The Milwaukee Ballet Presents a World Premiere and Exciting Modern Dance at the Pabst Theater March 23-26, 2006

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Ballet will present four modern works, March 23-26, 2006 at the historic Pabst Theater. The company’s mixed-repertory program entitled ‘Milwaukee Ballet at the Pabst’ will include a contemporary Milwaukee premiere by New York City choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, a new piece created by former Milwaukee Ballet dancer Diego Carrasco, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee assistant professor Simone Ferro’s Milwaukee Ballet choreographic debut, and the unveiling of artistic director Michael Pink’s ballet titled “Don’t Touch”.

Tickets to the “Milwaukee Ballet at the Pabst” are $20 - $80 and can be purchased by calling the Milwaukee Ballet ticket office at (414) 902-2103, or buying online at www.milwaukeeballet.org. Tickets are also available by calling the Pabst Theater box office at (414) 286-3663 or by visiting the Pabst Theater Web site at www.pabsttheater.org.  Milwaukee Ballet at the Pabst will run Thursday March 23 through Saturday March 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday March 26 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

“Milwaukee Ballet at the Pabst’ gives the Milwaukee Ballet an opportunity to collaborate with new composers and choreographers and present fresh new work in the personal and intimate setting of the Pabst Theater,” said Pink, artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet. “Vital Sensations”, a salsa-flavored, highly physical, contemporary piece has pleased audiences throughout the United States including Denver and New York City. Choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie and set to music by Roni Size, “Vital Sensations’”, Latin fusion is sure to bring audiences to their feet.

Diego Carrasco joins the Milwaukee Ballet to present his piece “Passage”. Carrasco who has danced with the Milwaukee Ballet for 12 years, describes his piece as a representation of what compels people to take the risk and cross into the United States from Mexico undocumented. Carrasco’s piece will also include a commissioned score with a piano and violin duet composed by Matthew Tommasini.

Also on the program, Michael Pink unveils a world premiere piece entitled “Don’t Touch”. The piece features music by Andrews Sill and Pasquale Laurino. Simone Ferro, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) assistant professor, will be making her Milwaukee Ballet choreographic debut. Her piece, set to the original score of UWM music department alumnus Josh Schmidt, will center on the theme of transformation - reflecting our own inner desires and conflicts: from internal to external, between good and evil and between the reality of our own lives as opposed to our desires to be someone or something else.

The Milwaukee Ballet’s Pabst Series will feature live music for the third consecutive year. “I am thrilled to be continuing the tradition of live music for the Pabst series,” said Amy Marshall, executive director of the Milwaukee Ballet. “It not only enhances the experience for the audience, but also the dancers.”

Founded in 1970, the Milwaukee Ballet Company strives to inspire its audiences to think within and beyond traditional ballet through the presentation of quality performances and the implementation of educational opportunities.   With an annual operating budget of $5 million, the Milwaukee Ballet Company presents more than 40 performances to 70,000 people each year. For more information about the Milwaukee Ballet, call (414) 643-7677 or visit the Milwaukee Ballet online at www.milwaukeeballet.org.

Darrell Grand Moultrie

Darrell Grand Moultrie was born and raised in Harlem, N.Y.  After beginning his training in musical theater and dance at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in East Harlem, he studied opera and dance at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Moultrie received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts from The Julliard School, and upon graduation he earned the prestigious Martha Hill prize for outstanding achievement and leadership.  He is now pursuing a career as both a choreographer and performer.

His ballet “Pulse”, which was commissioned and premiered by Connecticut Ballet, warranted Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times to write, Moultrie “is obviously someone to watch.” Moultrie has choreographed works for The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Ailey 2, North Carolina Dance Theater, Colorado Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. Due to overwhelming success Darrell will return to both Cincinnati and Colorado ballets to set new works. He has also choreographed commercial television spots for Mastercard, Schick Quattro IV Razors, and has also done work for Dave Chappelle’s Show. This past summer Darrell staged “Unspeakable”, a new work on Richard Pryor for the New York City Fringe Theatre Festival, directed by Rod Gailes. More recently Darrell was the youngest person to serve as a Judge for the Miss America Pageant

As a performer, Moultrie was a part of the original workshops of the Public Theater’s “Radiant Baby”, and “Sweet Charity”. He was seen on Broadway in the smash hit “Hairspray”, Elton John & Tim Rice’s “Aida”, where he performed the role of Mereb opposite Toni Braxton and the original Atlanta mounting of The Color Purple. Most recently he was featured in “Miracle Brothers” in New York City at the Vineyard Theater. Currently he is touring the country in “Mr. Bojangles, The Ultimate Entertainer” a musical tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.

Diego Carrasco

Diego currently lives in Minneapolis, MN, teaching at Dancers Edge dance studio.  He holds a BFA in Dance from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and an MFA in Dance/Choreography from the University of Iowa, attending as an Iowa Arts Fellow.  Diego was a member of Milwaukee Ballet from 1991-2003, attaining the rank of Principal Dancer in 1997.  Prior to that he was a soloist with North Carolina Dance Theatre under the late Salvatore Aiello (1987-1991) and a member of Fort Worth Ballet under Nanette Glushak and Michel Rahn (1986-1987).

