Performance
10:30 am
Thu October 3, 2013

[VIDEO] Devon Carney Puts His Stamp On Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet's new artistic director Devon Carney directs a rehearsal of Opus 1.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The Kansas City Ballet's new artistic director, Devon Carney, begins his tenure with a world premiere. His work, Opus I, will open the ballet's season this month, and it provides a hint of the vision he has for the company.

Interview Highlights: Devon Carney

On his new work Opus 1

This is my first season as artistic director for Kansas City Ballet, which, of course, I am absolutely thrilled about. The first production of the year has pretty much been already put together in terms of its repertoire that would be performed.

I saw a need for one more thing on the program, so I added to the program a piece called Opus 1. The title is specifically because it's the first work I am having the chance to do for Kansas City Ballet. And I feel I need to say: Here it is. This is my first time.

On "the great" Symphony No. 9

I am excited about the work. It's Schubert's Symphony No. 9; "The Great" it's called, the nickname. And it's a great work musically on its own. It's, of course, one of the most well known full symphonies that Schubert ever did in terms of orchestral work.

Your eyes just open up wide when you hear this music. It's so big. And I wanted something that big because I'm having all of our company dancers on stage in classical tutus, the men in tunics. It's a very classically-based work.

On the future of dance at Kansas City Ballet

Bringing Opus 1 as a concluding piece on the program is just making a statement about where we are headed as a company. That we're going to continue to work on the great neoclassical works, that we're going to continue to pursue the cutting edge, emerging choreographers of tomorrow today.

And on top of that, we are going to expand our horizons in terms of our classical repertoire. That could include in the future large-scale classical works that have never been done by Kansas City Ballet, which I am very excited to pursue in the near future.

Devon Carney's Opus 1 premieres October 11, as part of the Kansas City Ballet's fall production, and runs through October 20 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. 816-931-2232.