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January 11, 2011: The One-Ones to see in 11!

Happy New Year!!! Hopefully you’ve recovered from a lovely holiday season and are settling back into normal life and all of the plans you’ve made to make this year better – back to the grind at work, a new semester at school, volunteering, reading the classics, going to the gym, saving money ... It can be overwhelming after a whole month that felt like it took place in a real-life Land of the Sweets. Eleven days into the new year and maybe you’ve already lost the motivation to stick to your resolutions? Have no fear, I’m here to give you an easy one that you’ll have no problem sticking to: Support Milwaukee Ballet!

Here’s a list you can sync your iPad calendar with and you’ll be sure to have electrifying 2011 starring Milwaukee Ballet. Being a part of the Ballet gives you an escape at the theater and you can feel good about supporting our Community Outreach Programs, our stellar group of dancers in the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program, the students of the Milwaukee Ballet School and the gorgeous dancers in the Company. Do this for your new year’s resolution and you’ll be in good shape!

1 – The Harmony Initiative: By now you’ve heard the news about our partnership with University of Wisconsin Milwaukees’s Peck School of the Arts and Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin - soon to be in the same space together. This collaboration will create a harmonious place where performance, community education and outreach, and health and wellness come together for the benefit of artists and the people of Milwaukee. While we aren’t ready to break ground yet, we will come to a decision within the next six months about where this groundbreaking space will be! Stay tuned!

2 – For the next month, Director of Milwaukee Ballet School, Rolando Yanes, Associate Director of Milwaukee Ballet II, Mireille Favarel and principal faculty member, Karl vonRabenau will be touring the United States searching for talented dancers to come to the Summer Intensive Program June 20-July 29. In 20 cities we’ll be searching for 170 kids who are serious about ballet to come spend the summer with us. Mark your calendar for the performances of Emergence on July 29th where you can see how we did!

3 – Curious about ballet for yourself or your son or daughter? Have a granddaughter who won’t stop twirling around the house? Come to Milwaukee Ballet School’s Open House January 17-22 and sit-in on a class. We offer ballet for movers and shakers age 3 to 103 and all of our classes have live accompaniment. We’ll do it again, May 22-28, but come now and you can sign yourself up and be on your way to pirouetting beautifully by the time summer’s here!

4 – The Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II – ONSTAGE! We can’t say enough about how amazing this year’s group of “MBII” dancers are – 20 young ladies and gents from all parts of the world (Australia, Brazil, Japan, The Philippines and the USA) who are unbelievably committed and talented! Come see them strut their stuff – here are a few dates where you’ll have the chance to see them performing classical and contemporary repertoire:

• February 4, 7:00 p.m., Oconomowoc Arts Center
• March 12, 4:00 p.m., Jodi Peck Center – Studio A
• March 26, 7:30 p.m., Saint Mary’s College – Notre Dame, Indiana
• May 27, 7:00 p.m., Graduation Celebration, place TBA

(You’ll also see current MBII dancer Jenna Sagraves and MBII graduate Lisa Barrieau in the upcoming Genesis performance! Go MBII!)

5 – Three choreographers, eight dancers each, 72 hours of rehearsal time, a panel of judges and YOU! The Genesis International Choreographic Competition, one of our favorites, is back at the Pabst, February 10-13. With three young men from three different countries – this is bound to be a diverse and dynamic celebration of the future of dance. You and a panel of judges will select the winners between Mauro de Candia from Italy, Lucas Jervies from Australia and Edgar Zendejas from Mexico. Make your vote count!

6 – Did you absolutely love your prom and want to relive it? Did you hate it and need a do-over? You’re romantic-bell-bottomed-hairsprayed bouffant-Stairway to Heaven- dreams have come true! Prom The Ball 2011 is on February 26 and it’s going to top any prom you went to back in high school. If you haven’t been to The Ball before – it’s the best party in town and you don’t know what you’re missing; if you have – you can only imagine how steamy-dreamy this party’s gonna be. Be there for Prom (and the after party) or be square!

7 – Billy’s Dancing Dairy Farm, our world premiere Ballet-in-a-Box performance, will be on tour for the entire month of March. This show, inspired by the life of Company dancer Michael Linsmeier, is about a boy who grows up on a Wisconsin Farm and after taking an interest in ballet, starts seeing it in everything from the swans flying overhead to the mice in the barn and the cats who chase them away. With ties to Wisconsin farm life, art featuring cows and ballerinas by Schomer Lichtner, this creative team (choreography by Mireille Favarel, Petr Zahradnícek and Lori Flanigan, set designs by LA artist and my brother Bryan Chavez and written by yours truly) has created a show that will be educational and fun! This show turns a school gym, library or senior center into The Dancing Dairy Farm where chickens do ballet and boys learn that they can too!

8 – Three ballets for the price of one! How can you go wrong? Three will be at the Marcus Center from March 31 through April 3 featuring Diane Coburn Bruning’s Ramblin’ Suite with music by the Red Clay Ramblers, a new work by Darrell Grand Moultrie who was last here with his explosive afro-carribean Vital Sensations in 2006 and our own Petr Zahradnícek’s Broad Waters, which he premiered last season at Ballet Memphis.

9 – Ballet Mistress Nadia Thompson’s production of Snow White is back on April 16 and 17 featuring the Milwaukee Ballet School’s Level IV through Academy II and dancers from the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program. Snow White premiered two years ago and was dedicated to the memory of Nadia’s mother. The show is sweet and charming with a hint of darkness - just like the classic tale itself (and the way we like things here at Milwaukee Ballet!) Performances are on April 16 and 17 at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center in Brookfield.

10 – April 22 through May 1 is National Dance Week – we’ll be doing something to commemorate it– we’ll keep you posted!

11 – Springtime is the perfect season for Coppélia – a ballet classic that’s ideal for families. If you like The Nutcracker, and come on – who doesn’t? – you’ll like Coppélia. Both stories were originally written by E. T. A. Hoffman and you’ll see a resemblance between Dr. Coppelius and our beloved Drosselmeyer – both are toymakers and magicians. In this ballet a life-sized doll wins the affections of the village just like the Jack and the Shepherdess doll do in The Nutcracker. And, if you liked the Nutcracker Tea – we’ll be hosting a Coppélia brunch before the Sunday performance for young dollies and their parents.

There’s a lot of info in our list of 11 for ’11 here so click on http://www.milwaukeeballet.org – we’ve got enough there to keep you busy. Let’s resolve to make a resolution we can stick to and spend the year with Milwaukee Ballet!

Alyson Chavez
Director of Education