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Dance Wisconsin

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Jo Jean Retrum is Artistic Director of Dance Wisconsin Company. She received her early training from her mother, Jean Adams, Virginia Lee Mackesey, and Tibor Zana. She later studied intensively with Stone-Camryn in Chicago and with Lupe Serrano and Jury Gottschalk in Milwauke.

Retrum holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has danced with the Milwaukee Ballet Company, Wisconsin Ballet, and the Chicago Ballet. Retrum performed with the Melody Top Theater for ten seasons in a variety of leading roles. She is currently the director of the Monona Academy of Dance.

In addition to her many choreographic accomplishments, she is especially proud of the many dancers she has taught, who have been inspired to become professional dancers, including Eithan Stife-Principal with ABT. She can be seen in th new documentary PBS special "Wild Men of ABT", where Ethan returns to the studio where it all began. She is also proud of the "Dance in the School" program she developed with area schools in which dance is taught to third, fourth, and fifth graders.

Retrum is the Membership Chair of the Regional Dance America Mid-States Region Board of Directors, and the Regional Director for National Dance Week.

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Dance Wisconsin is a semi-professional regional dance company consisting of 25 dancers ages 13 to adult. The company performs in all of the productions while being supplemented by dancers from the Monona Academy of Dance. Dance Wisconsin's repertoire includes: Winter Fantasy (Drosselmeyer's Toyshop), Peter Rabbit's Ballet, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the animals, and New Works Concert. Dancers have been fortunate enough to work with careographers as Frank Chaves, Harrison McEldowney, Charles Maple, Liz Imperio, Jin Wen-Yu and Andre Tyson.

The company also works in the community through schools, and performances in local malls, bookstores, and special events in the area. Dance Wisconsin will be celebrating its 27th anniversary.

Copyright 2004, Alexandra Ballet