Dance Company Debuts in Columbia
The Missouri Contemporary Ballet is the creation of dancer and choreographer Karen Grundy, who moved to Columbia 7 years ago to develop a professional dance company.
"We're not doing Swan Lake or The Nutcracker," said France. "We're doing works that are very current and inspired by what's happening today in the world."
Added Grundy, "There's some sexiness to it and some edge to it and there's some hipness to it. It's going to be a little bit of everything rolled up in one."
The team's seven dancers have worked hard to adjust to that eclectic style.
"It was a huge transition to do contemporary movement," admitted ballerina Laura Jones. "But, now that I've gotten more into it and I'm used to it, I love it."
France noted, "Dance is really a very physical and grueling endeavor, so these guys are in wonderful physical condition. And we work long hours and pay a lot of attention to detail, so we try to get everything right."
The non-profit dance company survives on donations, grants and ticket sales, so this Sunday's premiere is important to its survival.
"The way we get people to do it is by seeing us because it's dance and it's really hard to go, 'Well, we do this.' if you're a non-dancer or if you've only seen bits and pieces of dance here and there, then you don't really know. I think that's the way we convince people," said Grundy.
"We're going to do the best work artistically that we can do. We're going to take it all over the state," France added. "We're going to take it nationally. We already have international tours set up and we want to be a world-class dance company that can dance on the stages of Europe or the stages in New York or the stages here at the Missouri Theatre."
Sunday's performance starts at 3 p.m. in the Missouri Theatre.