Wisconsin Dance Council Honors Milwaukee Ballet’s Michael Pink Awards ceremony to be held Thursday, September 11 in downtown Madison

MILWAUKEE – August 21, 2008 – Wisconsin Dance Council (WDC), a non-profit organization devoted to dance as a fine art, will honor four of its own outstanding dance pioneers in a glittering evening at the Madison Club in downtown Madison on Thursday, September 11, 2008. Two leaders in the Milwaukee dance community, Michael Pink, Artistic Director of Milwaukee Ballet, and Janet Lilly, Chair of the Dance Department at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, will each receive the WDC Choreography/Performance Award.

In addition to the Milwaukee-area award recipients, Kay Kuester-Doran of Antigo, who studied folk dance in Mexico as a Rockefeller Fellow, will be awarded the WDC Career Recognition Award and Betty Hayes-Baxter of Avoca, who has brought dance to students throughout southwestern Wisconsin for over sixty years, will be honored with the WDC Lifetime Achievement Award.

The evening will commence with a social hour starting at 6:00 p.m., with a buffet of hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and live music, with the awards presentations and special entertainment to follow.  Special guest appearances include principal dancers from Milwaukee Ballet, students from the Peck School of the Arts, a Madison folk dance group, and a ballroom duet by the seasoned team of Vivian Tomlinson and Karen Cowan.

About the Honorees

Michael Pink (2008 WDC Choreography/Performance Award Recipient) is an international choreographer and teacher who trained as classical dancer with the Royal Ballet.  He danced many leading roles during his 10 year performing tenure with the English National Ballet.  Pink was a founding director of Ballet Central and Associate Director of Northern Ballet Theatre and his early choreographic work won first place in the Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition and the Royal Society of Arts Competition.  He is currently Artistic Director of Milwaukee Ballet and a prominent member of the Milwaukee arts community, demonstrating his
commitment to the future of dance through new work, education and collaboration.

Janet Lilly (2008 WDC Choreography/Performance Award Recipient) was a former principal dancer and choreographer’s assistant with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. of New York City.  After twenty years of professional dance experience, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts in 1995.  Lilly continues to perform and present her work regionally and nationally, has received numerous choreographic grants and awards, and is known as an outstanding dance educator and teacher.

Kay Kuester-Doran (2008 WDC Career Recognition Award Recipient) has brought dance to thousands of public and private school students of all ages.  Since receiving Rockefeller Foundation Grant to study folk dance in Mexico, she has taught international folk dance to over 1,000 teachers of foreign language who in turn have incorporated dance into their own curriculum thereby bringing dance culture to the youth of today.  Kuester-Doran is also a member of the Pomeranian Dancers Folkdance Troupe of Wausau, Wis. and performs across the Midwest.

Betty Hayes-Baxter (2008 WDC Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient) has taught dance in Wisconsin for over 60 years. She has had studios in Avoca, Blue River, Muscoda, Boscobel, Richland Center, Spring Green, Hillsboro, Highland, Plain, Dodgeville, Excelsior, Cobb, Montford, Lone Rock and Fennimore. She has also worked in secondary education working with swing choirs and in Musical Theatre.

Registration Information

To register for the Wisconsin Dance Council Awards Ceremony on September 11, 2008, please send $35.00 payable to Wisconsin Dance Council and mail your registration to:

Mary Elliott 
418 Bryce Canyon Circle 
Madison, WI 53705

Reservations and payments must be received by September 5, 2008.  For more information, please visit www.wisconsindancecouncil.org.