculptural moment. Owen charges raw human emotions through various perspectives on states of being, finishing the ballet with a tender pas de duex that is optimistic and ethereal.

Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s Artistic/Executive Director, Karen Mareck Grundy, set a solo on company dancer, Elise Eslick. Set to a quivering melody sung in Spanish, this work will portray the seductive, mournful song of dark, off beat artistry. Utilizing Eslick’s pure strength and beauty, this piece showcases that dancers are not just artists, but athletes as well.

The show will close with Grundy’s new work, 1000 Details. Set to music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ Grundy wanted to create a piece that was just movement for movement’s sake. Evident by its title, this powerful work is fast paced and extremely detail oriented, much like Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s Unbreakable Code, which Grundy choreographed in 2006.

There are two nights of performances, November 15th & 16th, 7:30p at Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts (203 S. Ninth Street). Tickets are $19-$29 for adults, $9.50-$14.50 for high school and college students, and $12 for children 12 and under. Student tickets are an additional half-off ($4.25-$7.25) for the Thursday, November 15th show. Tickets can be purchased at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts box office, 573-882-3781, or on the Missouri Theatre Center website.