Arts Happenings Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Experience the World of Dance in West Hartford

Kendall Klym. Photo credit: Frank Diaz Photography (submitted image)

A book launch and dance exhibition for ‘Step Lightly’ will be held at the Noah Webster House in West Hartford.

Book cover of ‘Step Lightly.’ Submitted image


The public is invited to a book launch for “Step Lightly” by Dr. Kendall Klym at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. at the Noah Webster House, 227 S. Main St., West Hartford, CT. This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

“Step Lightly” immerses readers in the exciting world of dance, from ballet to belly. Challenging and expanding accepted definitions of dance, each of the 15 short stories centers on physical movement as a driving force, placing characters in precarious situations and leading to unusual outcomes. Like the divertissements in the second act of “The Nutcracker,” the collection sports a diverse repertory, including a classic yet tragic tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, a dance narrative designed as a multiple-choice quiz, and a recipe incantation that brings back the ghost of a famous ballerina. With a combination of intensity and aplomb, “Step Lightly” grapples with movement that defines who we are and what we do with our lives.

At the book launch, Dr. Klym will read excerpts from “Step Lightly.” In addition, Dr.Klym and dancers from the Ballet Theatre Company will perform brief pieces inspired by the stories in the book. Copies of “Step Lightly” will be available at the event for purchase and signed by the author.

Dr. Klym’s love of language and family roots in West Hartford made the Noah Webster House the perfect place to celebrate the release of his work. He was raised in West Hartford and then moved to New York City to study ballet at the prestigious School of American Ballet. His professional ballet career earned him principal roles in the Kansas City Ballet, Chicago City Ballet, and the Tivoli Pantomimeteatret in Copenhagen, Denmark. After retiring from dance, Dr. Klym pursued a career in journalism. He graduated magna cum laude from Baylor University with a BA in journalism and went on to write for papers in Fresno and Carmel, California, and Austin, TX. After graduating from Texas State University with an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in fiction, Klym began his university teaching career. He taught English at Rockhurst and Friends universities, and the University of Missouri, Kansas City, before receiving a scholarship to study for his PhD at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. “Step Lightly” was written while teaching full time at Kennesaw State University.

Dr. Klym has won numerous awards for his short stories, which have been published in literary journals including Puerto del Sol, Hunger Mountain, and Fiction International. In addition to winning the Tartt First Fiction Award for “Step Lightly,” his collection of short stories, Klym is a three-time honorable mention winner of the Great American Fiction Contest, sponsored by The Saturday Evening Post.

The museum would like to thank the Greater Hartford Arts Council and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for their ongoing support.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is a cultural destination where citizens can learn to understand and appreciate the past. The museum preserves the birthplace of Noah Webster, the founding father, educator, author, and lexicographer who taught generations of Americans what it means to be American. This National Historic Landmark is also a repository for West Hartford’s history, the community that molded Noah Webster’s future, and is still thriving over 250 years later. The historic house and exhibit spaces are open daily 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. For more information on the museum’s extensive school and public programs, please visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org or call 860-521-5362.

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