Dance

Christine / Fotolia

Although ballet dancers begin training quite young, their professional lives are often short. Most dancers have moved on to another career by the time they’re in their mid-30s. But when you’ve spent hours a day in class and rehearsal since you were a child, it’s hard to imagine yourself doing something else.

Fortunately for the dancers at the Milwaukee Ballet, they have a resource to help them. The Milwaukee Dancers’ Fund, Inc. exists to help dancers transition from being full-time performers into other careers.

Nathaniel Davauer

As the Milwaukee Ballet prepares to open its 47th season with a new production of Scheherazade, audiences will see a new dancer on stage in the role of "The Moon Prince." Jonathan Batista comes to Milwaukee from the Cincinnati Ballet.

Trinity Irish Dance Company

It's been almost 20 years since the explosive, award-winning, and internationally renowned performances by Trinity Irish Dance Company have graced a stage at Irish Fest. But founder and artistic director Mark Howard is happy to return to the festival he says made it all possible.

Photo by Brian Lipchik

As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But you could probably add a third certainty to that list: change.

Nicole Beilke

Every few days during the school year, a class of MPS 4th graders spills into the lounge of the Milwaukee Ballet School.

They drop off their backpacks then hurry to change clothes. In a few minutes, the 20 students reappear - the girls dressed in leotards and tights, the boys in white t-shirts and shorts - and all are wearing ballet slippers.

Nine-year-old Karena Hurtdo-Reyes explains the program’s name. “Relevè means to rise up,” she says.

After translating the French word, she demonstrates relevè by pressing up on her tiptoes and holding her balance.

Eddee Daniel/Daniel Burkholder

The problems plaguing the Louisiana Coast may seem far away. But one local performer is bringing her Cajun heritage to Milwaukee with her new show, Bayou’s State. The show provides an intimate look at the critical problem of coastal land loss.

Tom Davenport

The Milwaukee Ballet's latest show, Kaleidoscope Eyes, features the work of three choreographers. There’s Trey McIntyre’s A Day in The Life, which features music by the Beatles; a new work by Genesis 2015 winner Garret Smith called Addendum, and a world premiere called The Sixth Sin, by Timothy O’Donnell.

Photo Courtesy of Danceworks

In the 2005 documentary film “Mad Hot Ballroom,” viewers saw how the lives of New York City public school kids were impacted by dance.

Around that same time, dance was taking center stage in pop culture. Movies like “Step Up” and television shows like “Dancing With the Stars” scored big audiences – many of the viewers were kids.

Leaders on Milwaukee’s dance scene took notice, and decided it was time to open up the art form to kids who might not otherwise experience it.

photo by Paul Mitchell / Wild Space Dance Company

Wild Space Dance Company takes its name seriously. For three decades, founder and artistic director Deb Loewen has taken dancers and audience members on creative and wild adventures.

Site specific works, often in places like industrial ruins in the Menomonee Valley, or an old building in the 5th Ward, push the notions of movement, performance and of dance itself.

Tom Davenport / Milwaukee Ballet

In his tenure as artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, Michael Pink has developed a number of new works - from Dracula to Peter Pan and Mirror, Mirror. His newest, Dorian Gray, is based on the Oscar Wilde novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

While it’s Pink’s newest work, it has been in development for a long time. Dorian Gray gets its American premiere Friday night at the Pabst Theater.

Troye Fox

The dance department at UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts opens a four-performance run of its Winterdances 2016 series, titled Evolve as We EnterThursday night. The performance showcases work by a number of choreographers, including Deb Loewen, Dani Kuepper and Amaniyea Payne.

David DeSilva / Axis Dance Company

This week one of the more innovative and inspiring modern dance companies in the country will call Sheboygan’s John Michael Kohler Arts Center their temporary home. Axis Dance Company is based in Oakland, California, and draws on the equal talents of able bodied and disabled dancers alike to expand on the idea of what movement can be and is for.

Kryziz Bonny / Flickr

The Milwaukee Ballet opens its 2015/16 season Thursday with a performance of the story ballet Dracula. It’s one of artistic director Michael Pink’s signature pieces.

Adam Baker / Flickr

While most of the people who visited Irish Fest a few weeks ago were likely there to watch musical acts, another cultural attraction that many caught was Irish dance.  It’s a form that has a huge following in the Milwaukee area, even outside of the festival season.  Hundreds of kids attend any of several schools that prepare them for competitions.

But in the coming months, organizers hope the nation’s first professional Irish dance company will make Milwaukee home. 

Meet Milwaukee Ballet's "Choreographer of Light"

May 15, 2015
Milwaukeeballet.org/Michael S. Levine

Even if you’re not a football fan, you might tune into the Super Bowl for the halftime show. And of the many hundreds of people who make that spectacle happen, David Grill is of the key players.

Grill is a lighting designer. In addition to the most-watched sporting event on the planet, Grill has been a long-time artistic partner of the Milwaukee Ballet’s Michael Pink.

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