Schlitz Brewery Becomes a Wild Space for Dance

The former brewery Stock-House plays host to a hypnotic dance premier.

By - Sep 11th, 2014 10:06 am
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Cari Allison and Angela Frederick (Angela has her back to the camera with the long braid). Photo by Matt Schwenke.

Cari Allison and Angela Frederick (Angela has her back to the camera with the long braid). Photo by Matt Schwenke.

Last night, I was granted a preview of Wild Space Dance Company’s season opener, Brew City Dreams. In typical Wild Space fashion, a Milwaukee hideaway has been captured and transformed. This time, it’s the former Schlitz Brewery Stock-House.

As is usually the case with site-specific dance performance in Milwaukee, I embarrassed myself by not really knowing where I was going. I think that for a lot of Milwaukeeans places like Schlitz Park, Three Bridges Park, Lynden Sculpture Garden (where Trisha Brown Dance Company graced us with their presence this summer), and even some of the UWM galleries are familiar in that faraway “sure, that exists” sort of way, but reasons to visit are scarce.

Luckily, Artistic Director Deb Loewen has once again dusted off a diamond in the rough and filled it with clever, quiet modern dance. The century-old Stock-House provides a backdrop that feels historic, industrial and bare-bones; a construction site turned center stage with massive pillars that allow for subtle peek-a-boo. Splash in the talent of the Wild Space dancers, warm light and an odd, hypnotic soundscape courtesy of local composer Tim Russell, and you have yourself a dreamy night of art.

With autumn weather smacking us square in the face this weekend, I recommend foregoing the usual and treating yourself to this delightful change of pace. Brew City Dreams will leave you feeling like you stepped into a strange lullaby, at home but far from familiar.

Wild Space Dance Company’s Brew City Dreams premieres tonight, Thursday September 11 at 8 p.m. and repeats Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Head west on either Cherry St. or Pleasant St. and enter via 2nd Street – the entrance to the Stock House faces East with a newly landscaped area in front of it. Visit the Wild Space Dance Company website for tickets.

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