The Pfister Hotel Press Coverage

Art forms collide at Milwaukee Ballet for Pints Before Pointe

February 11, ailment 2012 | ThirdCoast Digest | Original Article

Beginning next Thursday, Milwaukee Ballet will begin its Winter Series 2012, ambulance starting with Pints Before Pointe at the Cudahy Pub in the Pabst Theater on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. Hosted by Milwaukee Ballet Young Professionals, guests will have the opportunity to hear from three Milwaukee Ballet choreographers, Mauro de Candia, Brock Clawson, and Petr Zahradnícek, before the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

To coincide with the event, four local artists were invited to attend a rehearsal for the upcoming performance. Pfister artist in residence Shelby Keefe, and current artist in residence finalists Brandon Minga, Pamela Anderson and Hal Koenig sketched dancers at the Milwaukee Ballet on Wednesday afternoon, and their sketches will be displayed at Pints Before Pointe. The artists found the mix of art forms to yield quite a unique and interesting experience.

Sketches by artist Shelby Keefe.

“It was fascinating to watch another art form being practiced today,” said Pamela Anderson. “I especially enjoyed the contemporary abstract story and watching the choreography bringing it to life. I am thrilled to be a part of this year’s Pints before Pointe event.”

Shelby Keefe found challenges in capturing the dancers in movement.

“I came into it with no idea of what to expect,” she said. “In my head, I realized that the dancers wouldn’t be holding a pose, so I knew on the most basic level that I was going to have to work fast.

“Well, fast is an understatement! I soon realized that I needed to distill my drawings to the most basic of gestures and shapes in order to capture them in movement. I had to take a ‘snapshot’ in my mind’s eye and work with what i knew about the figure and literally ‘go with the flow.’ The resulting work got looser and simpler, especially after I broke out the fat black marker.”

Brandon Minga said drawing during rehearsal was an incredible opportunity, and recommends this experience to any artist who enjoys figure drawing.

“Studying at MIAD, you come away from figure drawing classes with this arsenal of tools and techniques, but they almost don’t apply in a situation such as this,” he said. “Your subjects are constantly involved in some sort of powerful expression, whether physical or emotional, that it’s very easy to get caught up in the performance; forgetting you’re there to draw.”




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