Jim Higgins , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Next season the Milwaukee Ballet will extend classical ballet tradition through productions of “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker,” while also embracing the future with a world premiere and new collaborations.
Artistic director Michael Pink will create a new “Beauty and the Beast” in April 2018 with the aid of favored collaborators Philip Feeney (music) and Todd Edward Ivins (set design). Milwaukee Ballet also will team with the Florentine Opera on both the Florentine’s previously announced production of “The Merry Widow” (Oct. 20 and 22) and on ArtsBridge, a joint showcase gala with the Marcus Center.
Unless otherwise noted, all performances will take place in the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall, 929 N. Water St.
“La Bohème,” Nov 2-5. MB revives Pink’s wordless story ballet, set to Puccini’s beloved score. “Pink’s articulate choreography blends gestures, facial expressions, stage business and dance, defining characters and their interrelationships more clearly than traditional settings of the opera in some scenes,” Elaine Schmidt wrote in her review of the 2012 world premiere.
“The Nutcracker,” Dec 9-26. Next season’s production of the child-friendly holiday classic will include another sensory friendly performance for children with autism on Dec. 20. Pink said last season’s sensory friendly debut was rewarding for both dancers and the audience.
“MXE: Milwaukee MIXED,” Feb 8-11. MB resident choreographers and dancers Garrett Glassman, Timothy O’Donnell, Isaac Sharratt, Nicole Teague-Howell and Petr Zahradnícek will create works for the company with local music curated by 88NINE program director Jordan Lee. While this program is still being developed, Pink said his main request to Lee was that he provide a variety of music. Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St.
“Beauty and the Beast,” April 12-15, 2018. Pink sees the prince (i.e., the beast) not as a monster, but as a man whose mistakes and selfish choices have kept him from growing. He plans to suggest the beast’s internal struggle through having two different dancers portray him.
“Swan Lake,” May 31-June 3, 2018. MB last performed this classic set to Tchaikovsky’s music in 2013. Just like then, he said, he will use this production “to bring forward the next generation” of the company’s dancers.
Subscribers can also add to their calendars “MOMENTUM: MBII,” a performance by dancers from the Milwaukee Ballet II program, at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Pabst Theater. Many current MB dancers are MBII alums.
The ArtsBridge showcase will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Marcus Center. Pink said that MB, the Florentine and the Marcus Center are designing a program of singing, dancing and acting likely to include, among other composers, Leonard Bernstein.
For subscription and other information, visit milwaukeeballet.org or call (414) 902-2103.
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