No Studios Presents Inaugural Dance Fest, July 19-20

No Studios Presents Inaugural Dance Fest, July 19-20

NO STUDIOS, a hub for the creative arts in downtown Milwaukee that launched in October 2018, has announced its inaugural NO Studios Dance Fest, taking place July 19-20 at NO Studios and the Sherman Phoenix community event space. Dancers from the acclaimed NYC-based Ailey II - the Second Company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - will perform two pieces during the event, with additional performances from an eclectic mix of Milwaukee's top dance troupes.

Each representing a unique form of self-expression and performing together for the first time, local dance groups include Danceworks Performance MKE, Ton Ko-Thi Children's Performing Ensemble, The Milwaukee Irish Dance Company, Signature Dance Company, Water Street Dance Milwaukee , and WoLF Studios.

"There may not be a more complex or captivating form of self-expression than dance," said No Studios co-founder John Ridley. "With NO Studios Dance Fest, we want to celebrate dance as an art form and showcase our rich community of Milwaukee-area dancers, all while bringing an incredible performance experience to a community and neighborhood that we feel is representative of the best that Milwaukee has to offer."

The event will kick off on Friday, July 19 with a 6:30PM reception at NO Studios (1037 W. McKinley Avenue in the Pabst Brewery Complex). This event is free and open to the public and will provide an opportunity to meet dancers who will be performing on Saturday, including those from Ailey II.

Performances will take place beginning at 6:00PM on Saturday, July 20 at Sherman Phoenix (3536 W. Fond du Lac Avenue). Tickets are $5-$25 and can be purchased at SOLD OUT.

Ailey II, founded in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers. The pair of ballets that will be performed by the company include Ebb and Flow, a duet choreographed by the company's artistic director, Troy Powell, set to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, and an excerpt from Darrell Grand Moultrie's high energy Road To One.

Local Milwaukee-area dance groups participating in NO Studios Dance Fest include:

  • Danceworks Performance MKE: Danceworks Performance MKE is an ensemble of professional artists with dynamically different movement training and experiences. The group, led by Artistic Director, Dani Kuepper, maintains a commitment to celebrating the vitality and diversity of the Milwaukee arts community, creating works of physical virtuosity and ingenuity, gathered on fertile, common ground.
  • Ton Ko-Thi Children's Performing Ensemble: Ton Ko-Thi Children's Performing Ensemble is the vanguard of Ko-Thi Dance Company's educational outreach program boasting an impressive resume that includes performing for Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Summerfest with alumna Naima Adedapo, Ravinia, as well as mounting its own full length concerts. Celebrating fifty years in 2019, Ko-Thi Dance Company is comprised of artists trained in the histories, mythologies, and techniques of performance art within the African Diaspora using a myriad of traditional instruments, authentic costumes, infectious music, and extraordinary dance to educate and bridge the gap amongst various cultures.
  • The Milwaukee Irish Dance Company: The Milwaukee Irish Dance Company is the next chapter for adult dancers in the area, striving to create fusion choreography and push the boundaries of traditional Irish dance while creating an inclusive and fun atmosphere.
  • Signature Dance Company: Signature Dance Company is a performance company for women and girls that, through technique and ministry, creates life changing environments for both audience members and dancers.
  • Water Street Dance Milwaukee: Water Street Dance Milwaukee is Milwaukee's premier repertory dance company, founded by Morgan Williams.
  • WoLF Studios: WoLF Studios presents fresh interpretations of traditional movement with a focus on inter-genre collaboration and artistic expansion.

Sherman Phoenix, the site of the performances, represents a model for healing the city of Milwaukee by generating positive economic and social returns in communities of color. The Sherman Phoenix provides high-quality space for small businesses-of-color, offering diverse foods, wellness services and cultural activities.

Founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker and Milwaukee native John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime) and business partner Chris Abele, NO Studios is a first-of-its-kind experimental concept bridging arts and entertainment experiences, a networking/social club model and shared workspaces. Tailored for the business community and professionals in creative fields, membership benefits include access to private event and performance spaces, meeting and conference rooms, and unique opportunities for networking. NO Studios provides a way for companies to tap into the arts community by offering an engaging space that inspires creative ideas and expands possibilities.

For a complete schedule of activities, NO Studios membership details and additional information, visit

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