Madison Ballet Presents a “Nutcracker,” Sweet and Savory by William Smith

BY Greg Hettmansberger, Madison Magazine


In a run that began on December 13 (and continues through December 27), Madison Ballet has been touting a bigger and better version of a production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to celebrate ten years of this version, and ten years in Overture Hall. Not having seen any previous versions, I can’t say for sure to what degree their claims are true—but having seen it Sunday afternoon, I can attest that it is a version that would warm and brighten any holiday season.

Madison Ballet's 2014 Nutcracker Flaunts Beautiful Ballerinas by William Smith

By Susan Kepecs, CulturalOyster

Madison Ballet’s 2014 Nutcracker, at Overture Hall through December 27 (I attended Saturday night, Dec. 13, and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 14) was a bit like that Victorian rhyme about bridal good luck charms – something old, new, borrowed, and blue.  By superstition that should be enough to ward off bad juju, and for the most part this production came through beautifully.  Just a few small demons slipped through the cracks.

Solo performers dazzle as Madison Ballet stages its tenth Nutcracker at Overture Center by William Smith

Katie Reiser, Isthmus


Madison Ballet is marking a decade of residence at Overture Center with its 2014 production of The Nutcracker, and Saturday evening's performance revealed some changes in both choreography and costumes. Unchanged are the lavish sets, solid dancing and excellent accompaniment by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Sewell.

Overture Center turns 10: How the arts venue is transforming downtown Madison by William Smith

by Gwen Rice / Isthmus


Madison philanthropist Jerry Frautschi changed the architectural landscape of the isthmus when he donated $205 million to create Overture Center for the Arts. Since opening in 2004, the arts venue has also influenced the downtown business climate, enhanced artistic and educational resources for the community, and sparked animated political, financial and social discussions. The journey from then to now has been both rocky and joyful, and the center is poised to shape downtown's future culturally and economically in its next 10 years.

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Overture's greatest hits by William Smith

by Gwen Rice / Isthmus


Just as there have been thousands of performances at Overture Center in its first decade, patrons and performers have experienced thousands of memorable moments at the venue.

For me, one memorable moment was the grand opening of the building in September 2004. I attended the open house with my son, who was 2 at the time. We were amazed by the architecture, the array of free performances and the artistic possibilities inherent in the structure.

Repertory II Dazzles and Delights by William Smith

by Susan Kepecs / Cultural Oyster


I was dazzled by Madison Ballet’s Repertory II concert at the Bartell last weekend (March 21-22).  I attended the Saturday matinee.  What a thrill, after this bitter winter (and too many dull, formulaic performances by other companies) to see dance that was magical and uplifting.  The Repertory II program delivered three substantive short ballets that set the company’s strong, polished dancers free, within the neoclassical canon and the parameters of the choreography, to let loose and dance for joy.

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

by Katie Reiser / Isthmus

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.

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