Mila Vigdorova and Korey Ireland met at a tango marathon in Holland. The couple now teaches tango in Kansas City.
By Alex Smith
KANSAS CITY, MO – While growing up in Moscow, Mila Vigdorova studied classical dance. It wasn't until a trip to the United States that she fell in love with tango. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, composer Korey Ireland discovered tango at a performance by the local band Tango Lorca.
The Kansas City Ballet marks its 50th anniversary with a season full of choreography new to the company. This weekend's fall performance includes the Kansas City premiere of three works. It also provides an opportunity to examine the company's past and its future.
Note: This is an extended version. When more than 200 guests gathered in September for a party celebrating Richard Harriman's 75th birthday, conversation at the event focused as much on the performing arts series Harriman founded in 1965, now called the Harriman-Jewell Series.
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.