KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you are a supporter of the arts or just enjoy the ballet, you’ve probably seen Anthony Krutzkamp on stage. Among his accomplishments, the principal dancer has portrayed Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Dracula, and now Prince Charming in the Kansas City Ballet’s performance of Cinderella.
Krutzkamp will take the stage on Saturday, May 17 along with the rest of the ballet company, but it will a memorable night for him because Krutzkamp is retiring.
“It is a family, you know. I come in groggy in the morning, I have my cup of coffee, I do my plies and then we all wake up together,” Krutzkamp said of his fellow dancers.
The 32-year-old was born in Alexandria, Ky. He told 41 Action News he was initially interested in tap dancing, but at 13 years old he started taking ballet.
“I guess it just came down to the way my body is built,” Krutzkamp said. “They said, ‘Hey your knees are this way and your feet are this way… why don’t you come take some dancing.’ I said no and my mother put me in tights.”
Krutzkamp began his formal training with Petrus Bosman and David Keener. Krutzkamp’s first company was Kansas City Ballet. He then performed with the Cincinnati Ballet until he became a principal dancer at age 23.
Krutzkamp later returned to Kansas City. “Having a thousand people looking at you and letting it feel normal… having that as a normalcy is a really big gift,” he said.
However, Krutzkamp suffered a herniated disc in his back while partnering and three years later made the decision to step away from dancing full-time.
“Where pain equals pleasure is where you have to call it,” Krutzkamp explained. “There’s equilibrium to artistry and what your body needs. And it’s best to go out on top.”
No doubt the hours of class, practice and performing is extremely hard work and hard on a ballet dancer’s body.
At the May 8 dress rehearsal for Cinderella, 41 Action News clipped a small camera on Kansas City Ballet dancer Josh Spell’s coat. Spell portrays the dress maker in Cinderella.
During Act I, Spell appears to dance effortlessly across the stage but the camera captured the dizzying view Spell sees as he spins, jumps and interacts with his fellow dancers on stage.
“I don’t think people realize how hard dancers work, how much pain you go through, you know, for art,” Krutzkamp explained. “But it’s always nice when you have 30 other people with you in pain. It makes it a lot easier.”
Krutzkamp is also the co-artistic director of the Kansas City Dance Festival . After he retires, he plans to focus on fundraising for the festival, traveling, attending baseball games and sleep.
"I'm going to get three inches taller I'm sure”, he said.