Momentum Close-Up: ‘Confetti’

Kelanie Murphy

Momentum Close-Up: Gerald Arpino’s Confetti

[September 9, 2023]

“I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago,” says AMB company artist Kelanie Murphy, “and the very first professional ballet I had ever seen was the Joffrey Ballet. I had always been in awe of the dancers, and their athleticism and their artistry. It was my dream to do something like that someday.”

Now, Kelanie is doing exactly that: performing in Confetti, AMB’s first work by Joffrey Ballet co-founder Gerald Arpino [1923-2008]. AMB is presenting Confetti as part of the Gerald Arpino Foundation’s centennial celebration, joining leading ballet companies around the country in performing Arpino’s works.

Of Confetti’s 1970 New York premiere, critic Clive Barnes wrote: “Arpino has his dancers fairly scudding across the stage with an almost relentless verve. Everyone has a great time, including the audience.

Rehearsing ‘Confetti’: top, Marsalis AnderSon-Clausell and Wyatt Weeces; above, Katerina Schweitzer and Wyatt Weeces (foreground) with Elena Carter, Anna Swenson, Megan Lynch and Noah Kargman.

‘A really special experience…’

Barnes also wrote of Confetti that “Arpino is very demanding on his dancers, and he expects them to dare more than most choreographers would have the courage to suggest.” Company artist Katerina Schweitzer concurs: “Physically, it’s the most challenging piece I’ve ever done – but also the most rewarding.”

“It is the type of piece that really challenges us, challenges us as dancers and artists,” said Kelanie. “We definitely work as a team and cheer each other on. And that is a really special experience to share with your fellow dancers, and with your audience.”

© American Midwest Ballet. All rights reserved.