Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet Tempts Audiences with New Dance Drama, Dorian Gray

Michael Pink adds to master storyteller legacy with premiere of famous cautionary tale

By - Jan 13th, 2016 12:27 pm
Patrick Howell. Photo Tom Davenport

Patrick Howell. Photo Tom Davenport

MILWAUKEE – January 13, 2016 – Milwaukee Ballet proudly presents Dorian Gray, the newest story ballet from the creative mind of Michael Pink, based on Oscar Wilde’s infamous novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Pink’s scintillating interpretation explores the pursuit of eternal youth and the consequences of succumbing to its temptation, leaving the audience to ponder, “What is your soul worth?”

“The questions at the heart of Dorian Gray are so wonderfully rich and complex. As a storyteller, I have an incredible wealth of material to draw from,” says Artistic Director Michael Pink. “While complex, the themes are also universal: morality, immortality, the selfish pursuit of beauty in all its forms. When you add the emotional performances of the dancers, the stylized sets and costumes, and the cinematic score, the audience is bound to be captivated. If you enjoyed Dracula and Mirror Mirror, you’ll love this as well.”

Pink reassembled the creative team which produced his blockbusters Dracula and Peter Pan: including celebrated British composer Philip Feeney; lighting designer David Grill, who recently won his third Primetime Emmy Award for his work on the Super Bowl Halftime Show; and New York-based costume and scenic designer Todd Edward Ivins (Mirror Mirror). Michael Pink also cast Milwaukee-based actor James Zager to portray Lord Henry, and serve as the story’s narrator.

Dorian Gray is the most recent installment of original, full-length works Michael Pink has premiered in Milwaukee, including Mirror Mirror (2014), La Bohème (2013), and Peter Pan (2010), which PBS broadcast nationally in 2014. His version of Dracula, which opened the Ballet’s 2015/16 season, remains internationally-renowned for its haunting beauty. His very unique style of dance drama has earned Pink the esteemed moniker, “master storyteller.”

This will be the first full-length work Milwaukee Ballet will ever present at the historic Pabst Theater, running Feb. 12-14 and 19-21. This will also be the first time the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra will play at The Pabst. Milwaukee Ballet remains one of the only ballet companies in the nation to maintain its own orchestra.

Dorian Gray is presented by Sue and Allan “Bud” Selig, through their support of the Campaign for New Work. It is also sponsored by The Cudahy Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Cream City Foundation (the Will Radler Fund, the Sutton Place Fund, and the Valentine Fund). Philip Feeney’s commissioned score is sponsored by Katie Heil. The 2015/16 Season of Literary Classics is presented by Donna and Donald Baumgartner, with operational support from the United Performing Arts Fund.

Ticket Information
Tickets for Dorian Gray range from $35-$102, and are available online at or by calling 414-902-2103. The show will run two weekends only, Feb 12-14 and 19-21, 2016 at The Pabst Theater. Patrons interested in tickets for Valentine’s Day weekend are encouraged to purchase early.

Patrons are invited to “Choose Their Prologue” and select from a variety of pre-show activities.

Sat. Feb. 13, 6:30pm
Pre-show talk with Actor James Zager (Lord Henry)

Sun. Feb. 14, 12:30pm – Music Lovers’ Matinee
Pre-show talk with Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra Conductor Pasquale Laurino

Fri. Feb. 19, 6:30pm – Night of New Hedonsim
Pre-Show Talk with Jungian Psychoanalyst Dr. Ashok Bedi

Sat. Feb. 20, 6:30pm – Salon Soirée
Dress up to the nines!

Sun. Feb. 21, 12:30pm
Pre-Show talk with Artistic Director Michael Pink

Milwaukee Ballet Book Club
Thursday, January 28, 6:30-8 p.m.
Colectivo Coffee – 2211 N Prospect Ave

Milwaukee Ballet is excited to continue the MKE Ballet Book Club with Oscar Wilde’s philosophical “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”  Join us for lively discussion with Artistic Director Michael Pink and a literary expert to be announced. Book Club members receive:

  • Autographed copy of Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker coffee table book
  • One-of-a-kind book bag designed by MKE Fashion Incubator
  • 10% off at Boswell Books when you mention MKE Ballet Book Club

Admission is a suggested $25 donation. RSVP to Megan Spangberg at (414) 902-2107 or Sponsored by the Cream City Foundation.

About Milwaukee Ballet
Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 46th season as a staple of Milwaukee’s arts and culture scene. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet has become world-renowned for presenting both bold new interpretations of story ballets, and cutting-edge, evocative contemporary works. Milwaukee Ballet is the home to an international company of dancers, and is one of only a few companies in the nation to maintain its own orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Milwaukee Ballet’s award-winning Community Outreach department serves more than 30,000 people in Southeastern Wisconsin through original, interactive programs.

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