Madison Ballet’s Push is a Journey Through History

(Madison, WI – October 16, 2017)—Madison Ballet launches its 2017-2018 season with Push, a mixed program that pays tribute to the roots of ballet, and at the same time propels the art form into the future.

Artistic Director W. Earle Smith is restaging two of his own ballets that premiered 2008 when the Madison Ballet launched its first professional company. Now, with a roster of 17 seasoned dancers—six of them new to the troupe—he’s expanding on the original works with more challenging choreography and an extended pas de deux for veterans Kristen Hammer and Jackson Warring. Smith’s Concerto Veneto will also feature live music from a quintet of musicians from the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, playing Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in C Minor.

By contrast, Smith has included a nod to classical ballet by putting four well-known classical pas de deux on the program, a change of pace for a company that is often trying to break out of the classical mold.

“For me,” Smith says, “repertory evenings typically have been about new works, usually edgy and athletic ones. On this program I’m pushing the repertory concept into new territory. There’ll be four pas de deux that are quintessential classical ballet.”

These four dances include some of ballet’s most dazzling choreography, created to “wow” audiences with high-flying leaps and lightning-fast footwork. A highlight of the program will be the Diana and  Aecteon Pas de Deux, featuring Shannon Quirk as the goddess of the hunt and Shea Johnson, her handsome mortal lover. The ballet has become well-known as a spectacular showpiece for a ballerina and her partner.

Push will close with a new work, Capricious, by frequent guest choreographer General Hambrick. Hambrick’s perfectly blends the classical and contemporary in a ballet that is a series of little shifts from light and playful to dark and moody.


Push Performances

Friday, October 20, 8pm

Saturday, October 21, 2pm

Saturday, October 21, 8pm

The Bartell Theatre

113 E. Mifflin St

Madison, WI 53703


Ticketing is processed through The Overture Center. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Overture Center Box Office at 608.258.4141.

Single Tickets: $25 for children and seniors, $30 for adults, $10 day-of student rush.


The Nutcracker

*The 2017 production features a revised storyline and new roles

Overture Hall, Overture Center

Dec 9-26, 2017

She – Repertory Program

*Highlighting the work of female choreographers

Drury Stage, Bartell Theater

Feb 2-3, 2018


Founded in 1981, Madison Ballet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit performing arts organization based, led by Artistic Director W. Earle Smith. Its mission is to promote appreciation of and access to ballet by providing training and performing opportunities through public performances and educational initiatives.

Now in its 36th year, Madison Ballet is the second-largest dance organization in Wisconsin. Over 12,000 people attend Madison Ballet’s original production of The Nutcracker each year. In addition, Madison Ballet presents a varied repertoire of other performances each season, from intimate mixed-bill programs to elaborate full-length productions. Community outreach programs such as Madison Ballet: Offstage & Personal and Behind the Curtains bring the magic of Madison Ballet to both the young and young-at-heart, providing new perspectives on this timeless art form.

The School of Madison Ballet (SMB) opened in September 2005 and has become one of the most highly respected dance education programs in the Midwest. SMB provides classes and pre-professional training for over 450 students from children to adults. Alumni of the school and studio company have gone on to prestigious companies and schools, such as Sacramento Ballet, Miami City Ballet, School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and Ballet Chicago.


For more information, please contact:

Gretchen Bourg

General Manager

Madison Ballet

160 Westgate Mall, Suite I

Madison, WI 53711


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