Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet Announces 50th Anniversary Season

2019-20 season features Michael Pink’s celebrated Peter Pan and grand opening of new facility

By - Mar 4th, 2019 04:11 pm
Nicole Teague-Howell. Photo by Nathaniel Davauer.

Nicole Teague-Howell. Photo by Nathaniel Davauer.

Milwaukee Ballet has announced their 2019-20 season, featuring Coppélia, The NutcrackerBallet Russe Reimagined, PUSH. and the return of Michael Pink’s Peter Pan. This season marks the Company’s 50th anniversary and the move into its new facility, the Baumgartner Center for Dance.

“Our golden anniversary season celebrates the company’s milestones and continues its proud tradition of excellence and innovation,” said Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink. “I’ve curated a series to excite our most passionate fans and engage those who may be new to our artform. Even our most classical works are presented with the modern audience in mind, keeping it accessible and compelling.”

The 2019-20 season opens with the classical favorite Coppélia (Oct. 17-20). This celebrated ballet was the Company’s first, full-length production, premiering in the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall in 1970. Originally starring Cynthia Gregory and Ted Kivitt from the American Ballet Theatre in the lead roles, Coppélia set the course for success for Milwaukee Ballet. Kivitt eventually became Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director in 1981. Milwaukee Ballet brings this imaginative tale back to life to ensure ballet fans of all ages can celebrate the 50th anniversary together. Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra performs Léo Delibes’ score.

In December, Milwaukee Ballet presents the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, which has been brightening Wisconsin’s holiday season for more than 40 years. Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s iconic score with Milwaukee Children’s Choir. Milwaukee Ballet will once again present a sensory-friendly performance for those on the autism spectrum and with sensory processing disorders.

Milwaukee Ballet celebrates one of the most creative periods of ballet history with Ballet Russe Reimagined at The Pabst Theater (Feb 13-16, 2020). In the 1900s, Diaghilev’s Ballets Russesbrought innovative choreographers, designers and artists of the time together to create new works that changed the future of ballet. Milwaukee Ballet’s own Timothy O’Donnell, Nicole Teague-Howell and Petr Zahradnícek use this as a blueprint for their reinventions of The Rite of SpringThe Firebird and Petrushka.

Milwaukee Ballet pushes the boundaries of dance in a contemporary series aptly named PUSH. (March 26-29, 2020). This mixed repertory program features a new work featuring the sounds of local band The Vitrolum Republic. Internationally-celebrated choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo presents his evocative Extremely Close, last seen in Milwaukee in 2012. Spanish choreographer Aleix Mañé made a splash in the dance world by winning Milwaukee Ballet’s 2019 Genesis competition with his world premiere of ExiliO. He returns with another new work to round out this triple bill.

The season concludes with one of Milwaukee Ballet’s most acclaimed works, Michael Pink’s Peter Pan (May 7-17, 2020). This family-friendly production opened to sold-out houses when it made its world premiere in 2010. PBS broadcast the production nationally in 2014. In 2020, Pink takes the Company back to Neverland for two weekends of high-flying fun. Milwaukee Children’s Choir will join Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra to perform Philip Feeney’s score.

Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra’s conducting duties will be shared between Milwaukee Ballet Music Director Andrews Sill and Milwaukee Ballet Associate Conductor Pasquale Laurino.

As a special add-on performance, the organization’s second company, Milwaukee Ballet II, presents Momentum March 7, 2020. These international artists on the brink of becoming professionals shine in this mixed repertory program combining classical repertoire with new work created by the Program’s graduates. Momentum will be performed in the studio theater of the new Baumgartner Center for Dance.


Tickets to the 2019-20 season are now available in subscription packages through the Milwaukee Ballet’s box office at 414-902-2103 and online at Tickets to individual performances go on sale July 2019.


The 2019-20 season is sponsored by Donna and Donald Baumgartner with Golden Anniversary Sponsors BMO Harris Bank and We Energies Foundation. Milwaukee Ballet also acknowledges the support of United Performing Arts Fund.

The Baumgartner Center for Dance

Milwaukee Ballet will move into its new headquarters in August 2019, a special milestone of the golden anniversary celebration and the Company’s enduring legacy. The Baumgartner Center for Dance, a two-story, 52,000-square-foot facility, is located at 128 N. Jackson Street in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

The new facility will house the Milwaukee Ballet Company, School & Academy, administrative offices, rehearsal spaces and a studio theater space. There will be a total of seven studios, three more than the Company’s current headquarters, the Jodi Peck Center.

The increased space will facilitate the creation of new classes and centralize the community engagement programs to a more accessible, more visible location, which supports Milwaukee Ballet’s mission to transform lives and connect communities through inspiring performances, community engagement, education and training.

The construction of the Baumgartner Center for Dance is supported by Milwaukee Ballet’s capital campaign, co-chaired by Justin Mortara, Donna and Donald Baumgartner and Sue and Allan ‘Bud’ Selig. The Baumgartners, whose name will be featured on the new facility, announced their lead gift of $10 million in September 2018. Since then, The Herzfeld Foundation and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation have also publicly announced their donations.

The capital campaign also supports The Artistic Fund to create new works and extend programming excellence, the Give Back to Milwaukee Fund, dedicated to our community engagement programs, and costs of operating the larger facility.

Details on the 2019–20 Season

Coppélia October 17-20, Marcus Performing Arts Center
Choreography: Michael Pink
Music: Léo Delibes

Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 50th anniversary by bringing the classic Coppélia back to life! This ballet was the Company’s first, full-length production, premiering in the Marcus Center’s Uihlein Hall in 1970. Featuring Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. 

The Nutcracker Dec 7–26, 2019, Marcus Performing Arts Center
Choreography: Michael Pink
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Nutcracker has delighted generations of families in Milwaukee since 1977. Featuring Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy, Milwaukee Children’s Choir.

Ballet Russes Reimagined   Feb 13-16, 2020, Pabst Theater
Milwaukee Ballet reimagines one of the most creative periods of ballet history as its own artists present adaptations of the Russes’ most popular works.

  • Timothy O’Donnell (resident choreographer) – The Rite of Spring
  • Nicole Teague-Howell (leading artist) – Firebird
  • Petr Zahradnicek (choreographer in residence) – Petrushka

PUSH.   March 26-29, 2020, Marcus Performing Arts Center

Milwaukee Ballet pushes the boundaries of dance with a mixed repertory program of contemporary work aptly named PUSH.

  • World premiere featuring the music of The Vitrolum Republic
  • World premiere from Genesis 2019 winner Aleix Mañé
  • Alejandro Cerrudo – Extremely Close

Michael Pink’s Peter Pan   May 9-17, 2020, Marcus Performing Arts Center
Choreography: Michael Pink
Music: Philip Feeney
Milwaukee Ballet returns to Neverland with two weekends of high-flying fun. Featuring Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Milwaukee School & Academy and Milwaukee Children’s Choir.

MOMENTUM   March 7, 2020, Baumgartner Center for Dance – Add-On Performance
These international artists of Milwaukee Ballet II shine in this mixed repertory program combining classical repertoire with new work created by the Program’s graduates.

Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Ballet

Milwaukee Ballet Presents Michael Pink’s Beauty and the Beast

The enchanting family-friendly season finale runs May 19-22

Milwaukee Ballet Presents Two World Premieres in PUSH

The production is set for March 31-April 3 after a two-year postponement

Milwaukee Ballet Second Company Takes Center Stage

Milwaukee Ballet II presents first showcase since pandemic; performing March 5 & 12

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