Dance

Milwaukee Ballet's 'Giselle' makes grand jeté into 1941

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 12 March 2015 18:58

— Photo: Rick Brodzeller

In 1841, composer Adolphe Adam wrote the music for Giselle, the consummate ballet of mid-19th-century Romanticism. The story of heartbreak, loss and forgiveness is timeless. A young peasant girl falls in love with a nobleman who encourages her affections but is betrothed to another. When she discovers this, she dies of heart failure, only to be resurrected by the Wilis, supernatural beings that dance men to death for betraying women. But in the end, Giselle forgives the nobleman, forcing him to live with his sins.

Madison Ballet stretches its legs with 'Spring Repertory'

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 24 January 2014 12:33

Madison Ballet’s Rachelle Butler. –PHOTO: J. Laaser

In spring, the young dancer’s fancy turns to repertory performances, at least at the Madison Ballet. The company, now in the midst of its 30th season, will explore new themes and showcase its skills during Spring Repertory, a two-part program of choreographic talent to be presented at Madison’s Bartell Theatre.

NomadicLIMBS dances into Milwaukee’s summer

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 July 2013 19:47

PLANNING THE NEXT MOVE: NomadicLIMBS founder Thom Dancy intends to expand the troupe’s programs and reach.

Summer in Milwaukee means few performance opportunities for dancers. The absence of activity perfectly suits out dancer and choreographer Thom Dancy, whose NomadicLIMBS troupe is again filling the void, and the dancers have been busier than ever.

'Dracula' brings new blood to Madison Ballet

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 22 February 2013 13:05

Leave it to the undead to help bring a struggling Madison arts company back to life.

Next month, the Madison Ballet will stage the world premiere of “Dracula: A Rock Ballet” at the Capitol Theater in Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts. The two-hour original ballet, danced to a score by Madison composer Michael Massey, is the third of four works in the ballet’s 2012-13 season – a season marked by expansion, new ballets and a return from the financial precipice, says W. Earle Smith, Madison Ballet’s artistic director.

Madison’s Kanopy Dance channels Martha Graham

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 30 January 2015 07:08

As a student of noted choreographer Martha Graham, Lisa Thurrell learned early the power and grace found in her mentor’s works. Now, as the co-artistic director of her own company, Kanopy Dance, Thurrell will recreate that power and grace in Madison.

Milwaukee Ballet’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is true to sources

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 October 2013 16:09

David Hovhannisyan and Luz San Miguel star in Milwaukee Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet. -PHOTO: Jessica Kaminski

Romeo and Juliet live happily ever after? Fortunately, that’s not how Michael Pink sees it.

Milwaukee Ballet takes traditional flight plan for 'Swan Lake'

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:12

Milwaukee Ballet’s Valerie Harmon as the Black Swan. -Photo: Jessica Kaminski

When it comes to producing “Swan Lake,” the size of your bevy matters.

Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet opens with program focused on the human experience

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 October 2012 11:43

“After the Rain,” featuring Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels, was performed by the Joffrey Ballet during the 2010-11 season. – PHOTO: Herbert Migdoll

Ballet is enjoying renewed public interest and generating enthusiastic audience responses. But has this classical art form retained its relevance amid the dramatically changing social and artistic landscapes of recent decades?

‘Spring Series’ offers pure dance — without a narrative

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 20 March 2014 13:00

For aficionados of ballet, nothing is more evocative of its possibilities than narrative-free, abstract dance pieces like those showcased in the Milwaukee Ballet’s upcoming Spring Series.

The work of three guest choreographers is to be featured during the April 3–6 performance at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts’ Uihlein Hall. Two of the three half-hour works are world premieres. 

Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ takes novel approach

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 17 October 2013 16:03

Alberto Velazquez and Mahalia Ward star in next spring’s unconventional staging of Romeo and Juliet at Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet. -Photo: Christopher Duggan

Take Romeo and Juliet, imagine them traveling in a time machine set for three distinctly different stops in the 20th century, and you’ll have some idea how Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet will bring the star-crossed lovers to the stage next spring.

Hubbard Dance Chicago teams with LINES to present program in Madison

Written by Mike Muckian,
Contributing writer
Friday, 08 March 2013 17:01

Meredith Webster and David Harvey of Alonzo King LINES Ballet perform in

Collaboration in the arts often yields surprising results, in the best cases creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. This season’s collaboration between Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and San Francisco-based LINES Ballet offers a blend of the former’s earthy athleticism with the latter’s ethereal neo-classicism that well proves the thesis.

New troupe brings summer dance to Milwaukee

Written by MIke Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 16 June 2012 18:06

NomadicLIMBS dancer Lauren Treat. - Photo: Courtesy Patrick Trautffield Photography

The city’s newest and perhaps most innovative dance troupe aims to fill the void that perennially affects the dance world during the warmer months.