Soon after choreographer Mary Pat Henry moved to Kansas City to teach at UMKC's Conservatory, she suggested a friend move here too. Leni Wylliams was in his early 30s and already an accomplished veteran of the modern dance world. Together they founded a company to perform not only their own work, but pieces by some of the country's premier choreographers. Their collaboration was cut short in 1996, when Wylliams was brutally murdered.
Kansas City, MO – Leni Wylliams' influence can still be seen in Mary Pat Henry's work. The Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company performs its fall program at White Recital Hall September 13th, 14th and 15th. When Sylvia Maria Gross spoke to Mary Pat Henry, she was in the middle of a rehearsal of a piece inspired by Otis Redding, called Sweet Otis Suite. Henry said this program is a particularly strenuous one.