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Missouri Contemporary Ballet

opens in a new windowMissouri Contemporary Ballet (MCB) is proud to present its eighth annual fall production of ‘CRAVE,’ sponsored by American Airlines. This production will be held at Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts on Thursday, November 14th  and Friday, November 15th at 7:30pm.

This production will feature six works, three of which are world premieres. The first piece is an original by MCB Artistic/Executive Director, Karen Mareck Grundy. Don’t Tell features the entire 10-dancer company and was inspired by the headline news of Russia’s persecution of the LGBTQ community. “I am an adamant supporter of LGBTQ human rights and wanted to translate my feelings on the subject into movement. This is my personal reaction to every type of oppression taking place,” explains Grundy.

The second premiere, Welcome to the Men’s Room, is by MCB’s Resident Choreographer, Shannon Lee West. With a hint of whimsy mixed in with her signature extreme lines and off kilter-movement, West is creating a men’s trio that is based around how humans hear and perceive sound. With a focus more on exploratory movement and less on technique, West keeps her rock aesthetic while carving a new path for herself choreographically.

The third premiere is by Bryn Cohn, a guest choreographer based out of New York City. One on One is about how we experience the idea of ‘one;’ one with yourself, one with someone else, and one with a group. The work explores the idea of ‘one,’ both emotionally and structurally.

MCB will be bringing back The Current State of Life by Giordano Dance Chicago’s Joshua Blake Carter. Originally premiering in our 2011 show, EVOKE, this piece reflects on the ‘current state’ of our world. MCB will be performing another work from 2011, The Dirt Beneath by company member Alex J. Gordon. Gordon’s piece looks at the exterior ‘faces’ that people wear for their peers. The sixth work, Nigel and Marian…A story, by Karen Mareck Grundy premiered in 2009. The piece follows a young man who is guided by two opposing angels to meet his counterpart.

Tickets are $19-$29 for adults and $10-$15 for students and youth. Our Opening Night, November 14th is Student Night; Student and youth tickets are only $5-$8. Student and youth tickets are intended for currently enrolled college, K-12, and MCB students. Tickets can be purchased at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts box office, 573-882-3781, or purchase tickets online  at


Thanks to Joanne Sandorfi for guest blogging for this event.

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You’ve seen Missouri Contemporary Ballet (MCB) take the stage in the past, but this time they won’t be doing it alone! MCB is proud to present “Connectivity,” an artistic collaboration with Island Moving Company (IMC), a contemporary ballet company from Newport, RI.

MCB first joined forces with IMC in July 2012 when they traveled to Newport, RI to be the Resident company of IMC’s Great Friends Dance Festival. To continue and further the artistic relationship, IMC is traveling to Columbia to perform on MCB’s home turf.

“Connectivity” will feature three works from MCB’s past repertoire and one new work.

  • Twisted has always been a fan-favorite. Choreographed for MCB’s first season, this piece is based on the classic game ‘Twister’.
  • Falling Apart originally premiered in 2009. Featuring the athletic women of the company, this work explored the deterioration of a dancer, both physically and mentally.
  • Tango de Muerte was also created for MCB’s first season. Choreographed by nationally known Tiger Martina, this piece follows two people who die tragic deaths and meet in the afterlife.
  • Catch’Up by company member Fernando Rodriguez will debut in this production. Rodriguez explores the idea of someone who tries constantly to fit in, but ends up missing out on life, only to catch the falling pieces of the lives of others.

Island Moving Company will be bringing three works, performing two in each show.

  • Struggle For Comfort is a heavy work choreographed by Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen.
  • Pheromone was first performed at the Great Friends Dance Festival 2012. It explores the stimulating sensuality and the natural uninhibited interactions among human beings.
  • In the Beginning is a new work choreographed by Mark Harootian, a member of Festival Ballet of Providence.

You’ll want to be part of this race occasion joining two American dance companies from vastly different parts of the country in a celebration of the human connection. Join Missouri Contemporary Ballet and Island Moving Company as they strengthen their artistic relationship!

Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts
March 8th at 8:00pm

March 9th at 2:00pm

March 9th at 8:00pm

For tickets, call 573-882-3781, visit the box office, or opens in a new windoworder tickets online.

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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.

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