Hagerman, here with Kevin Wilson and Liang Fu in Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room, easily shifts between classical and contemporary roles. Photo by Kenny Johnson, Courtesy Kansas City Ballet.

2018 Stars of the Corps: Kansas City Ballet's Lilliana Hagerman

Lilliana Hagerman stepped into the spotlight in 2016, dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Kansas City Ballet's Nutcracker during her first season as a full company member. But it's her chameleon-like ability to shift between classical and contemporary roles—such as her featured performances in Matthew Neenan's The Uneven and Stanton Welch's Play last season—which make this dancer so special.


Born in Italy to a military family, Hagerman trained in jazz, ballet and contemporary before joining Orlando Ballet as a trainee and then as a main company member. She was accepted into KCB's second company in 2014 after auditioning with her then-boyfriend (now husband) Lamin Pereira dos Santos. "Thankfully, we both got jobs," she says.

Hagerman with Dillon Malinski and Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye in Helen Pickett's "Petal." Photo by Brett Pruit & East Market Studios, Courtesy KCB.

KCB is unranked, so it's not unheard of for newer dancers to perform principal roles. But dancing Sugar Plum in her first year, and Tinkerbell the following season, in artistic director Devon Carney's Peter Pan, is notable in a company with plenty of veterans. Even as an apprentice, Hagerman was awarded a featured role in Helen Pickett's Petal, which she points to as a significant launchpad for her KCB career.

Carney says Hagerman is "quite driven and very talented." As KCB presents an increasingly contemporary repertoire, we are likely to see more of this versatile dancer.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Courtesy Boylston

Is the #EsmeraldaChallenge Quarantine's Next Big Thing?

By this point in the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, people are completely burned out on dancing at home. So it's no surprise that last week, all-around dance superstar Alex Wong posted a video on Instagram performing the famous La Esmeralda variation... but in his living room. And with a frying pan instead of a tambourine.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks