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B A L L E T   S C H O O L ...... Adventures of the Ballerina Girls

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B A L L E T   S C H O O L  -  Adventures of the Ballerina Girls

Premiere ............................................. 2000, Minnesota Dance Festival, Fitzgerald Theater, St Paul
2nd Performance ................................ May 4-5, 2012:  24th Minnesota Dance Festival / Fitzgerald Theater, St Paul

Photography: Dave Trayers 2012

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The Third Book In The Ballerina Girls Series
will be available in November 2012

( excerpt from the soon to be published 3rd book in the Ballerina Girls series.)

Reflection 31, page 43, Willow Riley's Reflections on the Ballerina Girls

There Is An Energy Here

There's such a history here.
These walls, filled with photos of those who have passed through before, retelling, remembering those times when the world was made a little bit better, if only for a moment, because those who walked their walk here - at the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota - danced upon the stage

There is such a sense of heritage here, of coming from somewhere. So many feet, tiny feet, year after year, bright eyed and smiling, have grown into their dreams here, have walked these halls in pursuit of that most fleeting of moments - Dance.

And the tears? Yes. The tears have taken their toll, have found quite a home here, befriending those:
     Who wanted to but could not,
     Who wanted more but did not,
     Who dared to dream and became.

So many dancers learning to dance, learning to unravel themselves into the moment,
     Tadpoles, fawns and insects
     Trying to find their legs,
     Bouncing from one wall to the other.

There is an energy here, the pulse of so many hearts beating as one together, ever moving, leaping, gliding, weaving - Together.

There are fears, but you will never forget the smiles. the mounting sense that something grand is about to happen as performance time nears, the hearts pounding with the belief that they can.

This old train depot, its turn of the century bricks, great colossal columns, 'in-need-of-paint' window frames and crumbling joints. has found its heart again, has come to life beneath the struggling feet of so many children learning to dance. It has become a heartbeat once more which demands to be seen.

What feet will skip through these doors in the years to come, once we are gone, only time will tell. What pictures will hang upon these walls remains to be seen. For now, this is a good place of raw, pure, excited energy, its large empty rooms always at the ready, waiting to embrace yet another herd of tiny feet.


Andrew Rist
music:Robert E Hindel
Cheryl Rist
book: Andrew Rist

24th MN Dance Festival

May 4-6, 2012
Fitzgerald Theater, St Paul

2012 CAST

Chloe: Maggie Selner

Juliana: Julia Heggernes-Morrison

Guest Artists: Erin Warn, Ben Olsen

Ballerina Girls:

Kayla Assimacopoulus, Erin Chase, Gretchen Gerlach, Jordan Jankowski, Christina Smith, Janie Rist, Katlyn Newman, Kayla Peterson, Emma Connors, Isabel Meyer-Mueller, Karly Lunda, Clara Koneschka

Boys: Elijah Heggerenes, Nik Nelson

Jazz Dance:
Kayleen Dennison, Meghan Bueschler, Bailey McKenzie, Margot Keeler, Amber Nguyen, Anne Marie Underwood, Keilah Ilinykh, Angelina Swanson, Francesca Halverson, Molly Mullen

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Book: Andrew Rist
Choreography: Andrew Rist
Original Score: Robert E Hindel
Costumes: Cheryl Rist
Photographs: Dave Trayers

  Book 1
            The first book chronicling the adventures of the ballerina girls is titled, ‘AT THE MUSEUM’.   It tells the story of the thirteen ballerina girls and their visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  If you read it you will find out what happens when one girl, Chloe, gets left behind.  You will find out what happens when the Degas statue, Picasso’s ‘Seated Woman’, Van Gogh’s ‘Starry, Starry Night’ and Degas’ ‘The Dancing Class’ come to life. It was first produced as a ballet in 1994.

  Book 2
            ‘NIGHTMARE’ the second book chronicling the adventures of the ballerina girls was also first a ballet. The original story took place at a ballet boarding school, Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota, in the evening just before bed.  The girls played a while, got into their pajamas, danced the Charleston, caught a boy trying to recover his baseball and then fell asleep.  The rest of the ballet was about Chloe’s nightmare.

  Book 3
           'BALLET SCHOOL, Adventures of the Ballerina Girls' follows the dreams of one girl, Chloe. It begins one night when Chloe returns from a career in New York as a principal dancer. Her former pianist, Robert Hindel goes to see her perform Swan Lake with Ballet Minnesota. Later that night he stops by the Ballet School, sits down at the piano and begins to remember when Chloe was a young girl dreaming of one day dancing the lead in Swan Lake

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