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Knight Arts Challenge

St. Paul Ballet will bring the art of boxing and the sport of ballet to our Hamline-Midway St. Paul Community on Saturday, October 14, 2017. As part of our work on the Knight Arts Challenge, we’ll be presenting a brand new experience in collaboration with Element Boxing. Stay tuned for more details!

Spring Showcase, A Celebration of Our Students: May 20-21, 2017

This annual celebration of our students is the culmination of the year’s classes. All students of the Full-term Programs of SPB are given the opportunity to perform in the Student Showcase. The performance develops discipline, musicality, endurance, choreographic memory and stage presence. A full production manual for the Spring Showcase will be available here for download in the coming weeks.


  • Saturday, May 20 at 12:00 Noon: Young Dancers Performance
  • Saturday, May 20 at 3:00pm: Levels Beginning through 6
  • Saturday, May 20 at 7:30pm: Levels Beginning through 6
  • Sunday, May 21 at 3:00pm Levels Beginning through 6

WHERE: Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center Main Stage at Macalester College


  • Adults $20
  • Seniors $17
  • Students $15
  • Children (ages 12 and under) $12
  • Lap passes available for ages 0 to 3 at the box office only

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (January 31, 2017) – St. Paul Ballet will present a program featuring the World Premiere of To Billy by Zoé Emilie Henrot, along with the contemporary ballet Suite for Strings choreographed by Joseph Morrissey and Off The Base, an original work by Darwin Black. Performances will take place March 3-4 at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts.

To Billy
When St. Paul Ballet relocated their studios, they found themselves next door to a boxing studio and an unlikely partnership was born. Inspired by the real-life collaboration between the adjacent studios of St. Paul Ballet and Element Boxing and Fitness, To Billy offers a simple role reversal plot where a young boxer and a young dancer struggle with expectations and defy them to follow their true passions.

Created by St. Paul Ballet’s (SPB) artistic director Zoé Emilie Henrot, To Billy is a nod to Lee Hall’s Billy Elliot that challenged traditional gender roles but takes its story from the grace and humor of the fledgling relationship between SPB and Element. This first chapter illustrates the timeless dream of rising from humble beginnings to “making it.” It sets the stage for more to come from the dancers and boxers as the two communities meld and mature.

St. Paul Ballet’s executive director Lori Gleason said, “During the last two years we have found that the stereotypes we fight in ballet parallel those in boxing – ballet is feminine, boxing is masculine; ballerinas are wispy and self-absorbed, boxers are brawny and tempestuous; etc. The truth is that we’re more alike than we are different. We both value discipline, strength, endless practice, footwork and so much more. We even share the fact that we have pre-performance rituals – in ballet, we prepare our pointe shoes; in boxing, they wrap their hands.”

Suite for Strings
Joseph Morrissey, Director of Dance at Interlochen Center for the Arts, choreographs the contemporary ballet Suite for Strings set to the music of Czech composer Leos Janacek. A fast and furious piece set to a demanding tempo, Suite for Strings features a beautifully fluid partnering for four couples, making it a thrilling example of ballet’s evolution for today’s artists and audiences.

Off The Base
TU Dance company member and emerging choreographer Darwin Black premieres his original work Off The Base as the final piece of the program. The full company of St. Paul Ballet dances Black’s dynamic choreography exploring vulnerability and fear. With powerful imagery and a primal, Off The Base admits that to be alive is to be vulnerable and provides a canvas for building a new vocabulary for our fears.

WHAT: St. Paul Ballet at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
WHERE: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, Goodale Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
PRICE: $25-$35
DATES: March 3 at 7:30 p.m.*, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. *A post-show discussion will begin immediately following the performance


SAINT PAUL, MN (Oct 31, 2016) – From St. Paul Ballet (SPB) Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker returns for 4th annual holiday show

Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker returns December 2, this year for the first time at The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s University.

After four completely sold out performances in 2015, a swiftly growing student base and cast, and the addition of two original drops by designer Anne Henly, SPB has moved this annual holiday production to The O’Shaughnessy to accommodate this growth. Performances are as follows:

  • Friday, December 2, 2016 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 3, 2016 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 4, 2016 – 2:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $19 to $32 and are available through The O’Shaughnessy website or by calling the box office at (651) 690-6700.

For the first time since 2013, the lead role of Clara will be played by a company artist. Bloomington native Michelle Ludwig brings her light and playful expression and technical aptitude to Ms. Henrot’s choreography, which has been adjusted to Ludwig’s considerable artistry and capability.

“We believe audiences will leave thoroughly satisfied by the caliber of St. Paul Ballet and the new fantastical technical production,” Artistic Director Henrot said. “It’s our gift to the community.”

With original choreography from Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot, Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker is fun for all ages. The 90-minute show is a perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance with Tchaikovsky’s amazing and familiar score. MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (Oct 7, 2016) Karen Paulson Rivet, beloved artist, passes away on October 7th.

We’re incredibly saddened to report that Karen Paulson Rivet, a vibrant and much loved classical ballet educator and performer with St. Paul Ballet, passed away early this morning.

Karen began her training at the age of seven under Anna and Lorand Andaházy in St. Paul. She became a soloist with the Andahazy Ballet Company and was known as an exceptional repository of the company repertoire. She was an original cast member in many new works created by the Andaházys, artists of the Colonel de Basil Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and experienced first-hand the choreographic process. Karen developed her own creative composition style over years of work created for the students of many of the best schools in the Twin Cities. This led to the commissioning of a full-length ballet based on Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol in 2004.

She performed in ballets with the Andahazy Ballet Company, Continental Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater and St. Paul Ballet including but not limited to Scheherazade, Pas de Quatre, Les Sylphides, Los Seises, Coppelia, Cinderella, The Golden Bough, The Nutcracker Fantasy and Clara’s Dream.

Karen was a classical ballet instructor for more than 32 years and a lifelong learner pursuing professional development in the Vaganova syllabus including a the two-week International Vaganova Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2011. You may have seen Karen on stage in many character roles for companies around the Twin Cities. Her uncanny sense of comedic timing gave her performances warmth as well as artistry. Most recently she appeared as the governess in St. Paul Ballet’s Clara’s Dream in December 2015.

Karen accomplished all of this with delightful humor and great passion for the art form of ballet. She has been a teacher to many, many students young and old who love her dearly.

A scholarship has been created in her name at the School of St. Paul Ballet. In the last weeks of her life Karen was able to craft the criteria for selection that reflects her strength, passion and irrepressible spunk!

Visitation 4-8 PM Friday, October 14 at O’Halloran & Murphy Funeral Home
(575 S. Snelling Ave, St. Paul) and one hour prior to Mass at church on Saturday.

Mass of Christian Burial 10:30 AM Saturday, October 15, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church
(512 S. Albert St., St. Paul.) Inurnment at Roselawn Cemetery.

SAINT PAUL, MN (Sep 13, 2016) Knight Foundation Names St. Paul Ballet as a Finalist

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today named 41 finalists in the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge, all of which are eligible for a share of $1.5 million. This is the third year for the community-wide initiative funding projects that engage and enrich St. Paul through the arts.

St. Paul Ballet’s proposal is to bring together the worlds of boxing and ballet with a performance that features professionals from both disciplines. MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (Sep 9, 2016)  This week at the Mabel: Fall season launches with ballet and bluegrass Barbara Lyon, The Chippewa Herald

Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts’ opening fall season weekend presents back-to-back classics starting with St. Paul Ballet’s presentation of “An American in Paris,” MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (Aug 25, 2016) A glorious ballet era on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue ends Richard Chin,

Artists, often cash-strapped, are used to practicing their skills in unglamorous spaces. For nearly seven decades, that’s been the case in St. Paul, where generations of ballet dancers sweated and toiled to create beauty above a hardware store. MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (Aug 17, 2016) Lakes Area Music Festival Ballet Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch

Dancers from the St. Paul Ballet perform to Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” Wednesday during the Lakes Area Music Festival’s Daydreams at the Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd. PICTURES>

SAINT PAUL, MN (Aug 19, 2016) Venerable St. Paul dance studio to close after more than 60 years James Walsh, StarTribune

They still have dreams of this space, the women said after class. The steep, creaking staircase. The worn hardwood floors. Music spilling out from the old painted windows to the bustling Grand Avenue below. This is where — at the Andahazy Dance Studio — they first felt the thrill of dance. MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (May, 2016) Spring Showcase highlights American Quilt and Graduation Ball

The School of St. Paul Ballet will celebrate their students in a year-end showcase at the Janet Wallace Performing Arts Center Saturday, May 21 – Sunday, May 22. MORE

SAINT PAUL, MN (May, 2016) Local hero is a dancer in SPB’s Spring Showcase

Joseph Vang is dancing in our Spring Showcase this weekend at St. Paul Ballet. He will appear as one of the “cadets” in Graduation Ball. Aren’t we lucky to have him! MORE

SAINT PAUL, MN (April 18, 2016) McKnight Foundation awards St. Paul Ballet grant to create a new ballet

The McKnight Foundation recently awarded a two-year $30,000 grant that will allow St.Paul Ballet to commission a new work for its professional company to present to Minnesota audiences in 2017.

