ThreeFold: A program packed with sensory delights, beauty, humor and stellar dancing.

STAR TRIBUNE: Best of the Week (May 19-26): ‘Matilda the Musical,’ Chromeo, St. Paul Ballet, L7, Memorial weekend

St. Paul Ballet’s “ThreeFold” celebrates legendary Minnesota dancer and teacher Bonnie Mathis, a former principal with American Ballet Theatre. Penelope Freeh and Sally Rousse perform works that reference the influential “psychological ballets” by choreographer Antony Tudor, in which Mathis was a noted performer. And Helen Hatch premieres “The Machine Stops,” based on an E.M. Forster short story, with live music by (Seth Conover from) the Minneapolis band Poolboy (with Micah Patchin). —Sheila Regan

The Machine Stops by Helen Hatch Brianne Bland©2019
Simple Folk by Penelope Freeh Brianne Bland©2019
Reckoning Agents by Sally Rousse Brianne Bland©2019

May 23-25 ThreeFold

ThreeFold brings together seasoned dance makers Penelope Free, Helen Hatch, and Sally Rousse, united by mutual admiration and inspiration of legendary dancer and teacher Bonnie Mathis. The new dances will feature some of the Twin Cities’ most acclaimed dancers with live and recorded music (Seth Conover from Poolboy with Micah Patchin, Beethoven, Gorecki, Weill) produced by St.Paul Ballet.

Thursday, May 23 at 7:30pm
Friday, May 24 at 7:30pm
Saturday, May 25 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Tickets: $13-$28; pay-as-able Saturday at 2pm
The Southern Theater  |  Box office 612-326-1811
1420 S. Washington Ave. | Minneapolis, MN 55454 

About the work:

Simple Folk, a quartet first created in 2009 by Penelope Freeh, is reimagined for ThreeFold. Featuring Freeh, Da’Rius Malone, and original cast members Chris Hannon and Sally Rousse, the work uses folk songs transcribed by Beethoven to support various characters, enabling the dancers to embody experiences from the sublime to the ridiculous. With subtle humor and wistful melancholy, Simple Folk waxes nostalgic about profundities large and small. Simple Folk’s strongly drawn characterizations align with Bonnie Mathis’s famed performances of the psychological ballets of Antony Tudor.

Choreographer Helen Hatch, fresh off the success of 2018’s Isotope joins forces once again with musician Seth Conover of Poolboy for the premiere of The Machine Stops featuring dancers Berit Ahlgren, Kacey Hauk, Elayna Waxse, with an original score played live by Conover and Micah Patchin. Hatch and Conover use E.M. Forster’s 1909 science fiction short story The Machine Stops as a catalyst for the new work. Hatch, who received her early training from Mathis, collaborated with Freeh in the recent show Tuxedo and often mentored by Rousse, recently founded Hatch Dance, a vehicle for her contemporary choreography. 

Sally Rousse creates Reckoning Agents, a trio drawing inspiration from the second oldest profession: spying. The embodied gestural movement is driven by the pulsive, sound score with references to a few of the Tudor ballets Bonnie Mathis performed (Lilac Garden and Judgement of Paris). Guest artist Dmitri Peskov is joined by JSB’s Eve Schulte and Rousse. Reckoning Agents is Rousse’s second commission from St.Paul Ballet, following SHRE in 2016.

About the choreographers:

Penelope Freeh has been part of the Twin Cities dance community since 1994. She is a two-time McKnight Fellow for Choreographers, a McKnight Fellow for Dancers, and Sage awardee for Outstanding Performer. Her work is in the repertoires of James Sewell Ballet (where she danced for seventeen years),  Zenon Dance Company, Minnesota Dance Theatre, Alternative Motion Project, Minnesota Ballet, and Gem City Ballet among others. Test Pilot, a chamber dance opera created with local composer Jocelyn Hagen, won a Sage Award for Best Overall Design. Currently an MFA in Dance candidate at Hollins University, she teaches at the University of Minnesota,  the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Zenon, and TU Dance. 

