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The professional company of St. Paul Ballet’s will complete the 2017/18 season in 1920s New York City. Carmen is an original ballet by Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot with music by Composer Richard Erickson.

The St. Paul Ballet (SPB) brings audiences at The O’Shaughnessy back to the F. Scott Fitzgerald era with a fresh adaptation on the Bizet opera, Carmen.  St. Paul Ballet fully embraces Fitzgerald’s description of the era: “the parties were bigger.  The pace was faster, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser, and the liquor was cheaper” (The Great Gatsby). The birthplace of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Twin Cities was known for successful bootlegging, supporting women’s rights, and speakeasy hot spots. St. Paul Ballet fuses a multitude of local Minnesota artists together to create and revisit a celebrated time period.

Rip Roarin’ Carmen in the 1920s from St. Paul Ballet on Vimeo.

< Download a copy of the program








The project began two years ago with inspiration from the original story of the opera and George Bizet’s score. Zoé Emilie Henrot (Artistic Director) and Richard Erickson (Company Piano Accompanist and Company) worked to arrange and expand the score into a jazz style and interpret the original storyline to fit the 1920s time period. Henrot’s choreography not only features iconic dances such as the charleston and the shag, but also incorporates other artists throughout the metro such as Aaron Preusse, fight choreographer of Fake Fighting Company and professional swing dancers from Uptown Swing. In addition, this performance will showcase live a five-person jazz band on stage with conductor Yuri Ivan of the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, new sets painted by Macalester graduate Annie Henley, and era costumes by MaryBeth Gagner, costumer at Hamline University. These artists bring together and create a unique telling of Carmen completely enveloped in the booming 1920s culture and themes.

Carmen in the 1920s remembers this bebop flare and presents a full evening of live music, classical and swing dancing, and exhilarating story-telling.  Audiences will be left in complete amazement of the many art forms displayed by local Twin Cities artists.

Follow the creation of Carmen on Instagram
Dancers and jazz musicians are rehearsing as the new production heats up for the spring premiere at The O’Shaughnessy.

Performances: Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 2:00pm
Want to bring a group? The O’Shaughnessy offers discounts for groups of 10 or more through their box office (651.690.6759).

Community School Show, Friday, May 11 at 10:30am.
Open to public, charter, and private schools, homeschool groups, assisted living homes and other community groups at reduced prices!

Contact Outreach Team Lead Michelle Ludwig for details


Special thanks to the McKnight Foundation for making this performance possible.


October 14, 2017
The Art of Boxing—
The Sport of Ballet
December 1-3, 2017
Clara’s Dream from
The Nutcracker
March 9-10, 2018
5th Anniversary Best
Added! April 15, 2018
The Art of Boxing—
The Sport of Ballet
May 12-13, 2018

See Past Seasons


FREE OUTREACH PERFORMANCES:Ballet Tuesday at the Landmark CenterOctober 10, 2017
November 14, 2017
December 12, 2017
January 9, 2018
February 13, 2018
March 13, 2018
April 10, 2018
May 1, 2018Toddler Tuesdays at the Mall of AmericaNovember 7, 2017February 20, 2018April 3, 2018 Thank you to our 2017/18 Season Sponsors

Experience a beautiful and raw performance as
ballet dancers and boxers illuminate our common bonds with electric physicality.



Ballet + Boxing for Ordway from Maribeth Romslo on Vimeo.

The Art of Boxing – The Sport of Ballet springs from the partnership between the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym.
Their shared performance is an interactive experience that crackles with energy, blurring lines and illuminating the grace, athleticism and common rituals of ballet and boxing. The performance, fundein part bThe Knight Foundation Cultural Opportunity Fund, springs from the unusual partnership between the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym that is sure to challenge stereotypes as it bridges seemingly disparate cultures and demanding physical pursuits. The St. Paul Ballet’s Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot and Element Boxing Director Dalton Outlaw choreographed the performance as aninteractive experience that highlights the common rituals of ballet and boxing. 
The partnership between St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym began organically as the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym shared common space in the building with dancers and boxers, working and training side by side. The partnership evolved as the two groups learned more about their common goals to transform lives, build community and to provide access to high quality programs in an inclusive, diverse community. The organization’s leaders, both passionate about their craft, also see in the partnership a unique opportunity to bring cultures together. Together, the organizations serve more than 500 individuals every year and hope to reach many more.

In 2016, St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym were one of 27 organizations selected to receive the Knight Arts Challenge award, which funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching communities through the arts in four U.S. cities: Akron, Detroit, Miami and St. Paul. Their first major joint performance last October received enthusiastic support from a diverse audience with audience members calling their collaboration“transformative” and “life changing.” 



Post-show Mingle | Target Atrium at The Ordway

Immediately following the performance meet the artistic directors, Zoé Emilie Henrot and Dalton Outlaw along with the dancers and boxers after the performance for a Q&A and conversation.

Additionally, meet local independent filmmaker, Maribeth Romslo and students from the High School for the Recording Arts who filmed the Art of Boxing—The Sport of Ballet in October 2017 to gain real-world experience, build their resumes and create video shorts of their interpretations of the collaboration.
This performance is made possible in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Lakes Area Music Festival
Brainerd, Tornstrom Auditorium
August 9, 2017 at 7pm

The company travels to Brainerd for a performance with live orchestra as part of the Lakes Area Music Festival.

Doors open one hour prior to performance. Free of charge; general admission at the Tornstrom Auditorium, 804 Oak Street, Brainerd.

The Art of Boxing. The Sport of Ballet.
October 14, 2017

A night to explore the form and function of the dancer and the athlete.

What started as two different organizations sharing a common space grew to become a group of people that share a common vision. The Art of Boxing. The Sport of Ballet., put on by the partnership between the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym, is a performance and an exhibition that explores the similar beauty behind the movement and preparation of the dancer and the athlete.

With the help from our friends at the Knight Arts Challenge, a national program committed to engaging and enriching communities through the arts, this performance will use SPB company members and professional athletes from Element to create an experience that highlights the grace, dynamism and shared rituals ingrained in the art of ballet and the sport of boxing.

Imagine a boxing ring and a stage on either side of a gymnasium with the audience in between. Created by the SPBs Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot and Element Boxing Director Dalton Outlaw, The Art of Boxing. The Sport of Ballet is a community event created from a common vision to build equity, inclusivity and community through the art of movement.

Whether you come for the boxing, the ballet or both, this event is a truly unique cultural experience that pushes the boundaries on what we do and do not perceive to be art and sport in the modern athletic culture.

Thank you to our Event Partners



Clara’s Dream from The Nutcracker

Fifth Anniversary Best at the Cowles Center