Ballet Co.Laboratory wants to change the way people think about ballet by changing ballet itself. That’s no easy task. The art form is full of tradition, which some people find stuffy and elitist. Plus, there’s this little thing called COVID happening. As Todd Melby reports, the St. Paul company is doing its best to challenge the status quo at a challenging time. Listen here:
For holiday dance productions, we’ve come to expect Tchiakovsky’s Nutcracker as the standard. Ballet Co.Laboratory bucks the trend with a production of Hans Christian Anderson’s 1844 fable, The Snow Queen. The ballet tells the story of a little girl whose brother has been frozen by, you guessed it, the Snow Queen, played by Rachel Seeholzer.
Because of COVID, this ballet will be performed in front of cameras, not a live audience. The cameras magnify facial movements of the dancers that might otherwise be missed to someone sitting in the cheap seats.
“Usually in ballet, it’s smile and be pretty and pretend everything is fun,” says Seeholzer. “For once, I get to furrow my brow and get to pout my lip and let my eyes get really stern.”
Ballet Co.Laboratory’s production of The Snow Queen
will be available for streaming on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20. Tickets are $40 per household. For more information, go to balletcolaboratory.org
Support for MinneCulture comes from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Photo courtesy of Ballet Co.Laboratory in St. Paul, Minn.