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2015/16 St. Paul Ballet Season finished April 30th and was a great success. The largest audiences in SPB’s history and the most performances in any season. Thank you, audiences for your support! We hope you were entertained and lifted by our work.

2015-16 Season



October 2, 2015 – Bella Luna


Bella Luna
October 2, 2015 at 7:30pm
The O’Shaughnessy
2004 Randolph Ave | St Paul, MN 55105 | 651.690.6700

Review: St. Paul Ballet brings charming ‘Bella Luna’ to life at O’Shaughnessy


Bella Luna is a ballet in one act, inspired by the traditional characters and situations of the Commedia dell’Arte – a popular form of theatre created in Italy and spread throughout Europe beginning in the 16th century. This “Tristan and Isolde” tale of tragic love plays out under the glow of the beautiful moon as Izzy and Arlo’s love proves to be no match for tradition and deceit.

The first act of the mixed repertory evening gives a taste of the breadth and depth of the artistry of the dancers of St. Paul Ballet through variations and finale Excerpts of Don Quixote, staged by Lirena Branitski and a premiere of contemporary ballet, Locked Key by Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot. Family-friendly. Ninety minutes. The story>

December 17-20, 2015 – Clara’s Dream: from The Nutcracker

ClaraDream_for BPT_2015
December 17, 2015 at 7:00pm (Meet the company at a Talk Back immediately following) SOLD OUT
(very limited walk-up tickets available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis 1 hour prior to performance)

December 18, 2015 at 7:30pm SOLD OUT
(very limited walk-up tickets available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis 1 hour prior to performance)

December 19, 2015 at 2:00pm SOLD OUT
(very limited walk-up tickets available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis 1 hour prior to performance)

December 19, 2015 at 7:30pm SOLD OUT
(very limited walk-up tickets available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis 1 hour prior to performance)

December 20, 2015 at 1:00pm (Meet the company at a Talk Back immediately following) SOLD OUT-no walkup

December 20, 2015 at 6:00pm SOLD OUT
(very limited walk-up tickets available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis 1 hour prior to performance: Evening performance only)

Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center Mainstage at Macalester College
Tickets $26 Adult, $20 Senior/Student (ages 13-21), $16 Child (ages 3-12)
TICKETS Clara’s Dream: From The Nutcracker

This year the ballet unveils breathtaking new scenery for the growing tree and the Land of the Sweets designed by Anne Henly along with shimmering new costumes for the Land of Snows by Christina Onusko. LEARN MORE> 

Review: St. Paul Ballet dreams up a ‘Nutcracker’-inspired show

February 12-14, 2016

TICKETS The Work: 4 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

Have you made your Valentine’s weekend plans? Join us at Mason’s Restaurant Barre
at The Cowles Center for Dance before or after the show. SPECIALS:

Friday or Saturday get 2 glasses of bubbly, 2 desserts and 2 tickets only $75!

Sunday Brunch 11am-2pm “Drink and Do Good” event. A benefit for St Paul
Ballet featuring SPBallet bartenders. $2 of every specialty drink and brunch benefits SPB!

Drink and do some good for St. Paul Ballet. On February 14th, Mason’s Barre and Restaurant will be hosting a brunch buffet before the closing performance of “The Work: 4 Women in Choreography” at The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts. $2 from each buffet purchase and signature cocktail will go towards benefitting St. Paul Ballet. Bring a Valentine or come solo to enjoy delicious treats and tasty drinks! Signature Cocktails for the brunch:
Four Women – Champagne, lime juice, Jalapeno-infused blanco Tequila; feminine with a kick!
See Beyond Beautiful – Vodka, elder flower liqueur, lemon juice garnished with a twist of lemon and basil leaf!

Fine Print: $2 from the purchase of the brunch buffet ONLY will go towards SPB. Individual items not included. $2 from SPB signature cocktails ONLY go towards SPB. These cocktails will be determined closer to 2/14. Mimosas and bloody marys not included. The “Drink and Do Good” Benefit is a separate promotion from the 2 Tickets, 2 Drinks, 2 Glasses of Bubbly for $75. You do not have to be a ticket holder for any of the shows to attend the brunch!

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.

Each piece is a world premier set on the company of St. Paul Ballet. No strangers to contemporary ballet, the SPB dancers will showcase their refined maturity and movement language in a mixed-repertory concert of range and athletic prowess.

A full evening of women choreographers in ballet is no small feat and SPB is elated to give this gift to the Twin Cities community. MORE>

Sally Rousse’s new work, “Shre,” is set to the music of Augusta Read Thomas and focuses on the use of the pointe shoe and human back to create new shapes and ways of moving. As the first female dancer to have set foot on the stage at the Cowles Center, Rousse says she feels very good about passing on all of her pointe shoe secrets and holding nothing back. For more information on Sally’s work with SPB visit her website.

