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December 1, 2017 at 7:30pm
December 2, 2017 at 1:00pm and 7:30pm
December 3, 2017 at 2:00pm (Please join us for a Talk Back with the Company: Immediately following the Saturday and Sunday matinees meet Clara, the Soldier General and the Sugar Plum Fairy!

The O’Shaughnessy  |  2004 Randolph Ave | St Paul, MN 55105
Tickets $20-$35 (fees not included) Discounts for Students, Seniors, Military, Groups and St. Kate’s Alumni

Clara’s Gift Boutique:
Plush dolls, kittens, puppets, angels, mice from North American Bear Company, as well as SPB track jackets, t-shirts and more.

Take Your Photo with the Company Dancers:
Use your camera or phone to snap photos with the main characters from Clara’s Dream in front of our decorated lobby tree following each show. Send us your photos to post on our Facebook page!


“Clara’s Dream” reimagines the holiday favorite in a ballet that still hews to the tradition. —Star Tribune 2015

“Choreographed by artistic director Zoé Emilie Henrot, this whimsical
version is sure to shine on the bigger stage.”
  Sheila Regan for StarTribune, Nov 27, 2016

“Going out: A dozen sure bets for the holiday season…Zoé Emilie Henrot’s re-imagining
of the holiday chestnut (so to speak) makes Clara the star of a “magical mystery tour”
from adolescence to adulthood. With 100 dancers, elaborate costumes by Christina Onusko,
new scenery for the opening set (the party scene) by Anne Henly, and just the right length (90 minutes),
this is a perfect holiday outing for all ages.”
 Pamela Espeland for MinnPost, Nov 23, 2016


Join us for FREE Company Sneak Peeks

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 10:00am and 11:00am
Toddler Tuesday at the Mall of America
Join us in the magically decorated holiday rotunda at MOA. Enjoy excerpts from Clara’s Dream from the Nutcracker and a holiday craft with the costumed SPB Company dancers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at Noon
Ballet Tuesday at Landmark Center
Enjoy excerpts from Clara’s Dream from the Nutcracker and participate with the costumed SPB Company dancers!

Saturday and Sunday, November 18 & 19
655 Fairview Ave. N., St.Paul
Get a sneak peek into the making of Clara’s Dream from the Nutcracker during our Full Cast Rehearsal weekend. Come enjoy the buzz of rehearsal. See our cast of 100 dancers refine every minute of choreography and take final fittings in the magical costumes.

Saturday, November 25, 2017
Barnes & Noble, Roseville at Har Mar Mall
Fall in love with the characters of Clara’s Dream during our Barnes & Noble Story Time the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Costumed SPB Company dancers will lead you through the Land of the Snowflakes to the Kingdom of Sweets.





The most delightful holiday event of the year returns for a fourth holiday season at The O’Shaughnessy.

Zoé Emilie Henrot’s Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker is fun for all ages; the 90-minute length is a perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance with Tchiakovsky’s enthralling and familiar score.

Based on an original story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by ETA Hoffman, SPB has reimagined the star of this story as Clara. The ballet opens with the familiar 19th-century holiday party where we are introduced to Clara and her uncle Drosselmeyer, a magician who arrives with dancing dolls. After the party Clara falls asleep and the magic begins. Her dream begins with a growing tree under which a battle between mice and toy soldiers takes place. She travels through the Land of Snows to the Kingdom of Sweets to meet waltzing flowers, nursery rhyme characters, dancers from many lands and the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy. It’s a fantasy journey told with innocence and wonder to one of the most layered and lush musical scores ever written.


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Last year the ballet unveiled breathtaking new scenery for the opening party scene. “For my concept of Clara’s Dream, I found inspiration in illustrations of the Golden Age, as well as some of the Little Nemo in Slumberland cartoons from newspapers of the 1910s-1920s. These images emphasize movement within the composition, graphic line, and rich colors, all which will help tell our story of Clara’s Dream,” Anne Henly, Scenic designer.

“In the opening scenes, I have created a cozy and festive Victorian living room, complete with fancy drapes, gilded frames, and big bookshelves,” says Henly. She has used special techniques and colors to give the illusion of a grandiose living room, with high ceilings and a snow scene distinguishable through the large windows, a peak of what’s to come later in the performance.”

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 production,” Artistic director Henrot says, “Clara’s Dream is our gift to the community.”



Ms. Henrot is the Artistic Director and choreographer for St. Paul Ballet. In February 2016, her largest work, Locked Key premiered at The Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts. Her holiday ballet, Clara’s Dream is now in its fourth season. Earlier works include Gray Matter and Nadine also seen at The Cowles and her work Being Undone was restaged in November 2012 with Mount Holyoke College and the Five College Dance Department in Massachusetts. She received her dance training from Boulder Ballet, becoming an apprentice with the company in 2007.

Additionally, she trained with Kansas City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet and graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a double major in Dance and Biological Sciences. Working with prominent choreographers such as Peter Davison, Ana Claire, Jim Coleman, Terese Freedman, Rose & Charles Flachs, Kinsun Chan, Diane Coburn-Bruning and Sally Russe has influenced her performing, artistry and choreography.

A Fringe Festival reviewer spoke of Henrot’s work as “A sublime symphony of perfect lines and exquisite gestures, this show doesn’t just feature dancing of the highest caliber, it’s a wonderful embodiment of the Cartesian duality of flesh and mind, of the enactment of consciousness as the transformation of movement into dance.” 


Anne Henly, a Twin Cities-based scenic designer, holds a BA in Studio Art from Macalester College and an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Minnesota’s Theatrical Design and Technology Program. “In my life, I crave a meaningful artistic practice that allows me to work with my hands everyday and work as part of a team,” she says. Ms. Henly’s goal is to make theatre productions that distill the message/story/scenery to its essence in order for the audience to make connections more easily without extraneous visual distractions.