Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet’s International Choreography Competition is Feb. 5-8

Three innovative young choreographers compete for cash prize and new contract from Milwaukee Ballet; Audience gets a vote

By - Jan 14th, 2015 02:10 pm

This February, three young choreographers will have a rare opportunity to showcase their talents during Genesis, Milwaukee Ballet’s international choreographic competition. Held every other year, Genesis is a contest that challenges the world’s best up-and-coming choreographers to create a dynamic, innovative world premiere in only three weeks. For the choreographers, it’s a chance to make a leap forward in their young careers. For the audience, it’s a thrilling glimpse at the future of dance.

Genesis is a shining example of this Company’s longstanding commitment to producing new and imaginative works right here in Milwaukee,” said Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink. “This competition is a highly anticipated event for our experienced ballet-goers, and the contemporary music and movement make it an exciting introduction to dance for newcomers.”

The 2015 Genesis finalists are Garrett Smith (United States), Matthew James Tusa (Australia) and Riccardo De Nigris (Italy). Smith was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and presented his work at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Tusa is a Princess Grace Fellowship Award winner and De Nigris has premiered numerous works for Germany’s celebrated Augsburg Ballet.

The competition takes place at the historic Pabst Theater, providing audiences with a rare opportunity to witness the athleticism, strength and versatility of the international dancers of Milwaukee Ballet up close.

Milwaukee Ballet invites fans to search #mbgenesis2015 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to follow the process as the choreographers create their three world premieres.

Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis is one of only a few choreographic competitions in the nation to attract interest from international choreographers. Past winners have gone onto successful careers, including Nelly von Bommel, who created her own dance company, Mauro de Candia who is now artistic director of Dance Company Theater Osnabrück in Germany and Timothy O’Donnell who became Milwaukee Ballet’s Choreographer-in-Residence.

The Process

The three finalists were chosen by Artistic Director Michael Pink, who watched and critiqued 23 submissions from across the globe.

As soon as they arrive in Milwaukee, each finalist selects the names of Milwaukee Ballet’s dancers out of a hat to determine their cast of eight performers. The choreographer will then have three weeks, a total of 90 rehearsal hours, to create a 20 minute world premiere to present to a panel of guest artistic directors and the audience.

The winner of Genesis: International Choreographic Competition, as determined by a panel of judges, receives $3,000 and is invited back to create another original piece for Milwaukee Ballet for the 2015-16 season. Second place receives $2,000; third place receives $1,000. The audience is also encouraged to cast their own vote, with the winner of the Audience Choice Award receiving $500.

Genesis: International Choreographic Competition runs February 58, 2015 at the Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells Street, Milwaukee. Tickets to the performance range from $34-$103. To order call (414) 902-2103 or visit Genesis: International Choreographic Competition is sponsored by The Cudahy Foundation, Kathleen and Randall Crocker, Maureen and Keith Kolb, Laura and Allen Leverett and Susanna and Justin Mortara.

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