BLUEJEANS' AND DANCING QUEENS: Appalachian Ballet Company kicks off new season next Thursday

The Daily Times | Steve Wildsmith

Appalachian Ballet Company's senior dancers lift Hannah Barber during a recent rehearsal for "Awareness," one of the pieces on next week's "Bluejeans and Ballet" program.

Like many artists, Kylie Morton Berry can draw inspiration from the strangest of places — but conjuring up a ballet out of kidney transplant may be one of the most unique.

The dancer and choreographer with Appalachian Ballet Company, which presents its annual “Bluejeans and Ballet” performance next Thursday at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus, came up with the idea for “Awareness” while attending the Lucky Kidney Run, an annual event that benefits the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation. Her husband, Eric, is an operations and data coordinator for the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Center for Transplant Services, the only kidney transplant program in the region, and watching the winners of the Lucky Kidney Run take the stage, Kylie was inspired, she said.

“I said to Evan, ‘It would be cool if we performed something that’s collaborative,’” she told The Daily Times this week. “He’s always laughing, because I can turn everything into dance, so he didn’t put much thought into it. I was looking for an idea during our Summer Intensive (dance camp), and when we would come home, I would talk about ballet for an hour, and he would talk about kidney transplants for five minutes. Continue reading