Friday Five: Classical Concerts and Modern Dance

Leading the way for this week’s performing arts events are UWM Winterdances, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Prometheus Trio, Danceworks and more.

#5: “Carnival of the Animals” with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the Marcus Center

Why? Because kids need a regular dose of Saint-Saens and Mussorgsky, even if it’s just to get them away from Yu-Gi-Oh! for a while. Here, the music is all about the animal kingdom, from “The Flight of the Bumblebee” to the Carnival of the Animals. Milwaukee County Zoo Director Charles Wikenhauser will be on hand to guide everyone through the menagerie. And the excellent baritone Nathan Wesselowski is the featured soloist and narrator. Yaniv Dinur conducts.

Carlos Adames
Carlos Adames.

#4: Real Time at Danceworks Studio Theatre

Why? Because Daniel and Andrea Burkholder’s monthly concerts are created to be friendly, drop-in sort of dance events. This month, there’s a Latin flavor in the air, with guest artists Panama-born dancer-choreographer Karlies Kelley and her Panadanza Dance Company, and percussionist Carlos Adames. As always, the events are “Pay-What-You-Will,” and there are plenty of chances to talk with the artists before and after the performance.

The Prometheus Trio
The Prometheus Trio.

#3: The Prometheus Trio at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

Why? Three trios—three centuries. A wonderfully varied slate of music is on tap from one of the longstanding chamber groups in the city. The uncharacteristicly serious Haydn Trio in D Major (Hob XV:24). Robert Schumann’s final trio, in G minor. And Charles Ives playfully raucous Piano Trio, which contains a movement titled “TSIAJ” (This Scherzo Is a Joke), and funny it is, with wild musical juxtapositions and polytonality and “samples” from folk songs and school songs from the composer’s years at Yale.

Jennifer Koh
Jennifer Koh.

#2: Jennifer Koh and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the Marcus Center

Why? Because The Strad magazine called her “a scorching talent,” and violinist Jennifer Koh usually lives up to her adjectives. She’ll have ample opportunity here, playing the sometimes explosive Second Violin Concerto by Bela Bartok. Offering a rapturous contrast, Edo de Waart conducts Rachmaninoff’s dramatic and lush Second Symphony. And the program opens with the lyrical Within Her Arms, a 2009 composition by British composer Anna Clyne.

Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker-Bronson
Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker-Bronson.

#1: UWM Winterdances at the Mainstage Theatre

Why? Because it’s time to pay tribute to one of the longstanding forces in the Milwaukee dance community, Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker-Bronson, founder and director of Ko-Thi Dance Company, who is retiring from UWM’s Peck School of the Arts. Appropriately, this concert features work celebrating the African Diaspora, including new dances by Muntu Dance Theatre’s Amaniyea Payne, former Trisha Brown Dance Company member Melinda Jean Myers, and, of course, Peck School faculty members Maria Gillespie, Dani Kuepper, & Debra Loewen.



Paul Kosidowski is a freelance writer and critic who contributes regularly to Milwaukee Magazine, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and national arts magazines. He writes weekly reviews and previews for the Culture Club column. He was literary director of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater from 1999-2006. In 2007, he was a fellow with the NEA Theater and Musical Theater Criticism Institute at the University of Southern California. His writing has also appeared in American Theatre magazine, Backstage, The Boston Globe, Theatre Topics, and Isthmus (Madison, Wis.). He has taught theater history, arts criticism and magazine writing at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.