In 1957, Tatiana Dokoudovska wanted to expose the grace and sophistication of choreographed dance to audiences beyond typical Vaganova-heads. She formed the Kansas City Ballet Company as an offshoot of the recital program put on by the Conservatory of Music. Over the next two decades, the company became an honest-to-God American professional ballet company.After 1980, the organization reached new heights under renowned dancer, choreographer and director Todd Bolender, who infused an array of dance styles to make the Kansas City Ballet a respectable, nationally recognized outfit. "I don't think you last 50 years unless you're resonating not only with your work on the stage but also in the community," Jeff Bentley, executive director of the company, says. "I think it says a lot about the people who came before us in terms of the groundwork they laid."Today through Sunday, the Kansas City Ballet celebrates its 50th anniversary season with performances at the Lyric Theatre (1029 Central) of three Kansas City premieres: George Balanchine's Mozartiana; Anthony Tudor's Dark Elegies; and Paul Taylor's Company B, which showcases music from everyone's favorite wartime entertainers, the Andrews Sisters. Mozartiana and Dark Elegies will be accompanied by the Kansas City Symphony Ballet Orchestra. For tickets or additional information, call 816-931-2232.
Thu., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 13, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 14, 2 p.m., 2007