How did you begin your love of ballet?
I fell in love with dance at the age of 3 while attending Boulder Ballet’s Nutcracker. Throughout my childhood I would put on performances for family and friends, insisting that my sister and her friends were my company and I was the director. Little did I know that I’d end up here in St. Paul directing a ballet company. It has been and continues to be an incredible journey and I am loving the ride!
What is the significance of the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun in the ballet repertoire?
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faune is a classic and very iconic piece of dance history. Originally choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes, it was one of the first “modern-style” ballets as it was danced barefoot used very angular movements and lines.
Does the piece have any personal significance to you?
I remember watching the entire piece for the first time in my college Dance History class. The first image of the Faun seated on the bolder is will forever be burned in my mind. I remember thinking “How is it that such simple and small movement can be so mesmerizing?”
LAMF and the St Paul Ballet have similar missions in terms of accessibility and community engagement. What are those connections, and how have they impacted this collaboration?
I think that both organizations truly love art and want to invite everyone in the community to love art as well. In addition, both organizations have artists leading the way, which brings so much raw passion into the organization and the realization of its mission. Scott and I have been able to work with one another very easily because we trust that the passion we have as artists will create a beautiful and sincere product.
The St Paul Ballet is an artist-run company. What does that mean, and how does it work?
St. Paul Ballet has been artist-led since 2013. This governance model came out of necessity and has evolved into who we are. Being artist-led mean that the artist, in addition to dancing, also hold administrative positions within the organization. We have artist who have grown into administrative roles such as Communications Manager, Technical Production Managers, Development Consultants, and more. In addition to our 25-30 hours of dancing a week, the company has a weekly administrative meeting and is assigned a Board Member to work with outside of the studio. It has been a learning process, however very rewarding!