Madison Ballet was founded in 1981 as the Wisconsin Dance Ensemble. The name was changed to Madison Ballet in 1999, when the company decided to broaden its focus; to that point, the WDE’s primary purpose was an annual presentation of The Nutcracker. Today, Madison Ballet, under the artistic directorship of W. Earle Smith, is dedicated to exposing ballet to the community by staging excellent performances, providing professional training, and delivering outreach programs to local youth. Smith, a former dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Texas Ballet Theater, keeps audiences excited with his imaginative choreography, a dedicated company of dancers, and the inclusion of nationally known guest artists.
Madison Ballet is committed to developing audiences and does so through its collaborations with other performing arts organizations such as the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Orchestra. MB’s quality productions provide the community with exceptional access to ballet with both original work and the tried and true, such as its still-yearly presentation of The Nutcracker.
- Michele Kadison
- Other Venues: Wisconsin Union Theater, 800 Langdon Street
- Public Transportation: Excellent for both venues. Overture Center for the Arts (steps from buses 11, 27 and 28 at State Street/Johnson Street; and within a 3-minute walk from bus 81 at Henry Street/Gorham Street and buses 38 and 82 at Broom Street/Johnson Street). Wisconsin Union Theater (buses 80, 81, 82 and 85 run directly in front of the theater on Langdon Street, and buses 11, 27, 28 and 38 are a 4-minute walk from University Avenue/Park Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good at both venues
- Performances/Programs: 10–15 performances per season
- Ticket Prices: Range from $6–$59 with prices varying by performance, venue and seat selection. Children and student discounts are usually available. Groups of 15 or more receive a 20% discount
- Membership: Prices range from $75–$192, depending on the package you choose. Benefits include advance ordering privileges for all performances; top priority seating; flexible ticket exchanges; missed performance insurance; free replacement for lost tickets; exclusive Studio Showcase Previews; and discounts on additional tickets.