New Dance Partners features original works at JCCC


Media Contact: Diane Carroll, 913-469-3425,

New Dance Partners features original works at JCCC


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – If you think you need to travel afar to see top-notch dance performances, think again.


On Friday, Sept. 25, and again on Saturday, Sept. 26, three dance companies will perform original works composed by three nationally known choreographers. It’s the third year in a row for New Dance Partners: The Ultimate Collaboration, original dance works commissioned by the Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College.


Tickets, which are $25 ($13 for youth), are available through the JCCC Box Office at 913-469-4445 or online here. The performances will begin at 8 p.m. in the Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall. A pre-event at 6:45 p.m. will showcase local dance studios in the lobby.  For information on other upcoming PAS performances, visit


Emily Behrmann, manager of the JCCC Performing Arts Series, came up with the idea of commissioning artists for the dance companies in 2013 after being inspired by a similar production by Dance St. Louis, produced by their executive artistic director, Michael Uthoff. Uthoff serves as the artistic advisor for New Dance Partners. Lighting for the performances will be designed by Burke Brown.


“The mission of the New Dance Partners project is to support and grow the artistic development of dance organizations in Kansas City and the region,” Behrmann said. “By helping to create new work, we are achieving this mission, growing audiences and making great friends in the dance community.”


Starting around Sept. 1, choreographers Brian Enos, Katarzyna (Kate) Skarpetowska and Gregory Dawson will create the works with local dance companies Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance and Owen/Cox Dance and this year’s special guest – Oklahoma City Ballet.


  • Enos, working with Oklahoma City, and artistic director for The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, has been inventing dances since he was 14 and has been described as a “wonder kid of contemporary ballet.” He created his first work for The Houston Ballet at the age of 18 and has gone on to create works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Ballet Met and others.


  • Skarpetowska, working with Owen/Cox Dance, is a native of Poland and graduate of The Julliard School. She was a member of The Parsons Dance Company from 1999 until 2006 where she performed lead roles in the company’s repertory, including the iconic “CAUGHT.” She also has worked with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, performing at Washington’s Kennedy Center and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.


  • Dawson, working with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, is on the faculty of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet and is a former LINES ballet dancer. In 2007, he formed dawsondancesf as an outlet for his choreographic goals and vision. He has served as the artistic director of Dawson Wallace Dance Project in Denver and his company, dawsondancesf, this summer completed its fifth week residency at the California State Summer School of the Arts Dance Department in southern California.


This year, New Dance Partners is supported in part by George H. Langworthy, Sr., and a grant from the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Performing Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee.