29th Annual Minnesota Dance Festival Press Release

Ballet Minnesota’s 29th annual Minnesota Dance Festival features the classic Paquita and debuts The Farmer’s Market, a children’s ballet


February 22, 2017

Contact: Carolyn Will




April 21 – 22 at The O’Shaughnessy

Saint Paul, MN – Ballet Minnesota presents its 29th annual Minnesota Dance Festival featuring the highly-styled classic, Paquita, along with new works by Artistic Director Andrew Rist and local dance talents, at The O’Shaughnessy, on the campus of St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., Saint Paul, April 21-22, 2017. Ticket prices range from $14 to $30 with discounts for seniors and students. To purchase tickets, visit the O’Shaughnessy events page,

or call The O’Shaughnessy box office at 651-690-6700.

Ballet Minnesota’s full corps de ballet (17 dancers) will perform in Paquita’s variations, featuring ballet’s most celebrated examples of 19th century classicism. “With its Spanish flair, the dancing in this ballet, particularly the wedding scene we are staging, can be quite dramatic and very entertaining for audience members,” said Cheryl Rist, Ballet Minnesota’s Ballet Master. “It’s also extremely demanding of the dancers and requires years of training to perform this ballet.” Originally choreographed for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1846 by Joseph Mazilier, the story centered on a Spanish gypsy girl, named “Paquita,” who saves the life of a French aristocrat, discovers she too has royal blood, and they marry in a large celebration. Over time, however, the full-length ballet has been shortened to one act with a series of variations, solos and a grand pas de deux. The complex choreography has the dancers moving from luxurious piqué arabesques and controlled pirouettes, to relevé fouettés and back to arabesques. Ballet Minnesota’s performance will be the one-act version.

Guest soloists will perform the lead female and male signature roles. Violeta Angelova will dance the lead female role. Angelova is currently a soloist with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and founder of the dance company, Artilius Creations. Dancing the famous grand pas de deux with Angelova will be Andre Luis Teixeira, a soloist with the New Jersey Ballet and Brazilian by birth. He began dancing at age 8, and joined his first company, Sesiminas Companhia, at age 14, where he rose through the ranks to principal dancer. He joined the New Jersey Ballet in 2008.

In addition to staging the one-act Paquita, Ballet Minnesota company members, apprentices and advanced level dancers will perform the second movement (the scherzo) of Andrew Rist’s full-length original ballet, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the life story of Ludwig van Beethoven.

The younger dancers in Ballet Minnesota’s Classical Ballet Academy will premiere another Andrew Rist original, The Farmer’s Market. This ballet is based on a book, also written by Rist, which is a children’s fantasy tale filled with strange creatures and delightful escapades. Music written by Robert E. Hindel and Charlie Maguire will accompany the ballet. “Both the ballet and the book, which I hope to publish this summer, springs from the nearly 30 years our ballet school and company spent in Lowertown, just one block from the Saint Paul Farmer’s Market,” said Andrew Rist, Ballet Minnesota’s Artistic Director. “The farmer’s market provides a rich tapestry for a children’s fantasy and we hope young and old will find it to be a delightful ballet.”

Rounding out the 29th Minnesota Dance Festival will be three unique dance performances by local choreographer and dancer, Helen Hatch, the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, and Ballet Minnesota Company member Casey Juul.

History of Ballet Minnesota and Classical Ballet Academy

Husband and wife team, Andrew and Cheryl Rist, are at the helm of Classical Ballet Academy, founded in 1987, and Ballet Minnesota, which they co-founded in 1990. Andrew Rist serves as Ballet Minnesota’s Artistic Director and Cheryl Rist serves as Costume Designer and Director of Classical Ballet Academy, Ballet Minnesota’s official school.   To view Ballet Minnesota’s performance history and events, visit www.balletminnesota.org.

Purchase your tickets online now through the O’Shaughnessy events page,

or by calling The O’Shaughnessy box office at 651-690-6700.



Friday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.


Adult $30, Senior $22, Student $18, Child $14

Prices include O’Shaughnessy’s $2 restoration fee.

Ballet Minnesota also gratefully acknowledges the support from Target Foundation, Schuler Shoes, The Pioneer Press, Minnesota Public Radio, The St. Paul Hotel, Minnesota Monthly Magazine, Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, Wells Fargo Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and McCarthy-Bjorklund Foundation.