“You are about to go on an incredible journey.”
“You do matter – you are a real part of all of this.”
“You are the face of Milwaukee Ballet – in the community and in schools for the smallest kids to our most devoted fans.”
These are just a few of the powerful greetings that our staff bestowed upon our new group of trainees, the Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II dancers who just hours ago, completed their first day of the 2013-14 season. While some of us may be wondering where the summer went, these 19 dancers were eager and ready to start their adventure with us.
The last two days have been a good example of the kind of family we hope this group will become. Yesterday, the program’s namesake, board member Nancy Einhorn and her husband, Steve, hosted their annual “Welcome MBII” afternoon picnic at their home. Surrounded by lush green grass, a pond full of fish and frogs, and a landscape full of metal sculptures, the MBII dancers had a chance to get to know each other. Over the past month, these dancers landed in Milwaukee from all across the world, moved into UWM’s Kenilworth Square Apartments and prepared themselves for a year of hard work and growth.
This morning, they came to the studio and took their first ballet class together under the tutelage of MBII Associate Director, Mireille Favarel. Some of them arrived only a day ago from as far as Japan and Mexico, others are here for their second year of dedicated training. This year will give them an opportunity to continue to hone their technical skills, branch out artistically and to touch the lives of so many people throughout our community. We have grand plans for them – from new works by Timothy O’Donnell and Petr Zahradnícek, to tough classical variations and pas de deuxs, a month long school show tour, a chance to choreograph their own work and more.
You can get to know these young dancers from Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, Mexico, Japan, Brazil and France in so many ways this season. They will once again star in their own mainstage show at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center in January, in our blackbox theatre (Studio A) in “Assemblé,” a choreographic showcase, and the Graduation Celebration. They will work with the Company in “Romeo & Juliet,” “The Nutcracker” and “Mirror Mirror.” They will bring an epic superhero story to life in our school show tour this winter with a return of “The Corps of 4 in ‘Dr. Injury Returns!’” and they will bring their youthful energy and passion to kids all across the southeastern region through community outreach.
We count on them for a lot. Artistic Director Michael Pink warned them that the diversions of life and the exhaustion and hunger (both literal and figurative!) that they may feel throughout the year will test them in all ways, but he assured them that they are not alone. They are crucial to our mission here at the Ballet and to the community of Milwaukee. Their bright-eyed faces remind us of why this program has grown so much and made such a difference, and we welcome them to our Milwaukee Ballet family. Keep checking our website for information about their shows and community events and for their new group photo which will go up in a few weeks so that you can get to know and support them as they progress.
Director of Community Outreach