CJ Janovy, KCUR
Harlan Brownlee wishes he could just erase the state line dividing Missouri and Kansas.
In fact, Brownlee knows how he’d do it. He’s the president of ArtsKC, a non-profit that makes grants and provides other resources to artists throughout the five-county metropolitan region. So, in his vivid imagination, he gets his hands on one of the giant Typewriter Erasers by Shuttlecocks sculptors Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen and rolls it down State Line Road.
Laura Vernaci, KCMetropolis.org
Owen/Cox Dance Group premiered “A Body of Work” this past weekend, which featured a seamless synthesis of dance, music, vocal, and video.
Thursday night, Owen/Cox Dance Group filled the Charlotte Street Foundation’s humble “white” box theater La Esquina with its newest collaboration A Body of Work. Venturing outside the box was Jennifer Owen’s inquisitive choreography, especially in the first half of the piece, as well as Brad Cox’s sound mixing of the electric keyboard, ambient noise, and vocals from soprano Victoria Botero.
Laura Vernaci, KCMetropolis.org
The Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College introduced three new collaborations Friday night at Yardley Hall in front of a medial, but excitable crowd.
Three collaborative new works premiered Friday night at Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College’s second annual "New Dance Partners." Each of the three pieces, commissioned by the series, combined an up-and-coming national choreographer with an established local company. Considering that the series, led by general manager Emily Behrmann, continues to present some of the best high-class performances in the region, the audience turnout for this special program was underwhelming.
Patrick Neas, Special to The Kansas City Star
In dance the human body is living clay, which the choreographer uses to create his or her art.
Flesh and bone are transformed into an idealized body that can leap into the air and land without a sound. It can engage in the most vigorous movement without huffing and puffing.
Choreographer Jennifer Owen and her husband, composer Brad Cox, aim to turn this paradigm on its head with their latest collaboration, “A Body of Work.” The Owen/Cox Dance Group will offer three performances beginning Thursday at the La Esquina gallery.
Luke Ranker, Special to The Kansas City Star
In its second year, Johnson County Community College’s New Dance Partners has expanded from just two performances at the college to a month of events ranging from downtown Overland Park to the JCCC campus.
Emily Behrmann, general manager of the JCCC performing arts series, said the expanded event is designed to raise awareness about local arts while boosting the downtown economy. Throughout September, dance-related events will be held in downtown venues like the InterUrban ArtHouse, Overland Park Farmers’ Market and Local Life’s Third Fridays.
Diane Carroll, GardnerEDGE
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – New Dance Partners, which features Kansas City Ballet and two area modern dance companies performing original works created by nationally-known choreographers, will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27, at Johnson County Community College.
Choreographers Robert Moses, Penny Saunders and Amy Seiwert are creating the performances this summer for the ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Group and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. The event, which debuted last year in September, will begin at 8 p.m. both evenings in the Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall.
James Henry, KCMetropolis.org
The Owen/Cox Dance Group in collaboration with Helen Gillet, Mark Southerland, and Peregrine Honig, took a nearly-full Spencer Theater on an imaginative, introspective journey in building “Memory Palace.”
The Helen F. Spencer Theatre filled steadily Saturday night to hold a near-capacity audience for the world premiere of Memory Palace, an enigmatic production constructed by some of Kansas City’s most imaginative creators: Owen/Cox Dance Group, Mark Southerland, and Peregrine Honig, with guest cellist, Helen Gillet. With so many creative forces working in tandem, it might have been easy for such a work to become a disjointed experience, forcing focus on one or another compartmentalized aspect of the performance. Instead, Memory Palace was wave after wave of sensory stimulation, each aspect intertwined beautifully to create an intimate, subtle, subjective experience for viewers.
Libby Hanssen, Proust Eats a Sandwich
We all carry, even those most thoroughly self-convinced otherwise, an internal palette that colors every moment, past and future. The present is impossible to discern, inaccuracies rife, yet it is all we have. As the crimson blends with orange or umber or sky-blue: a muddied rust. It’s that rust that bleeds through everything, a patinated through-line, which may tarnish or make more desirable dependent on one’s perspective, regarded as either corrosion or a ripening.
Libby Hanssen, Special to The Kansas City Star
A dancer’s steady, isolated tread is interrupted, her elbow drawn back by an unseen energy.
With Icarian force, a man leaps around her. The woody timbre of the cello, underscored by a repetitious drum beat and layered backup vocals, accompanies a mournful voice.
This is the first music and dance rehearsal for “Memory Palace,” the Owen/Cox Dance Group’s world premiere on Saturday at the Spencer Theatre featuring New Orleans-based Belgian-American cellist/chanteuse Helen Gillet (see D1).