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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Theatre Gigante Pays Tribute With 'Isadora and Nijinsky'

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Acclaimed Milwaukee artist Schomer Lichtner was working on a set design for Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson when he passed away in 2006. The artist, known for his whimsical paintings of Holsteins and ballerinas, had worked on several pieces for Kralj and Anderson's Milwaukee Dance Theatre (which later became Theatre Gigante). This week, Kralj and Anderson's Theatre Gigante pays homage to Lichtner in a performance that also is dedicated to two of the most influential dance artists of the 20th century. At its heart, Isadora and Nijinsky is a tribute to the work of Isadora Duncan and Vaslav Nijinsky.

Acclaimed dance artist Vaslav Nijinsky, who has been the subject of numerous plays, was a contemporary of legendary choreographer Isadora Duncan, who many consider to be the creator of modern dance. Theatre Gigante celebrates the lives of the two dance legends in dialogue, visual art, music and movement. Kralj and Anderson, who take an exhilarating, experimental approach to their work, are joined by co-writer Ed Burgess. Videographer Iain Court brings to the stage a landscape culled from Lichtner's works.

Theatre Gigante is known for creating elegant moods in intimate studio theater environments, like at the former Off-Broadway Theatre. Isadora and Nijinsky marks Gigante's second production to be staged in the slightly more rugged confines of UW-Milwaukee's Studio 508.

Theatre Gigante's Isadora and Nijinsky runs May 5-8 at Studio 508 in UWM's Kenilworth Square East, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place. To reserve tickets, call 414-229-4308.

Theater Happenings

  • UWM Theatre closes its Mainstage season with a production of the classic British musical No, No, Nanette. The 1925 hit that debuted such songs as “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy” runs May 4-8 at UWM's Mainstage Theatre. To reserve tickets, call 414-229-4308.
  • Robb Smith directs Shakespeare's wild comedy Twelfth Night at Waukesha Civic Theatre. One of Shakespeare's best love triangles hits the stage in downtown Waukesha May 6-22. To reserve tickets, call 262-547-0708.