• Li Chiao-Ping Dance celebrates 20 years of work

    Friends of Li Chiao-Ping would describe her, first and foremost, as a dancer and choreographer extraordinaire. Other words that come to mind include athlete, educator and, most certainly, fighter. A former gymnast and first-generation Chinese-American born to immigrant parents in San Francisco, Li is artistic director of Madison-based Li Chiao-Ping Dance and a professor of dance at the University.... Read More
  • Kanopy Dance opens its season with compelling, contradictory works

    Dance is often considered the ultimate art form, one that uses the original instrument — the human body — as the medium for its message. When that artistic message also involves social commentary, dance can have a profound impact on its audience. Madison’s Kanopy Dance Company will revive one of the medium’s most provocative and compelling works this month as part of Juxtaposed, its fall p.... Read More
  • Dueling ‘Draculas’ offer ballet with a bite

    Call it coincidence, or credit dark forces dancing in the human psyche. Either way, Wisconsin’s two premier ballet companies are opening their seasons with productions of a story that ballet fans will really be able to sink their teeth into: Dracula. Madison Ballet kicks off its 2015-16 season Oct. 16 and Oct. 17 with three performances of artistic director W. Earle Smith’s original production.... Read More
  • Michael Pink tells Cinderella’s story once again

    The beauty of Sergei Prokofiev’s narrative score and Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink’s enchanting vision will unite later this month, to wrap up the ballet’s 2014–15 season with the timeless tale of "Cinderella."  But while Pink knows his audiences will be captivated by the servant-turned-princess, he has high hopes they’ll be equally fascinated by the personalities and .... Read More
  • Hubbard Street Dance embraces the ‘original’ art form

    Think of humanity’s earliest forms of art, and the average expert may point to the Paleolithic painting of a dun horse in the Lascaux Caves in southwestern France as a prominent example. Glenn Edgerton, artistic director of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, suggests we look elsewhere. “Dance is one of the earliest forms of expression and each culture has its own style,” Edgerton says. “The hum.... Read More
  • Milwaukee Ballet’s ‘Giselle’ makes grand jeté into 1941

    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 d.... Read More
  • Madison’s Kanopy Dance channels Martha Graham

    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. The company will perform Martha Graham: In Her Footsteps, a tribute to the choreographer, who died in 1991, at the Overture Center’s Promenade H.... Read More
  • ‘Spring Series’ offers pure dance — without a narrative

    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.  In a.... Read More
  • Madison Ballet stretches its legs with ‘Spring Repertory’

    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. Repertory 1, with performances on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, highlights the choreography o.... Read More
  • Milwaukee Ballet’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is true to sources

    Romeo and Juliet live happily ever after? Fortunately, that’s not how Michael Pink sees it. Pink is artistic director for the Milwaukee Ballet, which opens its 2013–14 season Oct. 31 with his production of “Romeo & Juliet,” Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers danced to the music of Sergei Prokofiev. The composer’s original version of the ballet, based on a synopsis by Ru.... Read More