This grant is one of many made by the Minnesota-based family foundation, which granted $88 million last year alone to a wide variety of programs, including arts and artists. The McKnight Foundation’s Arts Program is based on the premise that “Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive,” said McKnight Foundation representative Vicki Benson. MORE

SAINT PAUL, MN (March 7, 2016) SPRING PROGRAM FROM ST PAUL BALLET has something for everyone. April 24 & 29-30, 2016

The romantic elegance of Paris meets the bold exuberance of America in the classic tale of An American in Paris, adapted by Peter Davison. This one-act ballet inspired by the classic film starring Gene Kelly with selections from the Gershwin score, is the highlight of an evening that begins with Ballet Through the Ages and Locked Key. There will be two performances at The O’Shaughnessy on Friday, April 29 at 7:30pm and Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 7:30pm for audiences of all ages. MORE

Joseph for newsletterInterlochen AuditionsSAINT PAUL, MN (February 17, 2016) Interlochen Center for the Arts Audition Tour: Sunday, February 28, 2016

Auditions for summer programs at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan are happening at the Fairview Studio on Feb. 28! FREE Master Class in ballet for students in grades 7-12.
2:00 pm Registration
2:30-4:30pm class (last 30 minutes pointe for those with more than one year of experience)
4:30-5:00pm Q&A with Joseph Morrissey
Please bring a recent headshot. Registration forms available at the audition.

Taught by Joseph Morrissey, Director of Dance, Interlochen Center for the Arts. About Interlochen>

SAINT PAUL, MN (February 11, 2016) Weekend Arts Roundup Marianne Combs, The Current, Minnesota Public Radio POSTED: 2/11/2016

At The Cowles Center, four women choreographers hailing from the Twin Cities, Washington, D.C. and Utah bring unexpected fresh work from a storehouse of experience alongside emerging sensibilities employing the artistic range of St. Paul Ballet’s company dancers and their combined power and litheness. LISTEN>

SAINT PAUL, MN (February 9, 2016) Big Week For Dance Sheila Regan, Stage & Arts, StarTribune POSTED: 2/9/2016

“Four Women in Choreography”: A trip to Hong Kong by choreographer Sally Rousse led to a new piece for St. Paul Ballet, whose program will also feature work by Diane Coburn Bruning, Jamie Johnson and SPB artistic director Zoé Emilie Henrot. Rousse was fascinated by residents of Hong Kong whom she saw walking backward down quiet streets — a means, she learned, of enhancing the brain’s capabilities and proprioception, or body awareness. In her piece “SHRE” (Serenade Helix Rumi Eos), Rousse has the dancers face away from the audience, which also becomes a commentary on judging people by appearances. Set to music by Augusta Read Thomas, it employs Rousse’s “weird tricky pointe work,” in which dancers assume precarious 45-degree angles, “sliding and bouncing and having tantrums on pointe,” Rousse says. (7:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $25-$37.50. 612-206-3636; READ MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (February 1, 2016) St. Paul Ballet Premieres new works by
McKnight Artist Sally Rousse and Diane Coburn Bruning of Chamber Dance Project

St. Paul Ballet (SPB) presents The Work: 4 Women in Choreography, a contemporary mixed-repertoire program February 12-14, 2016. St. Paul Ballet returns to The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts with a dance concert of range and athletic prowess. There will be three performances: Friday, February 12 at 7:30 and Q&A with choreographers following, Saturday, February 13 at 7:30 with appearance by Augusta Reid Thomas and Sally Rousse, and Sunday, February 14 at 2pm. Four women choreographers hailing from the Twin Cities and beyond bring unexpected fresh work from a storehouse of experience alongside emerging sensibilities using the artistic range of St. Paul Ballet’s company dancers and their combined power and litheness. Tickets are $15-$35, assigned seating at the Goodale Theater. Purchase tickets online or by calling the box office at 612-206-3600…. READ MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (January 28, 2016)  St. Paul Ballet Premiers “The Work: 4 Women in Choreography” at The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts

St. Paul Ballet (SPB) presents The Work: 4 Women in Choreography, a contemporary mixed-repertoire program February 12-14, 2016. St. Paul Ballet returns to The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts with a dance concert of range and athletic prowess. There will be three performances: Friday, February 12 at 7:30, Saturday, February 13 at 7:30, and Sunday, February 14 at 2pm. Four women choreographers hailing from the Twin Cities and beyond bring unexpected fresh work from a storehouse of experience alongside emerging sensibilities using the artistic range of St. Paul Ballet’s company dancers and their combined power and litheness. A full evening of all women choreographers in ballet is no small feat and SPB is elated to be at the head of the line to give this gift to the Twin Cities community. Tickets are $15-$35, assigned seating at the Goodale Theater. Purchase tickets online or by calling the box office at 612-206-3600. … READ MORE>




SAINT PAUL, MN (December 24, 2015) Photos: Behind the scenes at a ‘Dream’ of a Nutcracker. Arts and Culture, Minnesota Public Radio POSTED: 12/24/2015, Photos by Caroline Yang for MPR News

Last week, the St. Paul Ballet staged six sold out performances of ”Clara’s Dream,” made up of excerpts from “The Nutcracker” ballet. Tchaikovsky’s music is the same, but the choreography was done by the company’s artistic director, Zoe Henrot.

Photographer Caroline Yang has been following the company for the last two years, documenting their development as an artist-run ballet. The unusual organizational structure means the dancers also handle the … READ MORE>

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN (December 18, 2015) ‘Nutcracker’-like ballet is a dream. Sheila Regan, Special to the StarTribune POSTED: 12/18/2015

REVIEW: “Clara’s Dream” reimagines the holiday favorite in a ballet that still hews to the tradition.

It’s “The Nutcracker” without a nutcracker — or a prince.
“Clara’s Dream,” being staged this weekend by St. Paul Ballet (SPB) at Macalester College’s Janet Wallace Mainstage Theater, re-interprets the classic ballet sans romance, imagining Clara’s journey into dreamland and adventure without the need for an age-inappropriate relationship as a plot point … READ MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN   FREE In-studio Preview December 5 and 6

Get a behind the scenes look at the magic that goes into making Clara’s Dream! We are opening our first full-cast rehearsal of the production to the public. Just days from opening night, this will be your chance to see how we get ourselves stage ready and work together as an artist-led organization. The dancers look forward to inviting you into our world!

Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th
655 Fairview Ave N
St. Paul, MN  (Just three blocks north of University Ave. Free parking.)

This is a FREE and informal event, come and go as you please!

SAINT PAUL, MN   Ballet Tuesday, December 8 at Landmark Center, Noon
Our December Ballet Tuesday at the Landmark Center is next week! Come one come all and get in the Holiday spirit. We’ll bring plenty of seasonal cheer to accompany our excerpts of Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker. This event is FREE and suitable for all ages. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

SAINT PAUL, MN   FREE Toddler Tuesday at Mall of America December 15
Treat yourself to sugar plums, mirlitons, and more while you get your holiday shopping done at Mall of America on December 15th! We’ll be there from 10am – noon performing all your favorites from our upcoming holiday show, Clara’s Dream!

