Milwaukee Ballet presents world premiere of Michael Pink’s Beauty and the Beast

MILWAUKEE – February 14, 2018 – Milwaukee Ballet presents the world premiere of Michael Pink’s Beauty and the Beast at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, April 12-15. Following his acclaimed productions of Peter Pan and Mirror Mirror, Pink will offer a mystical adaptation of the beloved fairytale to appeal to all ages.

“Beauty and the Beast is a well-known, popular story. It provides the kind of narrative that I love to delve into and present with imaginative, undiscovered viewpoints,” said Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink. “The audience can easily escape into the beauty of this production, which will please ballet lovers and newcomers alike.”

Pink’s production is inspired by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont’s 1756 adaptation of the original folktale. Belle is the hero of her own story and uses her love of literature to guide her on her adventure with the Beast. “Belle’s imagination is her strength. It gives her the knowledge and confidence to take on the Beast, his world, and her destiny,” Pink explained.

Beauty and the Beast features the professional Company, Milwaukee Ballet II, and nearly 80 students of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy.

Pink is widely praised for his interpretations on the world’s best loved stories. Beauty and the Beast is the most recent full-length ballet Pink has premiered in Milwaukee, joining Dorian Gray (2016), Mirror Mirror (2014), La Bohème (2012), and Peter Pan (2010).

Pink commissioned a score from British composer Philip Feeney, which will be played by Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra for this engagement under the direction of Milwaukee Ballet Music Director Andrews Sill. With Beauty and the Beast, Pink and Feeney celebrate a 30-year collaboration, which began with their first ballet, Memoire Imaginaire, in 1987.

The creative team is rounded out by Emmy Award-winning lighting designer David Grill, Canadian costume designer Paul Daigle (La Bohème), and New York City-based scenic designer Todd Edward Ivins (Mirror Mirror).

Story Summary
A handsome Prince rules his kingdom with a cold heart. He is a product of his entitled upbringing: callous and selfish, with little regard for the welfare of his people. An Enchantress strips him of his looks and transforms him into a Beast. The curse can only be broken when someone chooses to stay with him of their own free will. Rejected and alone, he learns the meaning of empathy now that his happiness depends on someone seeing beyond his disfigured form.

Belle is an outcast in her village, yearning for an adventure like the ones she reads in her books. When her father is imprisoned in the Beast’s enchanted kingdom, Belle offers herself to take his place. Now, she must rely on what she has learned in her stories to overcome her captor’s beastly behavior

Community Event
Barre Talk: Beauty and the Beast
March 27, 6:30-8pm
88Nine Radio Milwaukee, 220 E Pittsburgh Ave, Milwaukee
Milwaukee Ballet’s Barre Talk events feature a member of Milwaukee Ballet artistic staff and a guest speaker leading animated conversation on topics important to the ballet world and beyond. For Beauty and the Beast, Artistic Director Michael Pink shares his vision and process of taking the fairy tale from the page to the stage.

Details at milwaukeeballet.org.

Tickets and Performance Schedule
Beauty and the Beast runs April 12-15, 2018 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street, Milwaukee. Tickets available at (414) 902-2103 or visit milwaukeeballet.org. Due to popular demand, an extra matinee has been added. The performance schedule is as follows:
Thursday, April 12 | 7:30pm
Friday, April 13 | 7:30pm
Saturday, Apr 14 | 1:30pm
Saturday, Apr 14 | 7:30pm
Sunday, April 15 | 1:30pm

Sponsors
Beauty and the Beast is presented by Sue and Allan “Bud” Selig, through their support of the Campaign for New Work, as well as Donna and Donald Baumgartner and Nita Soref. Philip Feeney’s score was commissioned by Susanna and Justin Mortara. Paul Daigle’s costume designs were commissioned by the Ettinger Family Foundation.
The 2017-18 season is presented by Donna and Donald Baumgartner, with operational support from the United Performing Arts Fund.

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