By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Feb 04, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Ballet fans in Milwaukee will have a rare opportunity to take a look at the future of the art form this week as the Milwaukee Ballet stages it’s Genesis competition at The Pabst Theater, which opens Thursday night.

Every other year, under the adventurous arms of Artistic Director Michael Pink, three young choreographers have an unusual chance to showcase their talents and visions.

The competition challenges the choreographers to create a dynamic, innovative world premier in only three weeks. It’s an opportunity for the choreographers and a treat for Milwaukee ballet fans

"Gensisis a shining example of this company’s longstanding commitment to producing new and imaginative works right here in Milwaukee 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 way it works is that 23 submissions from around the world were examined by Pink and his artistic cohorts. He then chose the three finalists.

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.

As soon as they arrived in Milwaukee, each finalist selects the names of Milwaukee Ballet’s dancers out of a hat to determine their cast of eight performers.

The choreographers then had 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, 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 Feb. 5-8 at The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells Street, Milwaukee. Tickets to the performance range from $34 to $103. To order call (414) 902-2103 or visit

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.