SAINT PAUL, MN (November 29, 2015) How do you like your ‘Nutcracker’? 10 Twin Cities alternatives, from sugary to salty. Here are 10 ways to crack this holiday chestnut. Sheila Regan, Special to the StarTribune POSTED: 11/28/2015

NicoleSnowWhat makes “The Nutcracker” so appealing that it brings back audiences year after year? Is it Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music? Or E.T.A. Hoffman’s charming (if convoluted) tale? Perhaps it’s the hundreds of adorable children who perform in Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballet every year, or … READ MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (November 25, 2015) 11 holiday dance performances: ‘Nutcracker,’ anyone? By Rob Hubbard, Special to the Pioneer Press POSTED: 11/25/2015

In the musical “A Chorus Line,” several dancers reminisce about childhoods in which “everything was beautiful at the ballet.” That source of comfort is still a big part of a lot of young lives, and December is their greatest opportunity to share their love for the art form, whether its on stage or in the audience. You could argue that no single work dominates its art form in popularity as much as “The Nutcracker” does ballet. READ MORE>

SAINT PAUL, MN (October 26, 2015) Choreographer Residency: St. Paul Ballet welcomes Diane Coburn Bruning

Diane Coburn, nationally acclaimed choreographer and artistic director of Chamber Dance Project in Washington D.C., bursts on to the Twin Citie’s dance scene with an original work for St. Paul Ballet (SPB). From October 26 – November 1, 2015, Bruning will be creating and rehearsing with the company, with an open rehearsal on Sunday, November 1 from 1-3 pm. Open master classes in ballet will take place on Tuesday, October 27 from 10:00-11 am and Thursday, October 29 from 9:30-10:30am at SPB’s new studio, 655 Fairview Ave N. Cost is $15, punch cards accepted. Bruning has created works for such renowned companies as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and many others.

On Sunday, November 1st, a portion of rehearsal will be open to the public from 2-4pm at 655 Fairview Ave N. in Saint Paul. All are welcome to this free in-studio showing. Be the first to see Bruning’s work and follow it from it’s infancy to the stage in February.

Bruning’s work will feature three men and four women. During the open rehearsal, attendees will not only get a behind the scenes look at a rehearsal, but they will also be witnessing the work as a raw work, in it’s beginning stages before months of refining and cleaning for the stage. Follow this work from the beginning and note the work, physically and intellectually that makes this artform a challenge both physically and intellectually.

“Diane’s choreography is very intricate and athletic. She challenges dancers to use their dance technique to go beyond their comfort zone and throw themselves into the work. Audiences will enjoy the energy and rawness of her work.”

Bruning’s work will premier alongside a fresh work from Zoe Emilie Henrot, Jamie Johnson, and Minnesota’s own Sally Rousse. SPB’s contemporary program will run at the Cowles Center for Performing Arts in February 12-14, 2016. Tickets are already on sale.

12043093_899440796817683_3276566421227085549_nABOUT DIANE COBURN BRUNING

Diane Coburn Bruning is an award-winning choreographer who has worked with dance, theatre and opera companies throughout the U.S. and abroad.  She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a two-year fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships New York Foundation for the Arts, the McKnight National Fellowship, a Dewar’s Young Artist Award, fellowships from Sundance Film Institute,  Yale University School of Drama, Leopold Schepp Foundation and Virginia Commission on the Arts, a Strauss Fellowship, and support from Meet the Composer, the Harkness Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Heathcote Foundation, David Howard Foundation and The Carlisle Project.

Diane has created work for Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, BostonBallet, Juilliard Dance Ensemble, American Repertory Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey II, Nashville Ballet, Aspen Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Ballet Memphis, Daghdha Dance (Ireland), Minnesota Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet, Woolly Mammoth Theatre and Studio Theatre among others.

The Work: 4 Women in Choreography

St Paul Ballet presents four premieres created by four women in choreography: Diane Coburn Bruning, Sally Rousse, Jamie Johnson, and Zoé Emilie Henrot.
February 12, 2016 at 7:30pm
February 13, 2016 at 7:30pm
February 14, 2016 at 2:00pm

The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts
528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | 612.206.3611


SAINT PAUL, MN (October 5, 2015) Review: St. Paul Ballet brings charming ‘Bella Luna’ to life at O’Shaughnessy The St. Paul Ballet hit all the right marks at the O’Shaughnessy. Sheila Regan, StarTribune   POSTED:   10/5/2015

In her remarks at the O’Shaughnessy for St. Paul Ballet’s recent performance of “Bella Luna,” Executive Director Lori Gleason expressed gratitude that the company was around to make its O’Shaughnessy debut. “We were close to putting the company in mothballs three years ago,” she said.

So much the better for the lucky audience that got to experience Peter Davison’s charming and heartbreaking work. “Bella Luna,” which premiered in 2014 and was presented at the O’Shaughnessy on Friday, hit all the right marks, weaving an enchanting tale with a sense of wonder.

The work draws on commedia dell’arte characters, which the dancers embodied beautifully. As the menacing rich suitor, Scarache, Preston Stockert employed his long limbs to full effect, slinking about the stage in long strides with his dastardly plans. Jarod Boltjes, meanwhile, brought a childlike playfulness to his role as Arlo, the bicycle-riding street urchin who falls in love. READ MORE

BellaLuna1_webSAINT PAUL, MN (October 2, 2015) Guthrie tackles terrorism in the events plus dance by Ballet West & St Paul Ballet Sheila Regan, StarTribune   POSTED:   10/2/2015

St. Paul Ballet brings back this work inspired by the commedia dell’arte tradition, and based on a “Tristan and Isolde” tale of tragic love beneath the beautiful moon. The story centers on the beautiful Izzy, who falls in love with the poor boy Arlo, though she is betrothed to a rich suitor. Their star-crossed love proves fertile ground for poetic resolution in this piece, choreographed by Peter Davison and first presented by St. Paul Ballet last year. Preceding it… READ MORE

 SAINT PAUL, MN (October 2, 2015) 7 Days of Fun Rob Hubbard,   POSTED:   10/2/2015

This 18-year-old company is going through a growth spurt.

In addition to its upstairs home on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, it has added a new studio in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood, and it is not only offering classes in classical ballet and modern dance, but has a professional company of 10 to 15 dancers. It will present an evening of stylistically diverse dance, starting with… READ MORE

 SAINT PAUL, MN (August 2015) St. Paul Ballet Announces the 2015/2016 Season—includes two premieres, the return of two favorites, and An American in Paris, along with the launch of company brand redesign.St. Paul Ballet’s second season under Artistic Director, Zoé Emilie Henrot includes five enchanting and diverse programs. St. Paul Ballet (SPB) begins with a re-staging of Peter Davison’s Bella Luna, a story ballet in the comedia de l’art style. Bella Luna will run for one night only at The O’Shaughnessy on October 2nd. SPB will continue its season with their annual holiday show, Clara’s Dream at Macalaster College Theater, December 17-20, which played to sold-out crowds last year.

In the new year, SPB celebrates the work of four contemporary female choreographers on Valentine’s Day weekend at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, February 12-14. The program will showcase two world premieres by 2014 McKnight Fellow Sally Rousse and SPB’s very own Zoé Emilie Henrot.

The season will finish with Peter Davison’s An American In Paris. Created in 2007, for Boulder Ballet, and set to Gershwin’s score, it features the entire SPB company and multiple guest artists. It debuts at The Paramount in St. Cloud on April 24 and returns to St. Paul on April 28 and 29 to finish on a high note at The O’Shaughnessy.

In her second season as Artistic Director of SPB, Henrot comments, “we are very proud to present classical storytelling and new contemporary work of choreographers from across the country and at home. In his final year as Co-Artistic Director of Boulder Ballet in Colorado, Peter Davison will reprise Bella Luna and stage his An American in Paris. Award-winning choreographer Diane Coburn Bruning, who has worked with dance, theatre, and opera companies throughout the U.S. and abroad will set one of her works on the company. 2014 McKnight Fellow Sally Rousse is creating a new work to premiere with our company, and emerging Utah-based choreographer Jamie A. Johnson will set a work as well. We think our audiences will be delighted and moved.”

