It’s A Guy Thing
One would be hard-pressed to conjure up a name more closely associated with the Milwaukee dance scene than Ed Burgess. Burgess, currently marking his 20th year on the UW-Milwaukee dance faculty, has directed, choreographed or performed with just about every arts group in town, including the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Wild Space Dance Company and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. In addition to his prolific local résumé, his talents keep him traveling to assist with productions throughout the country.
Burgess is currently helming the latest Danceworks offering, A Guy Thing. The show, which Burgess describes as "part reunion and part introduction," will bring together alumni from the renowned UWM dance program with up-and-coming talent. Noting that Milwaukee has never before seen a full-length program of all-male dance projects, Burgess approached Danceworks Performance Company Artistic Director Dani Kuepper with the idea because "we share an appreciation for the 'guy' dance community in Milwaukee. I thought the idea was interesting. The athleticism is cool, but we also might see a different side to the guys in an all-male show as opposed to in a large production with men and women."
A Guy Thing will present works from many different schools. Collaboratively choreographed by Burgess, Joe Fransee, Louis Hurd and Daniel Schuchart, the show will offer duets, group and solo pieces. A combination of ballet and modern dance, the show will be performed mostly by past and current UWM artists, as well as Michael Linsmeier and Marc Petrocci from Milwaukee Ballet, who will present a duet with Chicago musician Mark Minelli. A quartet to music by The Doors and a hip-hop piece choreographed by Hurd are just a few of the surprises awaiting audiences.
Burgess, who says with a laugh that "everyone else [in the show] is much, MUCH younger than I," will also appear on stage in a piece incorporating text and classical music.
A Guy Thing promises to be a memorable, kinetic one-off for Milwaukee's dance fans. Says Burgess, "The spine of the show, and what energizes me about it, is this brotherhood between guys who dance-there's a camaraderie there. They all have this ability to move really well, and they enjoy doing it."
A Guy Thing will be performed at Danceworks Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water St., March 6-8.