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Missouri Contemporary Ballet has been invited to perform in Columbia's Sister City, Suncheon, S. Korea.

On July 3rd-11th, 2013, Missouri Contemporary Ballet and the City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs will travel to Suncheon Bay, South Korea to participate in the International Garden Exposition 2013. We are the only performing group from the United States invited to this festival and are honored represent the performing arts culture of our Columbia community. Suncheon Bay will be covering our expenses throughout the duration of our trip. This includes housing accommodations, meals, translators, and guides through the city. Missouri Contemporary Ballet has to provide its own transportation from Columbia to Suncheon Bay for our nine dancers, Artistic/Executive Director, Director of Operations/Ballet Mistress, and Costume Mistress.

Not only is this an opportunity for our international debut, but also one for cultural exchange through the Sister Cities International (SCI) program. Through this program Columbia and Suncheon Bay strive to maintain and grow their mutually beneficial relationship. This tour will fulfill the SCI’s program’s first goal: Creating opportunities for citizens in Columbia and the Sister City to learn and experience other cultures through long-term relationships.

During the six-month time span of the International Garden Exposition, each participating country/city is represented in a National Day celebration. It is during our National Day celebration that we will perform for the residents and visitors of Suncheon Bay. This will be a new experience for both parties, broadening our audience and introducing our unique style of contemporary ballet to this area of the world. Performing outside, we will also be celebrating the natural architecture and gardens of Suncheon Bay. There will be three performances on July 6th and 7th. These will be free and open for the public to participate.

We will be performing five works from our repertoire:

Twisted (2006) Karen Mareck Grundy and Lisa Morovitz-Geger
Based on the classic game “Twister,” this piece has always been a fan favorite.

Photo by Jeff Bassinson
Photo by Jeff Bassinson

You Again (2012) Karen Mareck Grundy
A solo work, this work portrays the seductive, mournful song of dark off-beat artistry.

Photo by Jeff Bassinson
Photo by Jeff Bassinson

proximity (2012) Shannon Lee West
The choreography of this piece exploits the ideas of boundaries, apathy, and intensity.

Photo by Jeff Bassinson
Photo by Jeff Bassinson

S.O.S. (2012) Thang Dao
This piece explores abandonment and trust through intricate group partnering to examine the freedom of confidence, as we sometimes experience as a cog in a machine.

Photo by Jeff Bassinson
Photo by Jeff Bassinson

1000 Details (2012) Karen Mareck Grundy
This piece is movement for movement’s sake. Created for the music, it is powerful, fast paced, and extremely detail oriented.

Performance as part of Jodi Kaplan / Booking Dance showcases at APAP at The Allen Room in Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Photo by Ani Collier.
Performance as part of Jodi Kaplan / Booking Dance showcases at APAP at The Allen Room in Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Photo by Ani Collier.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge we foresee is communication and translation issues, especially with the technicians of our performance in Suncheon Bay. In the past, we as a company have learned to tackle technical issues in many theaters. Everyone, including the dancers, steps up to do their part. From hanging and focusing lights, to taping down the marley floor, to running our own lights and sound, we all work together to attain the high quality performance the audience expects and loves.

A recent challenge that has been brought up is the conflict between North and South Korea. If this conflict escalates, poses a threat, and a 'no-fly' regulation is passed, we will not proceed with our trip. In this unfortunate case, all backers would be refunded.

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