Water Street Dance Milwaukee prepares for return to Overture

Water Street Dancer

“Establishing a home base is exciting and promising for the future.”

In Overture Center’s 2019 Rising Stars talent search, Water Street Dance Milwaukee amazed audiences with their artistic and athletic dance moves, claiming the grand prize and a chance to perform during Overture’s next season. The contemporary repertory dance company, led by founder and artistic director Morgan Williams, returns to Madison on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2019, Water Street Dance Milwaukee is made up of individual artists whose voices come together to manifest the diversity and visceral quality ever present in the company’s repertory.

Member Alex Seager says that while the past year has “seemed crazy at times,” it has been filled with opportunities. The company has continued classes and dance performances around Milwaukee and opened a new studio in Cedarburg, Wis.

“Establishing a home base is exciting and promising for the future,” said Seager. “We are getting ready for summer pop-up shows, site-specific performances at Milwaukee’s Lakeshore State Park and our fall appearance at Overture.”

Water Street Dance has 7-15 members, depending on availability and dance pieces. Morgan Williams is the primary choreographer, but the company enjoys collaborating with guest choreographers as well, including Kameron Saunders from St. Louis and Hanna Elisabeth Brictson from Chicago.

Popular pieces in their repertoire include “Femme,” choreographed by Kameron Saunders, “Siren,” choreographed by Luis Vazquez, and “Secrets Within” and “Bon Iver Suites,” choreographed by Morgan Williams. Earlier this year, Water Street Dance released a virtual performance called “Reveal,” which includes four new works performed in an immersive, socially distanced experience to reveal their new studio.

“Some of my favorite go-to pieces are ‘Wash,’ performed for Rising Stars, and ‘(We)ight,’” said Seager. “We’re currently working on a fun piece called ‘Bach(ish)’ with quirky instrumentals set to opera music. I love the process of creating these new works.”

Seager says the company is constantly trying to grow and explore new ideas. Its approach, combining artistry and athleticism into concert and modern dance, pushes dancers physically and mentally. The repertoire is set by the choreographer’s aesthetic yet is open to interpretation and celebrates individuality.

Soon the company will start preparations for the Water Street Dance Festival, a weeklong event for aspiring professional dancers, August 1-6. The festival is an opportunity to make professional connections, take classes, audition for companies or projects, see performances and experience contemporary dance.

Water Street Dance will also be presenting “Water on Water” as part of its August performance series.

“In this piece, the performers are choreographers for each other,” explained Seager. “It’s a fun opportunity to work on duets and trios, and the company members get to share their talents and show what they can do.”

Seager hopes to see a full audience when Water Street Dance visits Overture Center in October.

“Participating in the performing arts is important to our culture and our humanity. It’s a good thing to do for yourself,” she says. “Plus, you’ll see fabulous dancing! Our performance is a celebration of movement, athleticism and art.”

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