With a new season comes a fresh point of view as St. Paul Ballet launches its brand redesign thanks to Superhuman, a Minneapolis-based creative agency. The new campaign: See Beyond Beautiful calls us to throw off preconceived notions of the art and its practitioners.

“Beauty is much more than skin deep; it’s greater than a certain body type or the pursuit of physical perfection,” says SPB’s Executive Director, Lori Gleason, “When we choose to focus on our dancers as people instead of bodies, we begin to experience how this art form can be transformative.” Watch SPB’s brand redesign announcement here:

Just the Facts:

October 2, 2015 – Bella Luna by Peter Davison (; other works from SPB repertoire at The O’Shaughnessy

December 17-20, 2015 – Clara’s Dream: From The Nutcracker holiday performances at Janet Wallace Mainstage at Macalester College

February 12-14, 2016 – The Work: Four Women in Choreography.
Diane Coburn Bruning (;
Sally Rousse (;
Jamie A. Johnson (;
St. Paul Ballet’s Artistic Director, Zoé Emilie Henrot.
At The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts.

April 24 and 28-29, 2016 – An American In Paris by Peter Davison; other works from SPB
At The Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud, MN and The O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul, MN.

SPB Open House

August 29 from noon-4pm at both the Grand Ave and Fairview Ave Studios!

Celebrate the beginning of a new year at SPB! Meet faculty, purchase new SPB merchandise, and more!

The Open House this year will be held at both the Grand and Fairview Avenue Studios! Stop by both SPB homes. This year at Fairview Avenue Studio you will have the opportunity to also meet our neighbors: Element Boxing and Fitness, West Bank School of Music, Network for the Development of Children of African Descent, and Spirit Tae Kwon Do!

Master Classes: Saturday, August 22, 2015


July 18. 6PM-9PM. Ballet on the Block: An Artist Collaboration

Bringing an Interactive Dance and Music Experience to South Minneapolis

                Saint Paul Ballet (SPB), The Third Place Gallery, Caroline Yang, Pillsbury House Theater, Earthshake World Rhythm Ensemble, and cellist Adam Stiber are teaming up to bring you “Ballet on the Block” a party of performance art and fun for the surrounding South Minneapolis community. On Saturday, July 18 starting at 6pm, members are invited to join in the festivities which will include dance, music, and newspaper tutu-making. This event will bring ballet to the Bryant, Bancroft, Central, and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods through an outdoor community event involving professional ballet dancers, African drums and a cellist.

Ballet On The Block will begin from four locations, one for each of these neighborhoods. Community members can choose to join in at one of the following locations:

• Lake Street and Chicago Avenue
• 42nd Street and Chicago Avenue
• 38th Street and Bloomington Avenue
• 38th Street and Third Avenue

Two dancers from Saint Paul Ballet will be waiting to lead their groups to our common destination at Pillsbury House Theatre’s “Wish Well,” located at the corner of Chicago Avenue and 35th Street. At Pillsbury House, Saint Paul Ballet dancers will perform original, interactive choreography accompanied with live music performed by the African-based movement Earthshake World Rhythm Ensemble, and cellist Adam Stiber.

From there, community members are invited to join the dancers and musicians as they parade down Chicago Avenue to The Third Place Gallery, just three blocks away. Refreshments will be provided.

Come one, come all. Ballet On The Block is our way of bridging communities through the experience of dance.

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Third Place Gallery is an artist-run event space and gallery under the vision of Wing Young Huie who has overseen many projects including Frogtown: Photographs and Conversation in an Urban Neighborhood; Lake Street USA; and Searching for Asian America: An Ethnocentric Tour. Huie’s many photographic projects document the dizzying socioeconomic and cultural realities of American society, much of it centered on the urban cores of his home state of Minnesota. Whether in epic public installations or international museum exhibitions, he creates up-to-the-minute societal mirrors of who we are, seeking to reveal not only what is hidden, but also what is plainly visible and seldom noticed. The Minneapolis StarTribune named Wing “Artist of the Year” [PDF] in 2000, stating, “Lake Street USA is likely to stand as a milestone in the history of photography and public art.”

Saint Paul Ballet Awarded MRAC Grant to Boost Holiday Production

The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council has Awarded Saint Paul Ballet (SPB) $10,000 to support their annual holiday production, Clara’s Dream. The funding will go towards updated costumes, new sets, and guest artists all of which will enhance this beloved show. A shortened take on a well-known classic, Clara’s Dream removes the title role from The Nutcracker and puts an emphasis on the ensemble cast that escorts Clara through a magical land of dancing delights. Featuring 10 professionals of SPB along with more than 80 students, there will be five performances at Macalester College Theater in St. Paul in December 2015.


Past Productions of Clara’s Dream:

ST. PAUL, MN (June 1st, 2015) Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 10,000 Arts Learning Grant to Saint Paul Ballet

On May 26, 2015, MRAC awarded 250,877 to 26 organizations in the second round of its FY 2015 Arts Learning grant program. One such award went to Saint Paul Ballet, the budding artist-led organization who’s mission is to make art through movement accessible to all people in the surrounding community.

Specifically, the grant will serve as funding for the Everybody Dance Summer Program of 12 weeks of introductory summer dance classes for children ages 4 through 12 and teens ages 13 through 18. The program will run from June through August of 2015.

“The Arts Learning projects chosen will provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for Minnesotans of all ages to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of and/or through the arts for children, youth, and adults by engaging people in extended arts experiences and activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. The Arts Learning grant program is a direct result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. All applications go through a competitive peer review panel process. The MRAC board of directors makes the final decisions on all panel recommendations.” – MRAC

About the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) serves nonprofit arts groups in the seven-county (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties) metropolitan area of Minnesota with annualized operating expenses less than 400,000.

In FY 2014, MRAC received 814 applications and awarded 452 grants totaling
3,175,634 to arts organizations and/or projects including a 220,000 grant to VSA Minnesota for its re-granting program, the ADA Access Improvement Grants for Metro Arts Organizations. These grants were funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund, and by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. MRAC also received 340 applications from individual artists in the Next Step Fund program and awarded 38 grants totaling 182,586 with funds from The McKnight Foundation. MRAC also provided 23 arts management training sessions and 30 grant application workshops.


Saint Paul Ballet’s vision is to lift the human spirit through the art of ballet by performing a vibrant repertory with a passion for the highest level of excellence, providing the finest dance education and reducing barriers to involvement in the art of dance. Two St. Paul locations: the historic 1680 Grand Avenue studio where ballet has been taught for over 60 years and 655 Fairview Avenue N. More information at

SAINT PAUL, MN (March 24, 2015) St. Paul Ballet’s spring performance reflects diverse talents/Article by: Amy Lamphere , Special to the Star Tribune        Updated: March 24, 2015 – 4:27 PM

St. Paul Ballet is an artist-led company, which means each of the dancers also works in administration — as marketers, fundraisers, art education specialists and the like.

Last weekend’s spring program at Cowles Center also included a social worker, a recent high school graduate, and a chiropractor, who were joined by a trio of apprentices, three guest artists and students from the company’s school. In short, the group is committed, they are versatile, and they boast a lot of very strong dancers.

This was evident from the first work, “Mein Weg” (“My Way” in German), a 2011 piece choreographed by the Hong Kong Ballet’s Joseph Morrissey. One of the few pieces danced en pointe, it featured Jarod Boltjes, Nicole Brown, Jacqueline McDaniel, Anna Roehr and Preston Stockert.

