Milwaukee Ballet Announces Three Finalists of Genesis: International Choreographic Competition
Artists from Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States will compete for top prize
MILWAUKEE – January 19, 2017 – Milwaukee Ballet is pleased to announce the finalists of Genesis: International Choreographic Competition. The choreographers include Enrico Morelli (Italy), Mariana Oliveira (USA), and George Williamson (United Kingdom). These three will each present a new work for Milwaukee audiences and a panel of judges February 16-19, 2017 at the Pabst Theater.
Milwaukee Ballet created the Genesis competition to offer up-and-coming choreographers a highly coveted chance to make a leap forward in their careers.
“Genesis gives young artists the opportunity to have their work seen on a major United States stage, helping them find their feet in the incredibly competitive dance world,” explains Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink. “Genesis offers audiences a chance to witness new work, a part of our Company’s commitment to producing innovative world premieres in Milwaukee.”
Each finalist comes to Milwaukee with impressive credits. Morelli has won numerous choreographic competitions throughout Italy and received the Silver Medal of the President of the Italian Republic. Oliveira was born in Brazil, and trained at London’s Royal Academy of Dance before founding Union Project Dance Company in New York. Williamson has created works for the English National Ballet and presented a ballet for the Queen’s Coronation Festival.
Held every other year, Genesis is one of only a few choreographic competitions in the United States to attract interest from international choreographers. Milwaukee Ballet ensures the finalists are given all the Company’s resources to execute their vision.
“The Genesis rehearsal process was one of the first times I had six uninterrupted hours each day with professional dancers in a large studio,” explains Milwaukee Ballet Choreographer-in-Residence Timothy O’Donnell, who won the competition in 2009. “It was invaluable to have the full support of the artistic team to aid you during the creation process.”
Milwaukee Ballet has a proven record of discovering bright young stars in the dance world and launching them into illustrious careers. Here is a list of past winners, and their accomplishments since winning Genesis:
- John Utans, Australia (2002) – enjoyed an international career, creating new works throughout United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Europe
- Nelly von Bommel, France (2007) – founded her own dance company, named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2010)
- Timothy O’Donnell, Australia (2009) – became Milwaukee Ballet choreographer-in-residence
- Mauro de Candia, Italy (2011) – appointed artistic director of Dance Company Theater Osnabrück in Germany
- Gabrielle Lamb, USA (2013) – winner of a New York City Center Choreography Fellowship and the Princess Grace award for choreography (both in 2014)
- Garrett Smith, USA (2015) – premiered new works at New York City Ballet, Ballet West, Houston Ballet, and Odyssey Dance Theater
The three finalists were selected by Artistic Director Michael Pink, who viewed 54 international submissions.
On their first day of rehearsal, each finalist will draw the names of Milwaukee Ballet dancers out of a hat to determine their cast (four women and four men). The choreographer will then have three weeks, a total of 90 rehearsal hours, to create a 20-minute world premiere.
The winner of Genesis, as determined by a panel of high profile figures in the dance world, will receive a cash prize as well as a commission to create another original work for Milwaukee Ballet. This season’s judges include Artistic Director James Canfield (Nevada Ballet), Artistic Director Robert Hill (Orlando Ballet), and Executive Director Jodee Nimerichter (American Dance Festival).
The audience will also cast a vote for the Audience Choice Award, with the winner receiving a cash prize.
Tickets and Sponsors
Genesis: International Choreographic Competition runs February 16-19, 2017 at the Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells Street, Milwaukee. To order tickets, call (414) 902-2103 or visit milwaukeeballet.org. Genesis: International Choreographic Competition is proudly presented by Associated Bank and The Cudahy Foundation with support from Katie Heil. The 2016-17 season is presented by Donna and Donald Baumgartner, with operational support from the United Performing Arts Fund.
About Milwaukee Ballet
Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet is a leader in Wisconsin’s arts and culture scene. Under the stewardship of Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet has become world-renowned for presenting both bold new interpretations of story ballets, and cutting-edge 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 feature 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 Engagement department serves more than 30,000 people in Southeastern Wisconsin through original, interactive programs.
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