BALLET WORKSHOP with Maia Wilkins & Michael Levine August 16-18, 2012
Maia Wilkins is honored to continue the legacy of Gerald Arpino legacy as a repetiteur for his works and the Gerald Arpino Foundation. As a freelance artist, she enjoys performing and teaching throughout the country. Wilkins has staged works for Point Park University Pittsburgh PA and Southern Methodist University Dallas TX. She has taught and helped with dance workshops and performances at University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Nevada Festival Ballet in Reno, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Center and throughout the greater Chicago area. She loves dancing both on stage and off with her husband and fellow artist Michael Levine.
The Joffrey Ballet 1991-2008
In a company that has long avoided the star system, Wilkins has long been an unofficial prima ballerina- an artist whose technique is paired with exceptional gifts for dramatic expression. - Dance Magazine
From Balanchine pointe to Pilobolus bare feet; from favorite ballerina fairies to flying on a trapeze, Wilkins danced featured roles that showcased her artistic range and physical versatility. Wilkins has gotten to work with numerous repetiteurs and choreographers including pieces by Tudor, Cranko, Parsons, Tharp, Kylian, Graham, Ashton, and Nijinsky. Maia Wilkins has performed more Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino ballets than any other ballerina. Arpino created his 2004 duet, Ruth, Ricordi per Due, for Wilkins and her frequent partner Willy Shives.
It is that passionate attention to building a role that makes Wilkins such a fascinating performer-a dancer whose pristine technique is only the handmaiden to the challenge of interpreting a role and making it her own. - Dance Magazine
Wilkins has worked with the Joffrey for many years and has been instrumental in helping establish it as a Chicago cultural institution of the top rank. - Chicago Tribune
Maia Wilkins received the Ruth Page Dance Achievement Award in 1999 for her outstanding interpretation in a variety of roles each endowed with her special sensitivity and impeccable style; and in 2001 for the role of Kate in Crankos The Taming of the Shrew. She has been one of Dance Magazines 25 to Watch. In 2002 the Chicago Tribune named her one of the top ten artists in Chicago. In 2006, along with Gerald Arpino, Wilkins was named one of the Chicagoans of the year for important contribution to the arts in Chicago. Wilkins can be seen in the feature films Save the Last Dance and Robert Altmans The Company.
Maia Wilkins was born and raised in Truckee, California, began her dance training in tap, and then the opportunity to study ballet came when she was eleven. Wilkins received her formative training under Maggie Banks at the Nevada Festival Ballet School. She has also studied with Stanley Holden, the School of American Ballet, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Luigi, and Tina Bernal. Wilkins performed with Joffrey Concert Group as a scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet School then became a member of Joffrey II. She performed a European tour with Dennis Wayne Dancers in 1990.
Michael Levine Michael Levine has danced professionally for over 17 years. Formerly a principal with the Joffrey Ballet, Levine has had the pleasure of dancing numerous leading and principal roles. He has danced as Romeo in Crankos Romeo and Juliet, Death in Jooss The Green Table, Iago in Limones The Moores Pavane, The Lover in Tudors Lilac Garden, Albrecht in Freddy Franklins staging of Giselle, and The Prince in Ashtons Cinderella. Levine has performed numerous Arpino and Joffrey works, including: Arthur St. Leon in Pas de Deesses, A Round of Angels, Sea Shadow, and Light Rain. Other leading roles include choreography by:Kylian, Balanchine, and Pilobolus.
Levine worked with choreographer Donald Byrd on the collaboration with Ramsey Lewis, To Know Her, and in the creation of Motown Suite; both for the Joffrey. Away from the Joffrey, Levine was involved in the creation of Lauri Stallings full evening work Eidelon and performed in some of her other works, including Bacchus Vessel, In the Belly of Grace and Sprawling Orchid. While at American Ballet Theater, Levine had the pleasure of appearing in James Kudelkas Cruel World, Kevin McKenzies Transcendental Etudes and Lar Lubovichs world premier of Othello and A Brahms Symphony. Michael Levine has received recognition for his technical ability and classical line as well as for his excellent character portrayal. From the LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Washington Post, and in between, he has been favorably reviewed across the country. Levine has taught, coached, and helped lead workshops throughout the country including: The Joffrey Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Center, Point Park University Pittsburgh PA, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and Eastern Connecticut Ballet. Michael Levines photography captures moments from his unique, experienced dancer perspective. Levine enjoys sharing time both on stage and off with his beautiful wife Maia Wilkins.