Michael Pink is an internationally acclaimed Choreographer and Artistic Director.

Michael began his tenure as Artistic Director of Milwaukee Ballet Company in December of 2002. Since that time he has established himself as a prominent member of the Milwaukee arts community, demonstrating his commitment to the future of dance through new work, education and collaboration. He is perhaps best known for his creation of full-length narrative dance works Dracula, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle 1943, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet , Peter Pan, La Bohème, Mirror Mirror, Dorian Gray and Beauty and the Beast. His love of the theatre and music is evident in all his work, he believes in exploring the theatrical values of his work through all elements of the production. His work has a wide audience appeal and helps foster a greater understanding and appreciation of dance.

Michael seeks to expand his knowledge and contribution to dance through challenging collaborations and the nurturing of young talent. This commitment was demonstrated in his collaborations with Mark Clements, Artistic Director of  Milwaukee Repertory Theater  for the productions of Cabaret, Next to Normal, Assassins and Christmas Carol. His artistic vision for Milwaukee Ballet is both exciting and challenging. His long awaited production of Peter Pan signified a major landmark in the Company’s history and the opportunity to work with composer and friend Philip Feeney after a decade since their last collaboration. Six sold out performances to 12,500 people was the most successful production in the company’s 40-year history. So successful that it returned in 2012 and was filmed by MPTV. PBS screen the production nationally in late 2013.

Feeney and Pink’s recent production of Beauty and the Beast [2018] surpassed the success of Peter Pan.

Michael was born in the city of York, England, he has no recollection of wanting to do anything other than be involved in the theatre, he performed on the professional stage from a very young age in Musicals, Pantomimes and the plays of Shakespeare. His earliest passion was for acting and singing. He was head chorister in his church choir.

He began dance lessons aged 8, the only boy in a school of many girls. At the request of Ursula Moreton he auditioned for the Royal Ballet School and was accepted on a scholarship, the first boy to be accepted from the city of York.

Michael spent the next six years training in London, he would go on to live and work in the capital for the next 25 years. As a student he performed in several productions at the Royal Opera House. Whist at White Lodge the junior school of the Royal Ballet he established a drama group that created and performed their own work to the other students and staff. He also performed one of the lead parts in the school musical ‘Ticket of Leave’. 

His talent for choreography was first noted and encouraged by Dame Ninette de Valois and Sir Frederick Ashton. His early choreographic work won him first place in the inaugural Ursula Moreton Choreographic Competition He was invited by Sir Frederick Ashton to assist in choreographing the Anacat Fashion Show for HRH Princess Margaret. He left the Royal Ballet School in 1975 after being invited to attend the first Gulbenkian Choreographic Summer Program as one of eight choreographers and composers, lead by Glen Tetley, Mary Hicks and Dame Peggy van Praggh.

In the same year he joined London Festival Ballet [now English National Ballet] During his ten years with the Company he worked with many notable choreographers such as Massine, Nureyev, Tetley, Bruce, Hynd, Tudor, Ashton and Beriosova and had the distinct pleasure of partnering such fine ballerinas as Patricia Ruanne, Eva Evdokimova, ElizabettaTerabust, Lynn Seymour and most noticeably Natalia Makarova.

He worked closely with Rudolf Nureyev as a dancer, performing at the New York Met in Romeo and Juliet and as repetature for the same production at the Paris Opera and La Scala Milan. At the request of Nureyev Michael was to have played opposite him in the movie ‘The Final Dance’ with the choreography of Hans van Manan, sadly the movie was not to be.

He was the recipient of a Royal Society of Arts Choreographic award, which he used for travel to the U.S. and study with The Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

Whilst with London Festival Ballet, he choreographed 1914, which was nominated for a West End Theatre Award, also IBERTISSMENT for the first national tour of L.F.B.2 for which he was also nominated as candidate for Director and the PAS DE SIX, in Swan Lake. He was commissioned by the Arts Council of Great Britain and Northern Ballet in 1982 to create ATTRACTIONS in collaborated with composer Michael Berkley. Michael was also invited to create SUMMER DAYS for Nederlands Dance Theatre 2.