Helen Hatch is an independent dancer and choreographer based in Minneapolis. Named as one of Minnesota Monthly’s “10 Artists to Watch” in 2012, Helen was a member of Minnesota Dance Theatre from 2011-2017, dancing an eclectic range of repertory while also creating her own work. Helen is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program where she was awarded Dance Departmental Honors. Her choreography has been presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, the 2011 Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival, 2014 MN Fringe Festival, The Southern Theater, throughout Mexico and Guatemala by the Juntos Collective, and commissioned by Minnesota Dance Theatre, Saint Paul Ballet, Penelope Freeh, and Aveda. Helen is the Founder and Director of Hatch Dance, whose debut performance Isotope was named a “2018 Top Ten Twin Cities Dance Performance” by the Star Tribune.

Sally Rousse received two McKnight Fellowships for Dancers, a Sage Award for Outstanding Performer and was named Artist of the Year by CityPages. She co-founded James Sewell Ballet in New York City in 1990, serving as its managing director and artistic associate throughout its move to Minneapolis in 1993. Her choreography has been seen in both theatrical and commercial venues such as the Guthrie, Southern, and State Theaters; the Walker Art Center, MASS MoCA, the Cartoon Channel, and Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre. Since leaving JSB in 2014, Rousse’s site-specific work has taken dance off the tradition stage and featured artists who identify as LGBTQ, gender fluid, mature, disabled, female, native, and/or POC. As the Cowles Center’s first Artist in Residence, she engaged the community through free workshops, art installations, tours, discussions, and the acclaimed promenade performance ICON SAM: Temple Dances. Rousse performed as a leading dancer with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and Ballet Chicago, dancing works by Maurice Béjart, Jiri Kylian, and over 75 new works created on her by contemporary and post-modern choreographers.


Berit Ahlgren Native to St. Paul, MN, Berit Ahlgren gained her foundational dance training from Minnesota Dance Theater. She was a founding member of TU Dance under the artistic directorship of Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, performing with the company between 2006—2016. Receiving Metropolitan Regional Art Council’s Next Step Grant in 2011, Ahlgren had the opportunity to study the Gaga Movement Language in Tel Aviv, and moved to Israel to pursue a teacher certification between 2011-2012. Ahlgren obtained her MFA in Dance from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts in 2016, and has been performing, choreographing, and teaching between the Twin Cities and New York City ever since.

Christopher Hannon has been a professional dancer for 29 years, and has performed soloist and principal roles with Ballet Austin, Ballet Florida, Ballet British Columbia, Alberta Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, and Gina Patterson’s Voice Dance. He trained at the Houston Ballet Academy while studying classical and jazz guitar at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts. He later completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. A 2016 recipient of a McKnight Fellowship for Dance, one of Chris’ highlights was performing the role of Mercutio in Compania de Danza 21’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” in Havana, Cuba in April of 2017.

Kacey Hauk graduated from St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in 2008. That year, she received an award for choreography from NFAA’S YoungARTS Program in Miami. She performed it at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. where she was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Kacey graduated from The Juilliard School in 2012. She was featured on HBO’s Masterclass under mentorship of Bill T. Jones. She’s choreographed Chuck Mee’s The Four Seasons at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in NYC and performed with Nai Ni Chen Dance Company until 2013. She is certified in PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique). Kacey is thrilled to be performing with Hatch Dance again and grateful to share her love of movement with as many people as possible.

Da’Rius Malone, from Chicago, IL, began his training under the direction of August Tye at Hyde Park School of Dance. Da’Rius is a 2014 graduate of The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), where he won the award for ScholarArtist and had the privilege to perform works from leading Chicago dance companies such as DanceWorks Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Muntu Dance Theater, and Joffrey Ballet. Da’Rius continued his training at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Da’Rius is a 2018 graduate with his BFA in Contemporary Dance with an Emphasis in Ballet. Da’Rius has performed works by Doug Varone, Joshua Manculich, Merce Cunningham, and Danny Buraczeski. He has also danced in several world premieres of choreography by Francesca Harper, MADBOOTS and Yury Yanowsky. Da’Rius has also attended the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company Summer Intensive, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Intensive, American Ballet Theatre (New York City), Ballet Austin, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and 10 Hairy Legs Winter Intensive. Da’Rius wants to use his dance education and experience as a professional concert dancer to create a platform to make a positive impact in life.

