New Ballet KITCHEN DANCE Explores Women's Evolving Domestic Duties

Kitchen Dances explores how women's power of choice and agency over their own lives has evolved through various time periods and cultures.

New Ballet KITCHEN DANCE Explores Women's Evolving Domestic Duties

Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Eisenhower Theater

As Women's History Month draws to a close, Ballet Co.Laboratory will present a ballet that honors the creativity and resilience of women through their relationships to the kitchen.

Premiering at the Luminary Arts Center from March 31-April 2, Kitchen Dances explores how women's power of choice and agency over their own lives has evolved through various time periods and cultures. This dancing "herstory" is choreographed by American Ballet Theatre dancer Claire Davison, and will feature local guest artist Susana di Palma performing flamenco to illuminate the ways in which the kitchen unifies us across time and place.

Kitchen Dances began as Kitchen Dance, a short film project by Maribeth Romslo in collaboration with the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and featuring Ballet Co.Laboratory Artistic Director Zoé Henrot. The film was inspired by the Frankfurt Kitchen, the first kitchen designed by a woman. Created in post-World War I Europe, this kitchen layout was marketed as a solution to make women's lives more efficient, so they could spend more time on pursuits outside the home. Both the film and this dance production explore whether or not this monumental design change made lasting impacts on women's lives.

"The kitchen highlights how women balance many moving parts, multitasking to the maximum. In many ways, this hasn't changed through time, but there are other ways in which women reclaim the kitchen as a place of play and possibility," Artistic Director Zoé Henrot reflects. "I knew Ballet Co.Laboratory could build upon the amazing work my longtime collaborator Maribeth [Romslo] has done to share this story with an even bigger audience."

Female empowerment resonates strongly with Kitchen Dances choreographer Claire Davison, a current dancer with American Ballet Theatre, who has been dancing in the kitchen as long as she can remember. "When I was first approached about the project, it occurred to me that I have lived with a Frankfurt Kitchen for a long time and didn't even know it," she shares. "I liked the idea of telling stories of women living within in the same kitchen throughout different times and cultures."

Similarly, the music and soundscape used for Kitchen Dances summon pictures of life across generations. Musical selections include familiar artists such as The Andrews Sisters (in a nod to Minnesota), Philip Glass, Duke Ellington, and some artists that may be less familiar to audiences but share sounds from Spain, Ethiopia, and Ireland. The inclusion of Iranian indie-rock band Radio Tehran, known for highlighting issues of young Iranians, is an acknowledgement of the resilience of the women of Iran as they struggle for equality in today's climate. Beyond the music, a soundscape of recipes and stories from women of different generations and backgrounds demonstrate how the kitchen connects us to our ancestors and each other.

Dancers will tell the stories of the kitchen within a life-size replica of the original Frankfurt Kitchen. The kitchen set takes on a life of its own, as it changes shape throughout the production, expanding and contracting to symbolize the literal and figurative boundaries of traditional gender roles.

The kitchen is often described as the heart of a home - a place we gather with loved ones to nourish our bodies and souls. In Ballet Co.Laboratory's Kitchen Dances, audiences and performers will witness its metamorphosis from a place of duty to an experimental playground of possibilities. You may just be inspired to go home and make a kitchen memory of your own.

Friday, March 31, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 2:00 pm

The Luminary Arts Center

700 N 1st St / Minneapolis, MN 55401

Tickets begin at $30 and are available for purchase online at or by calling the Ballet Co.Laboratory Box Office at 651.313.5967.

Ballet Co.Laboratory is a professional ballet company and school located in Saint Paul, MN which works to re-imagine how ballet is taught, created, and presented.

Established in 2018, Ballet Co.Laboratory's professional dancers, students, and staff honor the foundations of classical ballet as they move the art form forward by advancing equity in the classical arts and fostering unique collaborations with their community.

For more information on Ballet Co.Laboratory and their programs, visit


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