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The Minnesota Ballet’s mission, through its professional company and school, is to inspire a love and appreciation for dance, to advance the art of ballet, to increase access to the art form, and to use its resources to benefit the greater community.


Minnesota Ballet 2017 – 2018 company

A Director’s Decade

This season marks my 25th anniversary with the Minnesota Ballet. When I joined the “New” Duluth Ballet in 1992 as Ballet Master to serve with Allen Fields, the new Artistic Executive Director, I thought I’d be here for a few years, learning to be a better choreographer and ballet master, while still dancing in all performances.

But as I became a part of the community, I saw this area’s incredible embrace of the arts. How welcoming and eager for artistic cultural experiences and how encouraging to artists.

Now, as I celebrate my 10th anniversary as Artistic Executive Director, I am in awe of what you have allowed us to accomplish. Because of the value this community and state put on the arts, the quality of the dancers, productions, and school programs continues to flourish.

In celebration, in October we are presenting a mixed program of works reflecting the artistic diversity forming the core of what I believe we are all about. Masterworks like George Balanchine’s Tarantella, and Salvatore Aiello’s Clowns and Others. A work that was special to me while I was in full-out dance mode here—Allen Fields’ Court Dances, not seen since 1996. And a premiering work by emerging choreographer Isaac Sharratt, from Milwaukee Ballet.

In December our beloved Nutcracker, with the Minnesota Ballet Orchestra, so exciting for us and you! And in March, a longtime realization of a dream: bringing the full Swan Lake to our community, this most enduring classic with its themes of love, betrayal, sorcery and pageantry, to the iconic Tchaikovsky score.

I am so proud of this company, its artists, Board of Directors and our patrons, who have made the arts and dance an integral, invaluable part of the culture and quality of life we so enjoy here.

Thank you!
Robert Gardner, Executive Artistic Director



2017 – 2018 Performing Season Sponsor:



Operational support for the Minnesota Ballet is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Operational funding is received from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Miller-Dwan Foundation, Wildey Mitchell Family Foundation, and The Depot United Campaign. Minnesota Ballet is also generously supported by many businesses and individuals of our community.

This activity made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the programs of the Minnesota Ballet is provided to all individuals regardless of race, national origin, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability in admission, access, or employment.



Now Performing

Premiere of “Swan Lake”

Friday, March 23, at 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 24, at 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 25, at 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, The DECC

It’s the premiering production by Robert Gardner, his vision of the iconic, world-performed ballet set to the glorious Tchaikovsky score. Under the spell of the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, the beautiful Odette must assume the form of a swan during daylight. One evening Prince Siegfried comes upon her, falls in love with her, and tries to save her from Von Rothbart’s spell.…

Recent Posts

Celebrity Dance Challenge Results

Popular Choice: Colin Oraskovich,
CBS 3 Duluth Morning Meteorologist
Judges’ Choice: Mel Winkler, Director of Corporate & Therapeutic Foster Care,
Northwood Children’s Services

To see who won what other awards, click on Performances/Celebrity Dance Challenge.

Wine & Cheese Coming in April

Thursday, April 26
5:30 – 8 p.m.
Depot Great Hall
$45 presale/$50 at door

Sample wines and craft-brewed beers, nibble on hors d’oeuvres provided by some of the area’s finest restaurants, and in the silent and live auctions bid on all sorts of merchandise, special opportunities, and gift baskets.

Click here to buy tickets online.

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