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Friday, April 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 49.0° F  A Few Clouds

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Madison Ballet's Repertory II is a rare chance to see George Balanchine's works performed locally

Madison Ballet closes its 2013-14 season with Repertory II, a program at the Bartell Theatre. It has three works, two from artistic director W. Earle Smith and one from iconic choreographer George Balanchine, and features former New York City Ballet principal dancer Charles Askegard. The last two performances are on Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. >More
 UW Dance's Unearth digs into questions of the mind, body and spirit

I am taking a meditation course, and one of my assignments has been to approach things with a "beginner's mind." As a result, I tried something new at Unearth, the latest faculty concert by the UW Dance Department. I didn't peruse the program before the production. I wanted to have fewer preconceived notions about which choreographer's work I was seeing and which dancers would appear in each piece. >More
 Theatre LILA's No Child... examines public education's challenges

Theatre LILA, one of Madison's newest theater troupes, received a hearty Wisconsin welcome for its production of No Child... (through Jan. 11 at Overture Center's Promenade Hall). No Story Left Behind, a free program of short plays from the community, is also being staged at Overture Center on Jan. 11. >More
 Madison Ballet's The Nutcracker fills Overture Hall with magical characters, vibrant costumes, and gorgeous music and dancing

It might have been cold and gray outside, but the Madison Ballet production of The Nutcracker (through Dec. 24) made Overture Hall colorful and inviting on Saturday afternoon. The Madison Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John DeMain, sounded even better than last year. >More
 In Digging, Kate Corby & Dancers explore meditation through movement with UW Dance

UW dance professor Kate Corby presented Digging, an evening of contemporary works at Lathrop Hall's Margaret H'Doubler Performance Space (through Nov. 23). Her Chicago-based company, Kate Corby & Dancers, appeared with students and faculty from the UW Dance Department. >More
 Kanopy Dance's Lisa Thurrell and Robert Cleary channel Martha Graham's genius

"Take risks! You should feel like you can fall on your nose!" These exclamations resonate in Kanopy Dance's State Street studio as director Lisa Thurrell leads a class on Graham technique for high school and middle school dancers. A highly influential "movement vocabulary" that modern dancer Martha Graham started developing in the 1920s, the technique engages both the brain and the body. >More
 UW Dance professor Jin-Wen Yu unveils intriguing video work and tributes to tango in Transit

UW Dance professor Jin-Wen Yu presents an evening of works titled Transit at Lathrop Hall's Maraget H'Doubler Performance Space through Oct. 5. There are six premieres in the program and four pieces that serve as a sort of a scrapbook of movement as Yu shares how traveling in South America has influenced him. >More
 Robots, robberies and relationships go awry in Playwrights Ink's 21st annual showcase Coming of Age

Coming of Age, the 21st anniversary showcase from local writing collective Playwrights Ink, finished its run at the Bartell Theater Saturday night. Seven short plays written by six local playwrights were presented over the course of two acts. A committee chose the presented works from a pool of 30 submissions. >More
 University Theatre's Hound of the Baskervilles is an entertaining romp with a sharp Sherlock Holmes

University Theatre is smart to tap into Sherlock Holmes' resurgence in popularity by presenting Hound of the Baskervilles (through July 28 at UW Vilas Hall), Tim Kell's play based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel. The dynamic between Dr. Watson and the famed detective, whether on the big screen with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law or the small screen with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martine Freeman, or Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, is always appealing. Holmes enthusiasts will enjoy this pair's repartee in this production as well. >More
 American Players Theatre's Dickens in America highlights the author's talent for cultivating empathy

You don't have to be a huge fan of writer Charles Dickens or actor James Ridge to appreciate the talents of both in American Players Theatre's Dickens in America (through Oct. 19). The play opened Saturday in the indoor Touchstone Theatre. >More
 American Players Theatre's The Two Gentlemen of Verona is an early example of Shakespeare's comedic talent

A pre-show downpour at American Players Theatre's outdoor theater in Spring Green didn't delay the opening of The Two Gentlemen of Verona (through Oct. 6). The play, one of Shakespeare's earliest comedies, can be a bit dreary and ponderous, but it has bright spots as well. We see hints of the Bard's hallmark tropes and themes, including a female character disguising herself as a boy and the bizarre foibles of young lovers. >More
 Li Chiao-Ping Dance's Riot of Spring is a startling tribute to Stravinsky's shocking Rite of Spring

Li Chiao-Ping not only chairs the UW Madison Dance Department but has helmed her own company since 1990. The troupe's new production, Riot of Spring, opened last night at Overture Center's Promenade Hall, where it runs through May 5. >More
 UW Dance students present a visual feast in SPRUNG: Emerging Dance Artists

SPRUNG: Emerging Dance Artists, the latest series of student presentations by the UW Dance Department, reinforces that the university is a fertile ground for developing talent and artistry. The first concert was Thursday night at Lathrop Hall's H'Doubler Performance Space, and the show runs through April 27. >More
 Kanopy Dance's Antigone considers the horrors of war in ancient Greece

Kanopy Dance ushers in spring and closes its 2012-13 season with Antigone (through April 7 at Overture Center's Promenade Hall). This production, like the two before it, benefits from the addition of new talent, both choreographers and dancers. Plus, the work itself seems more focused than it has been in the past. >More
 Madison Ballet's Dracula pushes the envelope with daring solos, steampunk costumes and live rock 'n' roll

The Friday night performance of Dracula by Madison Ballet was met with a boisterous standing ovation and multiple curtain calls. The obvious excitement about the ballet, a multimedia affair with a live seven-piece rock band, video projections, flashing lights and provocative costumes was merited, though this original work by artistic director W. Earle Smith sometimes seemed overwrought and overthought. The production continues through this Sunday at Overture Center's Capitol Theater. >More
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