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Ballet Co.laboratory Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Season

The season begins with Ballet Co.Laboratory's annual benefit performance, Dirty Dancing, which will take place on October 8, 2022.

Ballet Co.Laboratory (BCL) unveils its 2022/23 season this Friday, kicking off a yearlong celebration of the organization's fifth anniversary. In 2018, Ballet Co.Laboratory opened its doors with a primary mission in mind, to reframe the narrative of what ballet is and who ballet is for. With 27 of the 48 months of their existence in the throes of a global pandemic, their current success is due in large part to the grit of resilient artists and community members, determined to beat the odds. Five unique productions this season encapsulate this spirit, pushing against the current limitations of classical ballet to expand its potential for future generations while celebrating the varied identities that embody Ballet Co.Laboratory.

Artistic Director and Founder Zoé Henrot reflects on her own overlapping identities, saying, "I have identified as a ballet dancer since I was six years old. Yet as I started to identify as a queer ballerina, I was constantly told what ballet was and was not. I often felt I embodied what they said ballet "was not," especially when most of the ballets I was performing featured storylines I could not relate to. It was because of this that I questioned for a long time if I had a place in this art form." It is also because of these experiences that Henrot created Ballet Co.Laboratory. "My vision for this organization was to be an artistic home for all, because a diverse representation of cultural, racial, socioeconomic, body type, and gender identities is essential to the future vitality of ballet," she states.

In the organization's formative years, they have worked to feature surprising collaborations, develop new ballets reflective of their community, and advance equity in the classical arts. "Ballet Co.Laboratory was the first professional ballet company and school in our state to: remove the stereotypical cultural dances in The Nutcracker, nurture dancers to wear tights and shoes that match their skin tone vs. the historical Eurocentric pink, empower dancers to select rehearsal and performance attire they identify with vs. the gender they were assigned to at birth, and create a full-length ballet that features a queer love story," acclaims Managing Director Rachel Koep. In addition to these notable "firsts," Ballet Co.Laboratory has created 9 new full-length ballets, employed 88 artists, instructed 805 students, and performed for more than 17,000 audience members since 2018.

Ballet Co.Laboratory's fifth anniversary season honors the organization's growth and resiliency, and hails the transformative power of storytelling. The full season line-up, including three world premieres and two expanded works, can be found below. More details on each performance and tickets can be found on Ballet Co.Laboratory's website HERE.

Ballet Co.Laboratory's 2022/23 5th Anniversary Performance Season

The season begins with Ballet Co.Laboratory's annual benefit performance, Dirty Dancing, which will take place on October 8, 2022 in the company's intimate studio theatre. This classic coming-of-age story with a nostalgic flair will be choreographed by Genevieve Waterbury. Audiences will have the time of their life at this celebratory performance complete with themed sips-n-bites, a silent auction, games, and opportunities to connect with Ballet Co.Laboratory dancers and artistic staff.

As blustery winter winds blow into Minnesota, Ballet Co.Laboratory will take their original 2020 ballet made for film, The Snow Queen, to the stage of The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts from December 2-4, 2022. This sparkling holiday production will warm audiences from the inside out with newly expanded scenes and choreography by Ballet Co.Laboratory Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot.

Ballet Co.Laboratory continues to advance its Laboratory II: Emerging Choreographer Program with The Wild Rumpus. This original interpretation of the colorful children's tale, Where The Wild Things Are, makes its debut at the Park Square Theatre on March 11-12, 2023. The production, created by Ballet Co.Laboratory's 2023 Emerging Choreographer Hannah MacKenzie Marguiles, will be performed by a cast of upper-level students from The School of Ballet Co.Laboratory. Venture into the night as mischief-makers of all ages find freedom in imagination and discover the resilience of the human spirit.

In collaboration with guest artists from around the Twin Cities, Ballet Co.Laboratory presents a dancing history of the changing domestic expectations of women throughout time in Kitchen Dances. This world premiere choreographed by American Ballet Theatre dancer Claire Davison, in conjunction with local artists Nieya Amezquita, MonaLisa Berman, Susana di Palma, and Juliana Johnson, will take place at the Luminary Arts Center from March 31-April 2, 2023. Audiences will be moved by the metamorphosis of the heart of the home from a place of duty to an experimental playground of possibilities.

In the final production of the season, Carmen in the 1920s will put swing dance en pointe. This fiery twist on an opera classic, choreographed by Zoé Emilie Henrot, will take the stage May 19-21, 2023 at E.M. Pearson Theatre. Accompanied by a live jazz ensemble to a fresh arrangement of Georges Bizet's bold score, Carmen in the 1920s bristles with excitement, danger, and destiny.


Single tickets start at $25 and will be available beginning July 15 for purchase online at or by contacting the Ballet Co.Laboratory Box Office at 651.313.5967

Ballet Co.laboratory Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Season

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