Big on extensions and lightning-like demonstrations of technique, the piece featured expressionless solos and duets — so modern — and sections of precision gestural play… MORE

SAINT PAUL, MN (March, 2015) Pas assemblé: St. Paul Ballet lands with both feet together following a restructuring/Article by: Janet Lunder Hanafin, Villager, St. Paul, MN

Changes are afoot at St. Paul Ballet. Over the past two years, the organization has changed its name–it was formerly St. Paul City Ballet–and reinvented itself as an artist-directed company and school. It has opened a satellite studio at 655 N. Fairview Ave. to augment its class and rehearsal space…


SAINT PAUL, MN (January 20, 2015) Open Rehearsal with Choreographer Kinsun Chan and Saint Paul Ballet

Saint Paul Ballet (SPB) welcomes renowned choreographer Kinsun Chan January 19-23rd to set choreography on the company and lead master classes. See the company as they work with Chan to set and refine this piece for their upcoming performance at the Cowles Center this March. The in-studio preview will take place onFriday, January 23rd from 1:30-3:30pm. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Chan’s work, Shifts, will be performed by SPB Company at their upcoming production at The Cowles Center for the Performing Arts in March. Shifts takes inspiration from the playing of the cello and shifting between keys. It is set to Bach’s cello suites and is a three movement workABOUT KINSUN CHAN



SAINT PAUL, MN (December 11, 2014) Zietlow Brings Holiday Classic To Life   The Rubicon from St. Paul Academy & Summit School

Elegant figures spiral onstage, costumes fluttering like Christmas snow, accompanied by a swell of orchestral music and the rapt attention of an enchanted audience. With the ability to tell stories purely through graceful movement, ballet is a demanding form of dance that only a few can pursue as a serious form of art. Junior Nina Zietlow is one ... READ THE FULL ARTICLE


SAINT PAUL, MN (October 10, 2014) Grand Central Photography Show/Review By    The Mac Weekly POSTED:   10/10/2014

My friend Rachel and I randomly decided to go to Grand Central this Saturday afternoon to chat and do homework. When we arrived, we were informed that we had to sit in the front section of the restaurant, as an event would be happening later that evening. The typically crowded back section of the restaurant had been cleared of all tables and chairs, and photographs lined the walls. We settled in to work, and witnessed a steady stream of artsy families and hip couples enter the space... READ THE FULL ARTICLE


SAINT PAUL, MN (October 2, 2014) A ballet reinvents itself, in photos By Marianne Combs   Minnesota Public Radio POSTED:   10/2/2014

Shortly after moving into the Macalester neighborhood of St. Paul, photographer Caroline Yang walked into her neighborhood hardware store and wondered at the sounds of pounding feet from overhead. She soon found out what she was hearing was a rehearsal of the Saint Paul Ballet; now she knows the company intimately.

Yang spent close to a year as an “embedded” photographer, documenting the ballet’s transition to an artist-led organization. In order to keep… READ THE FULL ARTICLE


SAINT PAUL, MN (September 22, 2014) Artist-entrepreneur is “dancer of the future.” By Emily Harrison Weir     Mount Holyoke News and Events     POSTED:   09/22/2014

Dance has been Zoé Henrot’s passion since age three. So when the ballet troupe she joined shortly after MHC graduation faced mounting debt and an uncertain future, she leapt at the opportunity to save it. Henrot and six other dancers led a whirlwind effort that transformed the Saint Paul Ballet into one of the nation’s only dancer-led companies. It has since expanded and is producing its second successful season.

“I don’t think I would have taken on the challenge had I not already known, from my Mount Holyoke days, that I could be in five places at once,” Henrot reflects.

She’s a prime example of what the ballet’s website calls “the dancer of the future—artist and entrepreneur.” Each member of the 14-person company plays administrative as well as artistic roles, so they’re constantly on their toes—literally and figuratively… READ THE FULL ARTICLE


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 20, 2014) St. Paul Ballet Growing By Small Leaps  By Maja   POSTED:   08/20/2014 12:01:00 AM CDT |

A little more than a year ago, the company and school faced debt and considered cutting back on performances and even closing its doors. It reorganized as an artist-led organization, with dancers taking on administrative roles.

Heading into the 2014-15 season, it looks like the dancers’ dedication has paid off.

The company has expanded to nine professional dancers, plus five in training. More than 120 children and adults take classes every week and the school hopes to almost double enrollment with a second studio opening in September at 655 Fairview Ave. N., just north of University. The public is invited to learn more during an open house on Saturday.

“We hope that we can grow and we can have a company of 20 dancers,” says dancer and artistic director Zoe Henrot. “Our goal is to become a major landmark for ballet — for ballet training and performance and ballet for fun.”

While the Twin Cities does not have a large professional ballet company, it boasts a handful of small ones, including the nationally respected James Sewell Ballet based at Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in downtown Minneapolis. Other small companies are affiliated with schools, including Minnesota Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota Ballet in downtown St. Paul and Continental Ballet in Bloomington.

St. Paul Ballet, formerly called St. Paul City Ballet, is among the newest, though it has a long lineage. It evolved from St. Anthony School of Dance and uses the second floor studios that once housed Andahazy School of Classical Ballet above Ace Hardware at 1680 Grand Ave. in St. Paul, where students have practiced arabesques and pirouettes in front of the mirrors for more than 60 years.

This September, the company heads into its fifth season of “Ballet Tuesdays,” an informal and free monthly performance over the lunch hour at Landmark Center. In October, dancers will perform new work by Colorado choreographer Katie Elliot at local art galleries. After selling out Macalester College’s theater last year, the full-length holiday ballet “Clara’s Dream” will add two shows. In the spring, the company will perform modern work at Cowles and join students for a showcase back at Macalester.

“We have some audiences who will only come to classical performances, or maybe a storybook show like Cinderella. And there are other audiences who only want to see contemporary work,” Henrot says. “We’re trying to bridge the gap.”

The company recently landed a $38,000 state arts board operating grant to help pay guest choreographers and fund collaborations with artists such as local photographer Caroline Yang, who has been documenting performances, rehearsals and backstage moments over the last nine months (

The flexibility of being an artist-led organization has also brought some unusual and creative initiatives. Last spring, the company launched a “Take Back the Tutu” public awareness campaign around the issues of food disorders and body image. This fall, they will offer a monthly lecture series focused on healthy dancing with talks from health providers and dancers.

And, since their second dance studio shares a warehouse with a martial arts studio and a boxing gym, the dancers are considering a new adventure.

“The boxing gym tells us boxers are always working on their balance,” Henrot says. “They need hand-eye coordination. They keep asking us if we can make a ‘ballet for boxers’ class. It’s hilarious. But we’re exited to collaborate.”

Maja Beckstrom can be reached at 651-228-5295.


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 10, 2014) Saint Paul Ballet gives 5 Star performance at the Minnesota Fringe Festival 

Saint Paul Ballet (SPB), the budding dance company with a unique artist-led model, receives a 5 star review from Twin Cities Daily Planet writer, Matthew Everett.

One of the companies I’ll be looking for in the future is Saint Paul Ballet.”

Read the full review:   Fringe Review – Persons Unknown – Rarig Proscenium – 5 stars


Get to know us! Ingenious. Imperfect. Introspective. Impassioned. Intriguing. Infectious. 40 minutes of new works from the SPB Company, guest artists and students. The choreographers…
Jarod Boltjes
Micah Chermak
Amber Genetzky
Zoé Emilie Henrot
Nina Joly
Preston Stockert
Amy Trayers



SAINT PAUL, MN (February 14, 2013) will “Take Back the Tutu” to raise awareness about eating disorders 

Saint Paul City Ballet (SPCB), the budding dance company with a unique artist-led model, is collaborating with The Emily Program for a photo series to raise awareness during National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week. The series, “Take Back the Tutu,” will include professional photography by Caroline Yang and will feature the athleticism of the company dancers.

The photos will be available online on the SPCB Facebook page and on the Emily Program blog during NEDA Week – February 23-28. Personal reflections from each dancer, including their feelings about body image and what it means to take ownership of their body and art, will accompany the photographs.

“In this profession, there is a lot of pressure on dancers to have immaculate bodies,” said Zoé Emilie Henrot, Artistic Director of SPCB. “We want to promote physical fitness as well as a healthy body image, and we are thrilled to partner with the Emily Program to do that.”

The week will conclude with a presentation from the Emily Program about nutrition and eating disorder awareness, February 28 at 7 p.m. in the SPCB studio. The talk is FREE and open to the public.


The mission of the Emily Program is to provide exceptional, individualized care leading to recovery from eating disorders. The Emily Program provides the support of therapists, dietitians, and medical staff alongside experiential and specialized approaches, like yoga, music, art, meditation, recreation, and more.


