"Genesis," the Milwaukee Ballet’s contemporary piece, took the stage this past weekend at The Pabst Theater, just a short jump from the company’s home at the Marcus Center. Thanks to day-of-show tickets, we were able to get our tickets 50 percent off with a student ID (Attention all college students: It’s a great deal!)
Being presented in The Pabst made for a very unique viewing experience, especially since we were on the third level. Considering the building is shallow and tall, we had more of a birds eye view for watching the performance. Nevertheless, it was a breathtaking show in a stunning venue.
The show consisted of three different pieces created by three different choreographers: "ExiliO," "Beyond the Break" and "Spur."
"ExiliO" took the audience along the road of those who experienced the Spanish Civil War, representing the exhaustion and grief that came with leaving one’s homeland. "Beyond the Break" drew inspiration from a quote that discussed how we were all one rock before we broke into a million different pieces, while "Spur" played on the human condition, where we came from and where we are going.
Part of what made this show so unique was its competition style. There was a panel of judges that watched all three pieces and then voted on which choreographer would win a commission. In addition to the judges' expertise, the audience could also cast their vote for their favorite.
This year, "ExiliO" won first place from the judges in an unanimous decision, while "Beyond the Break" got the Audience Choice Award.
Each of the pieces showed its own style and tone, whether it be earthy grit from "Spur," fluid and airy in "Beyond the Break," or raw and heartbreaking from "ExiliO." Perhaps the best part of contemporary ballet is the way audiences can connect to a piece in a new way and find something that they have not found before. Furthermore, it allows new choreographers to share their voices.
Milwaukee Ballet’s "Genesis" brings audiences new discovery every year – and we cannot wait to see what else is in store for its season.