He retired as a classical dancer after several years of struggling with the irrational of the classical dance world and its reliance on subservience over rational. This lack of depth and understanding would become the reason for Michael to stay in the world of dance and his commitment to encouraging and supporting all artists who desire a greater and more fulfilling emotional reality in their work.

During his time with London Festival Ballet he had met and worked with Christopher Gable, former Principle of the Royal Ballet and later member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Christopher shared the same feelings about the world of dance as Michael, for the next thirteen years they would work together. Together they formed Ballet Central, the performing group of Central School of Ballet, in London. Michael established the group as a National Touring Company, securing sponsorship from British Gas. His collaboration with composer Philip Feeney produced many original works for Ballet Central as well as MEMOIRE IMAGINARE, for Northern Ballet, which was later adapted for use by H.T.V International as the centrepiece of a film drama.

Christopher invited Michael to join him as Associate Artistic Director of Northern Ballet Theatre in 1988 after choreographing his first full-length production for the company, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF DON QUIXOTE. In the same year Michael re-staged DANSE CLASSIQUE for the company, an abstract classical work for piano and orchestra, by Philip Feeney.

In 1989 he created an all male contemporary work based on Wilfred Owens poem, STRANGE MEETING. In collaboration with Christopher they choreographed SWAN LAKE and a revised version of DON QUIXOTE.

In 1996 they created DRACULA, a three-act dance drama that went on to be a highly successful production highlighting their believe that narrative dance can be as complex as spoken theatre. The North American premiere in Atlanta tragically coincided with Christopher’s untimely death in 1998.

Dracula has won critical acclaim in England, North America, New Zealand, Australia and Norway.

The 1999 season of Dracula at the New Sadlers Wells Theatre in London broke all previous theatre box office records. Atlanta Ballet and Colorado Ballet have presented the work numerous times, it is referred to as ‘The Rocky Horror of the ballet’. The production has been twice to New Zealand. Milwaukee Ballet’s staging in their 2012 season has once again broken box office records.

Michael and Christopher conceived a new version of GISELLE set in 1940, a mixture of classical and contemporary dance set against a hard-hitting background of war torn Europe.  The Norwegian National Ballet performed this production as part of a retrospective on Giselle in 1999; Michael staged a traditional production, which was performed on alternate evenings to the 1940 production.

In 1998 he Directed and Choreographed, The HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME for Northern Ballet Theatre. This production was re-staged in Atlanta in 1999, Boston Ballet in 2001, Colorado Ballet 2005 and for The Royal New Zealand Ballet, as part of the International New Zealand Arts Festival in 2002 and Milwaukee Ballet in 2004. Michael revised the production for the 2010 season in Milwaukee renaming the work ESMERALDA.

Michael was commissioned by the Atlanta ballet to create a new production of ROMEO AND JULIET in October 2000. Milwaukee ballet presented the same work in 2003 and 2007; it was filmed in high definition for Milwaukee Public Television and is available on DVD.

During his tenure as Artistic Director for the Milwaukee Ballet Michael has created new productions of THE NUTCRACKER, SWAN LAKE, DON QUIXOTE, SLEEPING BEAUTY, COPPÉLIA, CINDERELLA, PETER PAN, LA BOHÈME, MIRROR MIRROR, DORIAN GRAY and BEAUTY and the BEAST, as well as several one act works. His work and leadership of the Milwaukee Ballet School and second company has built a recognized training program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.

Michael has established himself as an International Teacher with, amongst other companies the Norwegian National Ballet, Aterballetto, Balleto di Toscanna Italy, The Hartford Ballet U.S.A.  Rozas Dance Company, London Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Rambert, The White Oaks Dance Project, English National Ballet, Phoenix Dance Company and London City Ballet.

His other credits include:

Choreography for ‘The Englishman Amused’, York Theatre Royal.   ‘Chekov in Yalta’, Thames Television. ‘The Music Arcade’, BBC Television. ‘The Little Match Girl’ commissioned by Alan Bates. 

Dancer in the Herbert Ross movie of ‘Nijinsky’.

Performed the role of Bernardo in ‘West Side Story’ at the Mercury Theatre Colchester.

Conceived and choreographed the collaboration of First Stage Children’s Theatre, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Ballet Academy in a production of ‘Peter and the Wolf‘   Choreography for ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ in 2017 and currently working on ‘Matlida’ for 2019.