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Why Dance in Milwaukee?

Kelly Anderson is a Milwaukee based dancer and choreographer

Around the country, major metropolitan dance centers have been faced with an ever-growing performing crisis.  Notable companies nationwide continue to lose their rehearsal spaces and financial instability has forced many performers and choreographers to compromise their vision.  Through this panic, and in our favor, a grass-roots movement has arrived.  Milwaukee has just planted its seed.

So, why dance in Milwaukee?  It is a very exciting time for our contemporary dance community.  Not only are established companies like Deb Loewen’s Wildspace and Danceworks Performance Company producing new and interesting dancers, but dynamic independent choreographers and companies are constantly emerging.  Elizabeth Johnson’s new company, Your Mother Dances, brings in guest choreographers from out of town in addition to showcasing new local talent.  Dance artists have begun touring their work such as dance duo Monica Rodero, and Dan Schuchart and many Milwaukee choreographers have been commissioned to set work on companies in other cities.

A Black Lace Bra Kind of Woman from The Bra Project              
photo by Mark Frohna

Much of this growing success can be attributed to the gaining popularity of the
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee graduate program.  This Master of Fine Arts program has attracted several renowned choreographers and performers from all over the country including Gerald Casel, Alexadra Beller, Keely Garfield, and Barbara Mahler. Their presence in our community has not only affected the evolution of Milwaukee’s contemporary dance scene, but it has also raised our city to a level of recognition nation-wide.

As dance artists, it is our mission to continue the growth of our young grass-roots community.  With support from our public and fellow artists, Milwaukee will continue to evolve and will have an explosive impact on the progress of our art form.

(performing arts archive)