When Regina Klenjoski and Tristian Griffin met, they were surprised to realize that they are the heads of the only two professional dance studios in Kansas. 

They decided to collaborate and raise awareness of the art form throughout the state and to show people that dance can be a profession. 

They recruited three other nationally recognized choreographers — all with different backgrounds — and when they received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, “Converge” was born. 

“We wanted to bring awareness that there’s beautiful, strong dancers in the community,” says Griffin. “It shouldn’t be just Regina and I as a big fish. Kansas is a wellspring that has plentiful support of the arts.”

To the unfamiliar, contemporary dance is akin to moving art that features emotive motion that can pull from a range of sources. “Converge” is a concert dance performance that features five works from the five choreographers, with each piece representing a different concept. Each work runs 10-20 minutes for a total performance time of roughly 90 minutes with an intermission. 

“Expect something different and new, but that still feels like home,” says Griffin. “It’s storytelling, where each work has a pillar that you can identify with.”

Each choreographer brings a different expression, Klenjoski, who’s family immigrated from Macedonia, brings the immigrant experience. Her dance is titled “Ranking of the Angels,” Griffin grew up in the KC area and his dance “Letting Go” pulls from his lived experience.

“Who I am as a Black man is brought into my work as a reflection of who I am,” says Griffin. 

Tristian Griffin is a KC native currently serving his second year as an artist-in-residence at the Lawrence Arts Center.

The other three nationally recognized choreographers contributing works to “Converge” are:

  • Chad Michael Hall, artistic director of Multiplex Dance and a professor at the University of California Irvine. 
  • Sabrina Vasquez, a professor at Wichita State University and the associate artistic director of Alithea Mime Theatre.
  • Gary Abbott, co-founder and associate artistic director of Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow.

Hall’s work will have a message related to AI, while Vasquez is creating a new work to premiere. Abbott’s piece is called “Tarantism,” which loosely translates to “dance until you die” and incorporates West African dance. 

The performance will feature dancers from both Klenjoski’s and Griffin’s full dance companies. 

“We’ve got art, physical movement, great visuals and music, and we’ve got intellectual stimulation,” says Regina Klenjoski. “There’s something for everybody.”

“Try something new; you won’t regret it,” says Klenjoski. “Audiences are blown away because it’s such a beautiful expression of humanity.”

For tickets and more info, visit either artist’s website at tgdancecompany.com or rkdc.org.

Converge Performances 

June 17

Newman University, Wichita

Concert Performance and Artists Talkback

7:30 p.m


June 24

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, KCMO

Excerpts and Artists Talkback

1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.


June 30

Free State Festival, Lawrence Arts Center 

Concert Performance

7:30 p.m.