The Milwaukee arts community is reeling from the news that Ed Burgess, the chair of the UWM Peck School of the Arts Dance Department, suddenly died overnight. He was 58.
Burgess was a great and popular collaborator, directing in the Milwaukee Rep's Stackner Cabaret and choreographing movement for the company's main stage ("Tartuffe" and "Armadale") and "A Christmas Carol" as well as working with the Skylight Opera Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Danceworks and Wild Space Dance Company. He joined the UWM dance faculty in 1989 and became department chair three years later.
Dance at UWM thrived under his leadership. He created original contemporary dance pieces that his students performed, and he attracted influential figures in dance to the East Side campus to contribute as guest artists.
Beyond that, Burgess was an affable, approachable and engaging fellow who moved with the grace of a dancer through the local arts community. The school has established a Web site to keep the public informed on funeral arrangements.
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