Dmitri Peskov is the Chair of the Dance Department at Snow College in Ephraim, UT. He is not related to Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the past three years Dmitri presented three new works at the Regional and National Galas of the American College Dance Association, performed with Gileadi Dance Company in Salt Lake City and set new dances for the Jacksonville Dance Theatre, the Dance Now Festival in New York City, the Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival in Chicago and the RAD Dance Fest in Kalamazoo, MI. He will return to New York City this June and September to present new choreography for the Project 44 Dance Company and the 2019 Dance Now Festival at Joe’s Pub.

Eve Schulte is a performer and instructor based in Minneapolis, MN. She grew up training in ballet and modern at Minnesota Dance Theatre, and transitioned to company member in 2007. In 2009, she joined James Sewell Ballet, where she serves as both dancer and artistic associate. She also frequently collaborates with physical theater group Live Action Set, which is pioneering innovative immersive and interactive moving stories. She has performed or taught in France, Germany, Denmark, Canada, and nationally in 17 states. Her choreographic work Any Offered None was nominated for a 2016 MN Sage Award for Outstanding Performance. Eve also holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. More at


Seth Conover is a musician working in Minneapolis. He’s the primary songwriter for the band Poolboy, which won City Pages’ Best New Band in 2017. This is Seth’s second collaboration with Hatch Dance (Isotope) and first collaboration with Micah Patchin.

Micah Patchin is delighted for the opportunity to be collaborating with Seth Conover after many years of discussing how “they should” and is honored to see Helen Hatch choreograph original movement to sound. He is a remodeler by day and will be moving to the West Coast this summer to pursue a career in experimental sound and design.


Joanna McLarnan, Lighting Designer is a freelance lighting designer and electrician based in the Twin Cities. She has worked at theaters such as Theater Latte Da, the Walker Art Center, the Southern Theater, Off-Leash Art Box, and others. Her recent designs include Animus with E/D, Heist with Sparkle Theatricals, Isotope with Hatch Dance, The Skriker with Fortune’s Fool Theater, and WHEN I NOD MY HEAD YOU HIT IT WITH THE HAMMER.

Rick Ausland, Sound Design and Production Manager is a co-founder of the Minneapolis-based dance and music company Buckets and Tap Shoes (MN Fringe Favorite 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014; Minneapolis City Pages “Best Dance Performance 2005”). He was a featured guest on A Prairie Home Companion, was nominated for a 2013 SAGE Award for “Outstanding Performer,” and has performed in over 35 of the 50 states and internationally. In the Twin Cities, Rick has had the honor of performing at the Cowles Center for Performing Arts (Buckets and Tap Shoes’ DREAMS, Twin Cities Tap Festival 2017 and 2018), the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio, the Fitzgerald Theater, the First Avenue Mainroom (2005, 2006, 2007), the Dakota Jazz Club, the Lab Theater, the Minnesota State Fair, and many other venues. Rick has choreographed and taught dance throughout Minnesota (Lundstrum Performing Arts, Children’s Theatre, Main Street School for Performing Arts, Perpich Center for Arts Education, the St. Paul Conservatory, Zenon) and abroad (Austria, Ecuador, Finland, Malta, and Russia). He is a graduate of Larkin Dance Studio and the Perpich Center for Arts Education (Media Arts Major) and has more than 20 years of experience in sound design and board operation, lighting design, film production, photography, and event management. In the last 5 years, Rick designed sound for more than 300 events throughout Minnesota. Rick serves as the technical director of Sparkle Theatricals, and is the host of the Have Tap Shoes Will Travel podcast.