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Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity Opens 26 August

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Next Friday, on 26 August 2011, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will open in Kansas City with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30am, followed by a studio dedication, narrated company class, and tours of the new center:


This article summarized Bolender's contribution to dance in Kansas City:


Bolender was 66 and the company was 24 years old. But according to news reports quoting ballet officials, the troupe was surviving “hand to mouth” and would have to hustle to come up with a $275,000 budget for Bolender’s first year.

Bolender started from scratch. He had to audition dancers. He had to find new studio space. And he had to talk to the public at every opportunity to sell the people on the importance of a world-class ballet company.

Bolender’s decision to come here turned out to be one of the most important events in this town’s cultural life in the 20th century.

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I'm impressed that the Kansas City Star wrote:

Bolender's decision to come here turned out to be one of the most important events in this town's cultural life in the 20th century.

Now, that's a compliment to cherish. :clapping: i never saw Bolender dance, but the photos I've seen from the original Four Temperaments make me wish I had. There's a good one on p. 75 of Nancy Reynolds' Repertory in Review.

Also, check out the photo of Bolender at the time of his arrival in Kansas City, in the KC Star article linked above.

Good luck to the Kansas City Ballet on this great occasion.

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FYI - A colleague (and good friend, for full disclosure) Martha Ullman West is working on a book about Bolender and Janet Reed and their role in the Americanization of ballet in the mid-20th C (I'm sure she would have a better synopsis!) She's been doing an incredible amount of original research, including interviews with people who really haven't been "debriefed" about their experiences up to now, and the final product should be very substantial.

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In the September 2011 issue of "Hemispheres", United Airlines' inflight magazine, a photo of the new Center graced the table of contents page, and the Kaufmann Center of the Performing Arts was listed in their Culture feature as #8 in the Architecture category:


The dramatic and highly anticipated Moshe Safdie–designed Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which will serve as the new home of Kansas City’s ballet, symphony and lyric opera, opens this month. The $366 million, 285,000-square-foot facility includes two stand-alone halls in an overarching shell with a glass roof and glass walls anchored by high-tension steel cables reminiscent of a string instrument. Bravo! OPENS SEPTEMBER 16

The gorgeous photo of the building in its city setting in the print edition isn't on the website, sadly.

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