Diane Coburn Bruning put the dancers through a potent 30 hours during her residency creating Six, a pas de dix that emphasizes daring and unexpected partnering work accompanied by the sliding and rebounding that dancing in stockings creates.

Jamie Johnson followed on Diane’s heels in November bringing her elegant phrasing and sublime line to a new piece for SPB.

Finally, Zoé Emilie Henrot makes a return to the Goodale stage with, Locked Key. Her work explores the circular nature of human psychology through fluid strength.

April 29 & 30: An American in Paris

April 24, 2016 at 3:00pm
Paramount Theatre & Visual Arts Center
913 West St. Germain Street | St Cloud, MN 56301 | 302.259.5463
TICKETS for An American in Paris in St. Cloud

April 29, 2016 at 7:30pm
April 30, 2016 at 7:30pm
The O’Shaughnessy
2004 Randolph Ave | St Paul, MN 55105 | 651.690.6700
TICKETS for An American in Paris in St. Paul

Ballet_Ages_1LockedKey_1ACT 1:
Trace the evolution of classical ballet from the 1800s through the mid 1900s through solo variations, pas de deux and group pieces. Classic gems from great ballets such as La Bayadere, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and more have been set on the company by Laura Greenwell. Dancers will be joined on stage by SPB’s lead pianist Franco Holder.

You asked for an encore of Locked Key by Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot and here it is! Locked Key premiered at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts earlier this year to great acclaim.

In this one-act ballet the romantic elegance of Paris meets the bold exuberance of America in the classic tale adapted by Peter Davison. The cast of 36 dancers includes community favorite, Jim Leiberthal as wealthy aristocrat Henri, Preston Stockert as Jerry the American, and Nicole Brown as Lise the Parisian school teacher. Davison’s choreography mixes contemporary ballet movement with physical theater, perfectly suiting SPB. Gershwin’s enthusiastic melodies meld perfectly with the romance and exuberance of the original story so many audiences know and love.

A sneak peek will be live-streamed from our studio on April 16th. All are invited to our free preview at 655 Fairview Ave N on that day from 1-3 pm, or watch from anywhere on Facebook and Youtube!


Peter Davison brings over 38 years of diverse performing experience. In 1982 Peter became a founding member of the trio Airjazz with which he appeared at venues such as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, BAM, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. He has also been a member of David Taylor Dance Theater, Jan Justis Dance Company, Kim Robards Dance, and 3rd Law Dance/Theater, and has performed principal roles with Boulder Ballet since 1987. Peter has received the Arts Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation of the Arts and the Performance Fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts. He has choreographed works for several Colorado-based companies, and he is a recipient of the 2009 Ballet Builders Award for Choreography, from New Choreographers on Pointe in New York City.

Henrot graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 2012 with a double major in Dance and Biological Sciences. Having grown up in Boulder, Colorado, Zoé received most of her dance training from Boulder Ballet, becoming an apprentice with the company in the 2007-2008 season. In addition to her training in Boulder and at Mount Holyoke College, Zoé has trained with Kansas City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet. Working with prominent choreographers such as Peter Davison, Ana Claire, Jim Coleman, Terese Freedman, Rose & Charles Flachs, Kinsun Chan, and Diane Coburn-Bruning has very much influenced her artistry and choreography. In 2011 she started choreographing ‘Becoming Undone,’ her largest work, which premiered in March 2012. In November 2012, Ms. Henrot was invited to be a guest choreographer for the Five College Dance Department in Massachusetts. ‘Gray Matter’ premiered at the Southern Theater as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August 2013 followed by her most recent work, ‘Nadine’ in 2014. This is Zoé’s third season with Saint Paul Ballet serving as the Artistic Director.

Greenwell is trained in classical dance from Ballet Arts Minnesota, under the direction of Bonnie Mathis, Christina Onusko and Lirena Branitski. She continued her studies with the Butler Ballet, the dance department of Butler University in Indianapolis. For more than eight years she has been instructing Vaganova-based Russian ballet and pointe, and has been creating classical and contemporary ballet works for various dance schools. Laura is an American Ballet Theatre(R) Certified Teacher, has extensive character dance training, and has been privately coached by Lirena Branitski. Laura has most recently danced as a company member with St. Paul Ballet.

Franco enjoys working with musicians, dancers, artists, and children a like. He has collaborated on performances for the Schubert Club, Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, New Age Art Salon, Nimbus Theater and is a past winner of the Artistic Ambassadors Competition. Franco is organist at Crown of Glory Lutheran Church.


