Paul Horsley, The Independent
For all its thorny monumentality, Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been choreographed dozens of times through the years, by such major figures as Jerome Robbins and, more recently, by adventurous folks such as James Kudelka, Mark Haim, John Clifford and Jurij Konjar. (Haim called it a “sort of Mount Everest of dance.”) Jennifer Owen and her husband, Brad Cox, formed the Owen/Cox Dance Group after Jen’s departure from the Kansas City Ballet, and their company has made quite a mark in the city’s artistic landscape – partly for its zany and now-annual The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. But holiday traditions aside, Jen has spent the last couple of years creating what is surely the largest work of her choreographic career.
Laura Vernaci, KCMetropolis.org
Owen/Cox Dance Group’s presentation of “The Goldberg Variations” represented a collaboration with pianist Kairy Koshoeva and a fresh new style and subject of performance for the innovative Kansas City dance troupe.
On Saturday night at UMKC’s White Recital Hall, Owen/Cox Dance Group’s only showing of The Goldberg Variationsboasted a worthy turnout. Not known for lavish costumes and rarely relying on props or scenery, OCDG gave a performance based on pure movement and music. The decision to stage the nearly two-hour, full-length presentation of J.S. Bach’s Aria plus 30 variations stemmed from an earlier demonstration at ArtSounds at the Kansas City Art Institute last fall. Kairy Koshoeva proposed the collaboration to Owen, who accepted the challenge.
Libby Hanssen, Special to The Kansas City Star
The Owen/Cox Dance Group, with pianist Kairy Koshoeva, concluded their season with the world premiere of a delightfully inventive evening-length ballet set to J. S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” performed in the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s White Hall.
“The Goldberg Variations,” one of Bach’s monumental keyboard works, consists of an aria and its thirty variations. It is a testament of endurance, technical ability, theoretical understanding and interpretation for the performer.
Leslie Collins, Northeast News
As the Holy Cross Catholic School fourth graders lined up in the gym, they couldn’t stop from smiling. They were ready to dance.
Their gusto felt contagious as they executed their choreographed moves to the live keyboardist, keeping in time to the music and chanting simultaneously. During one dance sequence they shouted the ways to be excellent in life, which included “work hard, do your personal best and never give up.”