Meet Michael Pink: Dracula Choreographer and Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director

PBT’s Pittsburgh premiere of Michael Pink’s world-renowned Dracula, will open on Friday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Benedum Center. There are only 4 performances – Feb. 10 through 12 – of this internationally famous and wildly popular dance drama. Tickets can be purchased here

Pink’s vision of Dracula is truly unlike any other ballet as it combines intense drama, exquisite storytelling, theatrical choreography and seductive sensuality into an enticing and riveting performance. Pink, artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet and choreographer of Dracula, shares some insights into the production.   



Q: When did you first create/choreograph this Dracula ballet?         

Originally I created it for Northern Ballet in the UK in 1996 to coincide with the centenary publication of Bram Stoker’s novel. 

Q: What inspired you to create this version of Dracula?    

The novel was the source of inspiration.  The creative team: Myself and Christopher Gable, Designer Lez Brotherston and composer Philip Feeney all wanted to stay as true to the book as possible.

Q: How is it different from other versions?  

The original score, Gothic setting and theatricality separate it from all other dance versions. The attention to detail and storytelling make it compelling from the first moment to the last.

Q: Why do you think the character of Dracula has such universal appeal?   

Dracula has become more of a romantic figure than Bram Stoker created. He has sex-appeal despite his disregard for human life.

Q: How do audiences react to it?  

Audiences react with great enthusiasm.  Dracula is a bit of a Rock Star!

Q: If you were a character in Dracula, who would you be and why?  

I guess it would be big D himself. In creating the production, I felt an instant affinity with the character.  His stillness and effortless movement are powerful, perfect for dance.

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About Michael Pink

Michael Pink is the longest serving artistic director in Milwaukee Ballet history. Since joining the Company in December of 2002, he 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.

His artistic vision for Milwaukee Ballet continues to be exciting and challenging. His long-awaited production of Peter Pan signified a major landmark in the Company’s history and was broadcast nationally by PBS in spring of 2014. His production of Romeo & Juliet has also been broadcast by MPBS. In 2008, the Wisconsin Dance Council presented Pink with the Choreography/Performance Award. In 2014, the Milwaukee Press Club honored him with the Headliner Award for service to the arts. He received the Civic Music Association’s award for Distinguished Citizen – Professional in the Arts in 2015. In 2019 he received  the Educational Excellence Award from the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, which recognizes organizational achievement of a nonprofit that exemplifies collaboration in the arts.

Pink is an international choreographer whose theatrical productions of Dracula, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, La Bohème, Don Quixote, Mirror Mirror, Dorian Gray and Beauty and the Beast have been hailed as ‘Classical Ballet for the 21st Century.’ His first professional work, 1914, was nominated for a West End Theatre Award, London.

His early choreographic work won him first place in the Frederick Ashton and the Royal Society of Arts Choreographic Competitions. He has worked as répétiteur for Rudolf Nureyev at the Paris Opera and La Scala Milan. He trained as a classical dancer at The Royal Ballet School and danced with English National Ballet 1975 to 1985.

Pink was the founding director of Ballet Central in London; he also served as associate artistic director of Northern Ballet.

He continues to build strong working relationships with other Milwaukee Arts groups, where his credits include A Christmas Carol, Assassins, Cabaret and Next to Normal for Milwaukee Repertory Theater, as well as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matilda for First Stage.

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has been Pittsburgh’s premier professional ballet company since 1969. Today, PBT is a nationally recognized ballet company of 30 professional dancers, a training institution for over 1,200 students of all ages, and an incubator for education and accessibility programs in classrooms, libraries and community centers throughout the region. The company performs a wide-ranging repertoire of classical ballets, contemporary masterworks and new commissions in more than 50 performances annually at home and on tour.