SAINT PAUL, MN (December 3, 2013) Saint Paul City Ballet: Reimagining Ways To Get Work Done: Pioneer Press editorial

“Presentations of “Clara’s Dream,” a selection of excerpts from the holiday ballet classic, “The Nutcracker,” are on stage this month because of dancers’ dedication to their craft and their company.When the St. Paul City Ballet board last spring discussed financial pressures and considered mounting a season only every other year, dancers came together. The rare artist-led business model they proposed is keeping a valued St. Paul-based arts organization performing in the community. Bravo.

Under the concept, dancers step into the administrative roles, overseeing the …” READ MORE online at


SAINT PAUL, MN (December 1, 2013) Dancers take over St. Paul City Ballet to keep company on its feet from the Pioneer Press By Emily Mongan

“The professional dancers in the St. Paul City Ballet’s holiday production “Clara’s Dream” often pull double or triple duty, dancing multiple roles in the one-hour performance. The dancers pull extra duty offstage as well, covering the administrative roles as part of the company’s rare artist-led business model.

When the St. Paul City Ballet announced the 2013-14 performance season was in jeopardy, dancer Shannon Corbett gathered a group of dancers to make a pitch to the board. Armed with plans detailing their ideas for the season and a budget that would make it possible, the company proposed a bold idea: Dancers would step into the administrative roles, overseeing the direction of the ballet in addition to the work they do in the studio…”

Emily Mongan, Pioneer Press  December 1, 2013


SAINT PAUL, MN (November 17, 2013) Saint Paul City Ballet presents Clara’s Dream: From The NutcrackerSwirling Snowflakes and Waltzing Flowers, A Sugar Plum Fairy, All of the magic of the classic!

Saint Paul City Ballet (SPCB) presents Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker, a must-see holiday event for the whole family. Directed by Zoé Henrot, the company leads a cast of fifty in this family-friendly, one-hour show. It is the perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance with the familiar music of Tchiakovsky’s Nutcracker Suite including the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers.

SHORTENED SUGARPLUMS. If you don’t have the time or endurance for an entire Nutcracker, St. Paul City Ballet offers Clara’s Dream. Excerpts from the second act will thrill the tiny dancer in everyone for a very Christmas-conscious price…” Kristin Tillotson, Star Tribune November 17, 2013

December 14, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at Chanhassen High School Theater and December 15 at 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. at Macalester College Theater in St. Paul. TICKETS>


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 10, 2013) Saint Paul City Ballet Interim Artistic Director, Zoé Emilie Henrot presents original work at the Fringe—Gray Matter is a show that combines modern dance and Descartes’s philosophy, a strange combination. However, it was well executed and is an interesting performance.

The Southern Theater is the perfect venue for this show, the crumbling arch above the stage fit the mood of the show. Lighting was also a big part of the mood, usually remaining bluish and in half light, sometimes becoming brighter and yellower. At this point it was also interesting to watch the shadows of the dancer on the walls.

The philosophy portion was musings about Descartes’s famous “I think therefore I am” theory accompanied by a single dancer in a spotlight. I thought the dancers were very talented. The six dancers came on and off the stage, sometimes just pairs would dance together and then others would join them.

Adding a philosophical part to the show was interesting idea, however it was unclear how that fit in with the rest of the show. The transitions between only dance and the word sections can be jarring at times. Although this is not an absolute must see show, if you enjoy dance it is very enjoyable. The show is also short, running under the fifty minute cut off. By Karen Kenison, Critical Review, Twin Cities Daily Planet


MINNEAPOLIS, MN (August 7th, 2013) What Is The Fringe For? It’s Not You, It’s Me – I walked into the Southern Theater to see my one show of the day Gray Matter and had only a minute or two to get comfortable and read the program before the lights began to dim. In those fleeting moments I also looked around the space and wondered, Where did all the attractive young women come from?

Oh right, I’m at a dance show.

The audience is likely packed with fellow practitioners supporting their own. These are people who are required to be devoted to their physical bodies and their capacity to move them in intricate ways. These are people who have to look good in tights and leotards. These are people who make a meal out of celery and cigarettes.

So here’s my schlubby, middle-aged, theatre trained self giving you a quick opinion of what I saw. It was pretty darn good. I think.

The creator of the show has taken Rene Descartes meditations on consciousness (“I think therefore I am”) and current research on same and has made a dance. I am woefully unequipped to say what the dances and dancers had to do with these topics. What I can tell you is that thoughts kept popping up in my brain during the show, unbidden. For instance, Goddamn these people are in amazing shape. Soon to be followed by, Could I ever be in that good a shape? Then, Wow, some people just sweat more than others; are the sweatiest dancers working hardest?

I was again reminded that because of who I am and what I do, I am always looking for a story or some kind of comprehensible meaning in performance. And I love words. I love hearing them, speaking them, thinking about them, making jokes with them. Dance is a real uphill climb for me.

At one point I thought, I wish these dancers would say something. Not three minutes later I got my wish. Voice over began to play and the dancers read out some spoken bits. It must have been Descartes and some of that aforementioned research. I give the performers kudos for trying, but it didn’t add much and became a distraction. Much as it would if I started dancing in the middle of a play. Which I promise not to do unless I’m looking for an easy laugh from an uncomfortable audience.

The three women and three men who dance this show do an admirable job moving through the space and carving it up in attractive and unusual ways. There was great care and ability put into the work and for that it has my admiration. At the end of the show’s 35 minutes, though, I was left with the bread crumb trail of my own inane thoughts and not much more. They dance, I think, and the gulf between body and mind, between performer and audience seems larger than ever.

The problem isn’t dance, the problem is my brain.

Paul de Cordova, Minnesota Playlist


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 7, 2013) Saint Paul City Ballet Company members perform in “Adore” at the Fringe— Cities Classical Dance Ensemble packs eight works by seven choreographers into one uneven show. Micah Chermak’s “Dance of Bell and String,” a duet for himself and Michelle Ludwig, stands out for its cool precision and subtle sexiness. Kim Norberg’s quartet “Nolens Volens” casts an ethereal spell, while Jennifer Mack’s contemporary piece “In Memory of Missing” suggests an intriguing interior story for dancer Julie Marie Muskat. The rest of the program is too safe, relying more on the familiar beauty of ballet than using it as a tool for risk-taking. Caroline Palmer—StarTribune


SAINT PAUL, MN (July 15, 2013) Saint Paul City Ballet Board contracts with financial services consultant— The board of St. Paul City Ballet continues to make progress toward putting the school and company on a firm financial footing.  Earlier this week the Board signed a contract for financial services with Mary Cleary, a consultant who has a strong history of working with non-profit arts organizations.

Mary Cleary of Cleary Consulting group will work with the Board and staff to provide SPCB with a comprehensive range of financial services including:

  • Evaluating and streamlining accounting systems and processes
  • Creating a budget for fiscal year 2014 and a three-year financial plan based on our strategic plan.
  • Strengthening internal financial controls.
  • Ensuring financial and government reporting requirements are met.

Contracting with a financial consulting group is another step in the organization’s commitment to the long-term financial health, so that we can continue to fulfill our mission of providing high quality dance training and performance opportunities.

Our work with Cleary will help as the board works to secure grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and other organizations.

Cleary has a varied background. She was an auditor for KPGM Peat Marwick, one of the largest international accounting firms in the world, and she was the accounting manager for the National Marrow Donor Program, where she worked with eight divisions to manage a $90 million budget. She has also worked with dozens of smaller non-profit organizations with wide ranging missions, including Bedlam Theater, Kairos Dance, Hmong Youth Education Services, the Foundation for Environmental Research, Youth Audiences of Minnesota, COMPAS, Inc. and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.


SAINT PAUL, MN (June 26, 2013) – Saint Paul City Ballet to host open house fundraiser to fund expansion of school and company  Saint Paul City Ballet, a ballet school and performance company that has been part of the artistic community in the Twin Cities for more than decade, is seeking local support as it turns the page and begins planning for the upcoming season.

The company will host an open house and benefit auction on Aug. 17 in Saint Paul.  This fundraising effort will help the school expand into a new space to offer more classes to aspiring young dancers and will provide the basis for another season of ballet performances in the Twin Cities.