While a member of these companies, Diego stayed busy dancing professionally for the Chautauqua Dance Company, the Carlisle Project, the First International Choreographic Competition, Tokyo, Japan, Milwaukee Dance Theatre, Duarte Dance Works, and choreographers Ed Burgess and Allyson Green.

For Milwaukee Ballet, Diego has previously choreographed In the Shadows of Sinai, Initiation (premiered in the Grand Foyer of the Milwaukee Art Museum), and Bolero (for the Gathering on the Green Arts Festival in Mequon).  He also often choreographed for the Milwaukee Ballet School Pre-Professional Summer Intensive.  Other work includes Harvest Time for North Carolina Dance Theatre; Interior Designs for Milwaukee Dance Theatre; Images and Accelerations for UW-Milwaukee (funded by a Wisconsin Arts Board Individual Artist’s Grant); and Last Tangle (in collaboration with Jeni Frazee) for UWM’s Summer Dances.  Recent work
includes Dreaming, Flowers Pass, a collaborative, multi-media dance inspired by the Mexican festival, The Days of the Dead; Unspoken, a duet recognized at the 2005 American College Dance Festival in St. Louis; and Migration.

Diego has taught as a Guest Teacher at the University of Iowa; Company Teacher, Duarte Dance Works; Faculty, the University of Iowa’s Dance Forum; Guest Teacher, Makaroff School of Ballet; Faculty, Milwaukee Ballet School.  Diego has also appointed as a Certified Stager for selected works by Salvatore Aiello.
Diego is pleased to be able to return to Milwaukee and work with the current members of Milwaukee Ballet on this project.

Simone Ferro

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Simone Ferro joined the faculty at UWM in the fall of 2001. She most recently choreographed original works for Foothold Dance Performance in Milwaukee, Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA, Ballet Quad Cities, IL and Bucknell Dance Company in Lewisburg, PA and collaborated with local companies such as Wild Space Dance Company and Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee. She was awarded an MFA in choreography from the University of Iowa Department of Dance, for which she received a graduate fellowship. She is a certified Pilates instructor by Stott Conditioning from Canada. She obtained a Solo Seal degree from the Royal Academy of Dancing of London and has had an extensive professional career with numerous internationally known dance companies in Brazil and Switzerland. She performed
with and managed the Alias Dance Company based in Geneva, and for six years, she was soloist with the prestigious company of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. In Brazil, her work was recognized through performances as principal dancer with Ballet of Rio de Janeiro, Bale da Cidade de São Paulo, and Grupo de Dança Cisne Negro. In 2003, she was recipient of a Graduate School Research Grant for her work called “What’s Her Name? Never Mind…” which she produced in February ‘04 in collaboration with pianist Lois Svard and guest dancer Michele Kriner. Since then, she has been collaborating with not only UWM dance faculty and students but also with music alumni, such as composer Josh Schmidt. In December 2004, Simone was awarded a Choreographic Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board and in the summer ’05 she
produced a new work in collaboration with the poet and UW-Whitewater Professor DeWitt Clinton, performed by several UWM dance alumni and with UWM Music Professors Bernard Zinck, Elena Abend and Ana Bermudez.

Michael Pink

Michael Pink began his tenure as Artistic Director of the Milwaukee Ballet Company in December of 2002. Since that time he has established himself as a prominent member of the Milwaukee arts community, demonstrating his commitment to the future of dance through education and collaboration. His artistic vision for Milwaukee Ballet is both exciting and challenging. Mr. Pink’s dramatic production of Romeo & Juliet took narrative dance drama to a new level of interpretation. His new production of The Nutcracker thrilled and delighted the audience.

Mr. Pink trained as a classical dancer at the Royal Ballet School, performing in several productions at the Royal Opera House. His talent for choreography was first noted and encouraged by Dame Ninette de Valois and Sir Frederick Ashton. His early choreographic work won him first place in the inaugural Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition and the Royal Society of Arts Competition. He was also invited by Sir Frederick Ashton to assist in choreographing the Anacat Fashion Show for HRH Princess Margaret.

He joined London Festival Ballet [now English National Ballet] in 1975. During his ten years with the Company he danced many leading roles. Most noticeably was his partnership with Natalia Makarova in John Cranko’s Onegin.

He has worked as repetiteur for Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Romeo & Juliet at the Paris Opera and La Scala Milan.

In 1987 he became the Founding Director of Ballet Central. His collaboration with composer Philip Feeney produced many original works for the company as well as Memoire Imaginare, for Northern Ballet Theatre, which he later adapted for use by H.T.V. International as the centerpiece of a film drama.

Mr. Pink joined Northern Ballet Theatre as Associate Artistic Director in 1988 after choreographing his first full-length production, Don Quixote. His other works for Northern Ballet Theatre include Danse Classique, Strange Meeting, Swan Lake, Dracula, Giselle1943, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In 2002, Mr. Pink created Romeo & Juliet for the Atlanta Ballet. His works have been presented by Boston Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Atlanta Ballet.

Links to Darrell Grand Moultrie’s “Vital Sensations” Reviews:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/08/arts/dance/08colo.html?ex=1139029200&e...

http://coloradodrama.com/three_premieres.html