2014-15 Season

St. Paul City Ballet photos, July 28, 2009

Spring Showcase


Saint Paul Ballet Spring Showcase 2015: A Celebration of Our Students

Saturday, May 9, 2015
12:00pm – Young Dancer Performance
3:00pm – Beginning Ballet through Level 6
7:00pm – Beginning Ballet through Level 6

Sunday, May 10, 2015
3:00pm – Beginning Ballet through Level 6

Macalester College Theater
Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center
1600 Grand Avenue, St Paul, MN
(Enter the ample parking lot from Macalester Street off Grand Avenue. The theater is on the south side of the Arts Center.)

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.

Our students from ages 4-18 have worked all year and would like to share their accomplishments with you. This year’s theme is artwork coming alive. Students have chosen the works of famous artists such as Degas and Van Gogh to interpret. Excerpts from Les Sylphides are presented by the upper level dancers in collaboration with dancers of the SPB Company. The program will showcase both classical and contemporary ballet as well as modern dance and creative movement.

The one-hour program without intermission is perfect for families and a treat for mom on Mother’s Day weekend! TICKETS

Ballet Tuesdays at Landmark Center

On the second Tuesday of every month, join SPCB at the Landmark Center at noon to enjoy a taste of upcoming shows and programs. October through May, 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. at The Landmark Center in Downtown St. Paul. Performances are FREE and open to the public!                                             

Saint Paul Ballet at the Cowles

See highlights from the Cowles Contemporary Program here.

NEDA Walk at Mall of America

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 10:00am SPB in partnership with Park Nicollet Melrose Center for Eating Disorders will perform Shifts by choreographer Kinsun Chan to kickoff National Eating Disorder Week awareness. Performance is FREE and open to the public in the East Rotunda!                                                  


Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker December 2014

A family-friendly performance in just over one-hour with all of the familiar music and characters from this holiday favorite. December 18-21, 2014 at the Macalester College Theater. MORE                                                                                       

Winter Courtyard at Landmark Center Saturday, Nov 29th

Saint Paul Ballet celebrates with all of Saint Paul on Saturday, November 29th! FREE!

Inside Landmark Center:

  • 3:00-5:00pm Saint Paul Ballet performances of the snow scene from The Nutcracker
  • 3:00-5:00pm Life-sized chess set and bouncy castle

Outside Landmark on the Plaza and in Rice Park:

  • 4:00-5:00pm Skating demonstrations on the Wells Fargo Winterskate ice rink
  • 4:30-5:00pm Choo Choo Bob Band, Cast members from the Ordway’s production of “A Christmas Story”, St. Paul Hotel’s “It’s a Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play” and the Minnesota Dance Collaborative in Rice Park
  • 5:00pm 70-foot-tall, 20-foot-wide holiday tree will be lit with 15,000 LED lights in Rice Park
  • 5:30pm Ribbon cutting for the ice rink, Wells Fargo Choir and fireworks on Landmark Plaza!
  • 6:30p-10:00pm Open skating to the public

Landmark Center, 75 W. Fifth St.; free; 651-292-3225 or Performances are FREE and open to the public!   


Installation of Blind Contour

Gallery performances throughout the city in October 2014 of a new work – Blind Contour – by Katie Elliott, Co-Director of 3rd Law Dance/Theater. MORE>

Caroline showing

Saturday, October 4, 6-9pm
Meet Caroline Yang | Short performance 7pm

Grand Central-St. Paul, 1672 Grand Avenue, St. Paul


Saturday, October 18, 7:00, 7:45 and 8:30 pm
American Museum of Asmat Art
Anderson Student Center
2115 Summit Ave
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul
Tickets $15 Adult, $10 Student/Senior. 

PrintFriday, October 24, 7:00, 7:45 and 8:30 pm
Saturday, October 25,  7:00, 7:45 and 8:30 pm
Three Sisters Eclectic Arts, 253 E. 4th St., St. Paul
Tickets $15 Adult, $10 Student/Senior.


 Footsteps at Northern Spark 2014

Northern Spark is an all-night arts festival that lights up Minneapolis on June 14, 2014.

On the second Saturday in June each summer, tens of thousands of people gather along the Minneapolis riverfront and throughout the city to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges. From dusk to dawn the city surprises you: friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences. Northern Spark is the one-night arts event people talk about for the rest of the year.

Performances are FREE at the top of each hour: 9pm – 1am

The Piazza on Nicollet Mall, near the corner of 12th Street

Persons Unknown at the Minnesota Fringe Festival August 5-10, 2014

5 STARS! “One of the companies I’ll be looking for in the future is Saint Paul Ballet. —Matthew Everett, Twin Cities Daily Planet, August 10, 2014

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

University of Minnesota Rarig Center Proscenium, Main Floor, 330 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis (Westbank off Riverside Avenue)

Tuesday, August 5th 5:30pm
Thursday, August 7th 10pm
Friday, August 8th 5:30pm
Saturday, August 9th 8:30pm
Sunday August 10th, 7pm