The board of directors and company dancers at Saint Paul City Ballet are committed to filling the need for a strong school and company with a comprehensive mission to train dancers and perform excellent ballet. After years of holding classes in its historic Grand Avenue studios, the Saint Paul City Ballet school has grown beyond its capacity.  The school requires funding for new space to continue serving students of all ages and abilities. “The students have shown amazing growth in the past year, and their technical development will progress even further with the example a professional company provides,” said Kim Norberg, School Director for the Saint Paul City Ballet.

At the same time, the Saint Paul City Ballet company is fundraising in support of its upcoming season, which begins in September and includes 3 planned full-length performances and several outreach events in the Twin Cities. The artist-driven company wants to build on a history of creative performances and is seeking help from the community to fund another successful season. The company’s most recent performance, titled “Elevate,” premiered in February to positive reviews. “We can’t do this alone,” says the Interim Artistic Director, Zoé Emilie Henrot. “We want to continue to develop this amazing organization, and we need help from the community to allow us to continue to bring ballet to the Twin Cities.”

The directors have set September 1st of this year as their deadline to raise $50,000 – half of the money needed to hold the 2013-2014 season and begin the transition into a new studio location.

The open house and benefit auction will begin at 5pm on August 17.

Zoé Emilie Henrot, Interim Artistic Director,
or Kim Norberg, School Director,

SAINT PAUL, MN (June 2013) – Student Showcase was enjoyed by families and friends. Many parents and family members contacted us after this years’ student performances and examinations to say how thrilled they were with the program. Read some of their comments here:
“We were absolutely thrilled to see the dancers’ skills and hard work, and artistry. Thank you so much for supporting, teaching and allowing the love of dance to shine.”–Parent of Level 5 dancer
“Thank you for a well organized, fun and affordable ballet show! 
We will see you next Fall.”
 —Parent of Level 1 student
“What I saw at SPCB during the season was a caring instructor and simple, age appropriate training. When we saw the performances we were all delighted and saw a marked difference in what we had experienced before. You all did a great job and I look forward to seeing my daughter progress at SPCB.”–Parent of Young Dancer
“I enjoyed chaperoning the girls last Tuesday night, and our family that came to watch were impressed with the “exam”.  (Our daughter) was proud of the performance, and we are proud of her. We appreciate how much work it has been this year and… we support SPCB. My husband and I are both educators and are always grateful for the inherent rejuvenation the academic year provides.”–Parent of Level 2 student


SAINT PAUL, MN (May 22, 2013) Spring Showcase: A Celebration of Our Students. Saint Paul City Ballet (SPCB) presents its first formalized movement examinations June 5th in the Weyerhauser Auditorium at Landmark Center. This performance is open to the public, and is designed to showcase the progress of upper level students over the past academic year. This is a rare chance to ‘peak into the ballet studio’ to get a glimpse of the making of a dancer. Before the curtain rises at the ballet it takes roughly 8 to 10 years of training to become a professional ballet dancer—simply leaping and turning are not enough. Ballet is an art that defies gravity to lift its audience and make seemingly ordinary movement extraordinary. SPCB is the only ballet school in the Twin Cities currently offering adjudicated ballet exams. The exam classes are conducted by SPCB School Director, Kimberly Norberg with accompaniment by pianist, Franco Holder and will be adjudicated by a panel of local dance professionals including Wilor Bluege, Karen Paulson Rivet and Anna Goodrich. The judging panel will assess students on the inter-related elements of technique, music and performance, all of which go to make up the complete dancer. Students will be promoted based in part by their performance in this examination setting. LEARN MORE>
Wednesday, June 5 6:30PM
Tickets at the door $7, pre-sale call 6651-690-1588 tickets $5. General admission.


MINNEAPOLIS, MN (February 11, 2013) St. Paul Ballet’s ‘Elevate’ is both airy, earthbound Article by: CAROLINE PALMER , Special to the Star Tribune, Updated: February 11, 2013 – 1:06 PM. REVIEW: Cowles Center program mixes classical with more contemporary works.

“Elevate” is the title of St. Paul City Ballet’s Cowles Center debut, and on Friday night there were moments when the dancing reached a higher plane. Sometimes it was earthbound, not quite achieving liftoff. But one founding member soared whenever he took the stage: 2012 Sage Award-winner Andrew Lester.

As the lead in “L’Après-midi d’un Faune,” Lester acquits himself admirably in Phillip Carman’s take on the Vaslav Nijinsky creation premiered by the Ballets Russes in 1912 to great controversy for its overt sexuality. Pent-up desire defines the work set to Claude Debussy’s pastoral music, but it is also unique for imagery seemingly lifted from ancient two-dimensional bas-relief. To improve on his interpretation, Lester could draw out his poses further to underscore the deliberate primal tension within the choreography.

Lester is central to Allison Doughty Marquesen’s well-crafted “A Montana Memoir,” another piece that delves into emotional agitation, specifically the welcome release from depression to elation. Marquesen and Michelle Ludwig join Lester in the lead roles, and all dance with a combination of passion, freedom and tenderness.

“Bolero,” choreographed by Gregory Drotar and Helena Baron with crisp precision, draws upon flamenco-based movement to complement Maurice Ravel’s famed score. Ted Sothern performs with sleek confidence as a female cast swirls around him. There is in-your-face sensual drama to this work, perhaps inspired by Drotar’s early background as a dancer with Bob Fosse.

There are missteps. While “La Vivandierè” features a light-as-air Laura Greenwell, the rest of the cast struggles with the complex work staged by Marquesen with coaching by Anna Maria Homes after the choreography of Arthur Saint-Léon and Fanny Cerrito. The classical piece didn’t mesh with the more forward-looking program (even “L’Après-midi” was a groundbreaking work in its time). And Sothern’s “Not an Étude” is a structurally awkward, rather dated work that unfolds with fits and starts, never quite gathering momentum.

An extra treat Friday was the world premiere of “Poised” (it will not be seen in Sunday’s show). Choreographed by guest artist Joseph Morrissey and danced by American Ballet Theatre soloists Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews, the work lives up to its name. Both performers use their bodies like sharp pencils to draw lines efficiently through space. This fast-moving and expertly wrought effort gives hope for ballet’s evolution into the 21st century.




SAINT PAUL, MN (November 5, 2012) The Enchanted Toy Shop. Presenting the 4th annual, must-see holiday event for the whole family! The magic of the season is captured by a cast of sixty living dolls, swirling snowflakes, tiny reindeer and more. Director, Ted Sothern, infuses every scene with the stage magic he is known for in the Twin Cities. This year’s performances are sponsored by Pioneer Press.
Thursday, Dec 13 7:00PM
Friday, Dec 14 7:30PM
Saturday, Dec 15 2:00 and 7:30PM
Sunday, Dec 16 2:00 and 6:00 PM


SAINT PAUL, MN (October 17, 2012) Andrew Lester is Sage Awards Winner! Just announced: Andrew Lester has won a 2012 Outstanding Performer award for his performances in One by Joseph Morrissey in Saint Paul City Ballet’s Company at the McKnight January 2012; Family and Anytown by Shapiro & Smith Dance. Visit for more information.


SAINT PAUL, MN (September 4, 2012) Ballet Tuesday Returns to Landmark Center. Landmark Center and Saint Paul City Ballet have once again joined together to present Ballet Tuesdays, a free ballet program on one Tuesday a month from September 11, 2012 until May 14, 2013. The performances will take place over the lunch hour and guests are encouraged to bring a bag lunch or purchase a lunch at Anita’s Café, located on the south end of Landmark Center’s cortile. The series is free and open to the public. Throughout this nine month series, The St. Paul City Ballet’s Company of dancers will perform excerpts from their holiday show, The Enchanted Toy Shop, their Spring Gala and new Company repertoire along with demonstrations and audience participation. To start off the series, on September 11, 2012, The St. Paul City Ballet will begin with a performance that has an educational emphasis which showcases choreographed barre and center techniques. Visit for the latest details on Ballet Tuesdays.


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 24, 2012) New School Director. The Board of Directors of Saint Paul City Ballet (SPCB), today announced the appointment of Kimberly Norberg, a highly qualified instructor of ballet technique, as the new School Director of Saint Paul City Ballet School. LEARN MORE>


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 2, 2012) Come dance for a good cause! August 2-4, 2012 Master Class Fundraiser with Joseph Morrissey. Up and coming New York choreographer Joseph Morrissey is coming to St. Paul to donate his teaching time and artistry. 100% of the proceeds go toward retiring SPCB’s debt.


SAINT PAUL, MN (July 30, 2012) SPCB Company member, Joanna Lowry returned from Juarez, Mexico where she donated her time and talent teaching classes. See photos here.


SAINT PAUL, MN (June 17, 2012) – We all know these are challenging economic times for arts organizations. Saint Paul City Ballet is not exempt from these market conditions. To be fiscally responsible we are taking actions to reduce costs and expenses.  As part of its organizational downsizing, the Board of Directors accepted the resignation of its Executive and School Director, Georgia Finnegan Amdahl, effective June 15, 2012.  In the next few weeks, the Board of Directors will continue to evaluate its financial and future plans to determine if organizational restructuring is an appropriate step to move the organization forward. In the interim, the Board of Directors will take on the duties of the directorships.  The Saint Paul City Ballet recognizes Georgia Finnegan Amdahl for her personal and professional contributions, unending commitment to children, endless hard work and dedication to the mission of the organization. Saint Paul City Ballet Board of Directors


SAINT PAUL, MN (April 24, 2012) SPCB Welcomes, Peter Pawlyshyn, Master Teacher in Residence May 6-20. Mr. Pawlyshyn has most recently been the School Director at Kansas City Ballet (KCB). Before joining KCB school Peter served for six years as associate artistic director/ballet master of Eugene Ballet. He also spent seven years on the staff of the Boston Ballet School as a teacher and coach. Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Mr. Pawlyshyn graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and later joined the Company. In his career he has danced with Louisville Ballet and Nevada Dance Theater and has appeared as Principal Guest Artist with Boston Ballet. LEARN MORE>


SAINT PAUL, MN (April 20, 2012) – Second star to the right, and then straight on till morning! High-flying fantasy Peter Pan, a new ballet from Saint Paul City Ballet.
Will they fly? Of course they will. Whether you are 4 or 104, travel to Neverland with Peter, Wendy and Tinker Bell to meet Captain Hook, the Lost Boys, and plenty of pirates and mermaids in Saint Paul City Ballet’s (SPCB) presentation of Peter Pan. Performances take place at the E.M. Pearson Theater, Concordia University in St. Paul on Friday, May 18, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 19, 2:00 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 20, 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. with a reduced-ticket price Sneak Peek dress rehearsal on Thursday, May 17, 7:30 p.m. LEARN MORE>


SAINT PAUL, MN (March 3, 2012) Wish Ball a rousing success. On Saturday night a young ballerina’s dream came true. Six-year-old Kennedy performed with Saint Paul City Ballet at the 30th Annual Wish Ball hosted by Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota. Saint Paul City Ballet is grateful to be part of such an inspirational wish story. Wish Child Kennedy to Perform with St. Paul City Ballet at The Wish Ball on March 3


SAINT PAUL, MN (January 6, 2012) – Saint Paul City Ballet (SPCB) presents a mixed repertory program, featuring three current choreographers and one classic.
Feel fabulous. Raymonda brings her bling to the McKnight (so feel free to wear yours, too) in her most memorable excerpts from Glazunov’s music and dazzling Petipa-style classicism.
Have fun. Jazz marries ballet which makes for some flirtatious fun in Not An Etude by choreographer Ted Sothern to original music of local jazz star George Maurer.
Fall in love with a new work for SPCB, One by emerging New York choreographer, Joseph Morrissey to the music of Shigeru Umebayashi & Michael Galasso.
Feed a fever that winter can’t extinguish with the fiery pulse of Bolero, Greg Drotar’s work to Maurice Ravel’s familiar score.

Join choreographers and company members from Saint Paul City Ballet for a reception at the Saint Paul Hotel following Saturday night’s performance. Food and drinks are available for purchase.

The program features three choreographers: Greg Drotar, Joseph Morrissey and Ted Sothern. Also notable are lighting designer Chuck Norwood from St. Cloud, MN and costume designer, Ann Marie Ethen also a member of the vibrant Central Minnesota arts community. The Company is young and growing—a true Minnesota start-up.



SAINT PAUL, MN (December 10, 2011) – Claire Westby returns to SPCB as a guest artist. Claire Westby of Liz Gerring Dance Company in New York returns to SPCB where she trained, as a guest artist to dance Venetian doll and Ballerina doll roles.


SAINT PAUL, MN (December 9, 2011) 4-Year-Old Gets Special Wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation on “Wishes Across America” Day. A 4-year-old St. Louis Park girl battling leukemia received a special holiday gift Friday at the Mall of America. It is part of Macy’s National Believe Day. Little Charlotte dreams of becoming a ballerina someday. Friday she received a special visit from four dancers from the Saint Paul City Ballet Company. They presented Charlotte with a tutu, a tiara and tickets to The Enchanted Toy Shop next weekend. Macy’s Make A Wish on KARE 11


SAINT PAUL, MN (November 21, 2011) – The Enchanted Toy Shop. Saint Paul City Ballet (SPCB) presents its 3rd annual, must-see holiday event for the whole family. The magic of the season is captured as the SPCB Company leads a cast of sixty living dolls, swirling snowflakes, tiny reindeer and more. Performances are scheduled at the E.M. Pearson Theater, Concordia University in St. Paul on Friday, December 16, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 17, 2:00 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 18, 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

The Enchanted Toyshop is the perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance, much like the Nutcracker. Set in Europe during the Victorian era, this charming 85-minute ballet is based on La Boutique Fantasque from Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The Rossini score has been complimented by Tchaikovsky’s Waltz Of The Snow Flakes and Waldteufel’s Skater’s Waltz and is woven seamlessly together in dazzling theatrical staging by SPCB’s Artistic Partners, Ted Sothern, Jennifer Murry and Georgia Finnegan Amdahl.

New this season: SPCB welcomes Greg Drotar to the role of the toy maker. Greg has a long distinguished career that includes choreographic, directorial, performing and teaching credits. Highlights of his performing include Jerome Robbins’ Les Noces, Nureyev’s Nutcracker, MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet and Balanchine’s Symphony in C and Four Temperaments and was in the original cast of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ on Broadway. Also, Claire Westby of Liz Gerring Dance Company in New York returns to SPCB where she trained, as a guest artist to dance lead doll roles.

Tickets: $28 Adults, $22 Children 12 & under and Seniors, groups of 10 or more $20.
They may be purchased online at or by calling the SPCB office at 651-690- 1588. Day-of-show tickets are sold 1 hour prior to each performance at E.M. Pearson Theater, 312 N Hamline Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55101.


SAINT PAUL, MN (November 17, 2011) – Give to the Max Day! $9,620.00 was raised for Saint Paul City Ballet in 24 hours on November 16 as Minnesotans came together to make this the biggest giving day of the year. Visit for all of the details on the $13,559,905 donated by 47,539 donors.


SAINT PAUL, MN (September 26, 2011) –Joseph Morrissey returns to Saint Paul City Ballet to set his choreography. Saint Paul City Ballet welcomes him back to set his choreography for the Company’s January performance. Friends of Saint Paul City Ballet are invited to see them rehearse on Friday, September 30 at noon at SPCB studios, 1680 Grand Avenue, St. Paul.


SAINT PAUL, MN (August 29, 2011) – Landmark Center and Saint Paul City Ballet have once again joined together to present Ballet Tuesdays, a free ballet program on the second Tuesday of the month from September 13, 2011 until May 8, 2012. The performances will take place over the lunch hour and guests are encouraged to bring a bag lunch or purchase a lunch at Anita’s Café, located on the south end of Landmark Center’s cortile. The series is free and open to the public.

Throughout this nine month series, The St. Paul City Ballet’s Company of dancers will perform excerpts from their holiday show, The Enchanted Toy Shop, The Masquerade Ball and Peter Pan. To start off the series, on September 13, 2011, The St. Paul City Ballet will begin with a performance that has an educational emphasis which showcases choreographed barre and center techniques. Visit for the latest details on Ballet Tuesdays.

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