Guest Artists

  • Recent Posts

    Student Summer Showcase, July 28

    Free Outdoor Presentation
    Friday, July 28
    Duluth Public Library Plaza

    Across from The Depot

    The School of the Minnesota Ballet showcases its upper-level students as they demonstrate ballet, modern, jazz, tap, character (European folk dance), musical theater dance, and their own works in progress created during the choreography class. Highlighting the presentation will be special works by two guest teacher/choreographers.

    Guest Choreographers

    Special Works by Guest Teachers/Choreographers
    Igor Burlak
    , who studied at the School of American Ballet, is a faculty member at the Boston Ballet School and former member of such companies as the Minnesota Ballet. His visit is funded in part by the John T. and Elizabeth C. Adams Arts Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

    Marco Carreon, dance faculty member at California State University Dominguez Hills, directs its resident dance company MOSAIC. In March he taught in the North-Central Region American Dance Association Conference, held at UMD.

    Read More
  • Guest Artists

    Kathryn Marsaa, 1951–2015
    Minnesota Ballet Designer 1992–2007

    The Minnesota Ballet will gratefully remember Kathryn for her artistic vision, her attention to historic detail, and her legacy of beautiful creations. She served as Graphic Designer 1992 to 2007 and Costume Designer 1998 to 2007, previously serving as assistant to the costumer for the 1997 Nutcracker production.

    For her Cinderella designs the News Tribune asserted that she “crafted finely detailed and thoroughly danceable Renaissance and Tuscany-inspired costumes that are artworks on their own.” For her Sleeping Beauty designs she researched medieval clothing, creating rich costumes for knights and ladies, a delicate silk costume for the Lilac Fairy, and appealing costumes for such Masked Ball characters as the Dragon, Unicorn, and Peacock, looking as if they stepped from a medieval tapestry.

    Her creativity responded to a range of choreography styles. For Five O’clock Fox Trot, she created slinky gowns in the spirit of Erté’s art deco designs. For The Passions , her Celtic-inspired, runic-embellished costumes deepened the visceral embodiments of Lust, Hate, Greed, Jealousy, and Love. For Suite Italienne, the garnet and black tutus and tunics, overlaid with brocade and geometric designs, evoked an elegant sense of Commedia dell’ Arté.

    Kathryn built remarkable costumes for the Minnesota Ballet’s productions of masterworks, recreating Karinska’s iconic designs with grandly romantic tutus for Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie . For Agnes de Mille’s Three Virgins and a Devil , her work went beyond that for the Minnesota Ballet. Because the original American Ballet Theatre designs of costumes and set were lost, Kathryn recreated them from photographs. These designs are on record at the de Mille Estate for other ballets to use.


    Ann Gumpper, Set Designer, Dracula, Firebird

    Ann Gumpper has delighted in designing Firebird after Russian artist Gennady Spirin, and the Edward Gorey-inspired Dracula, as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle Act II, Swan Lake Act II, and The Nutcracker (1997) for the Minnesota Ballet.

    Other local designs include Les Uncomfortables, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Don Pasquale, Face on the Barroom Floor, Bon Apetit, La Traviata, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Mikado, Cavalleria Rusticana and Gianni Schicchi with Lyric Opera of the North; as well as Rusalka and Hansel and Gretel for Little LOON; Mozart’s “Pantalon und Colombine: Musik zu einer Pantomime” (Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra); Annapurna and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Duluth Playhouse); Nutcracker (Twin Cities Ballet); Carousel, Die Fledermaus (Minnesota Orchestra); Candide, From Berlin to Broadway (Skylark Opera); A Christmas Carol (Wise Fool Shakespeare Company); Il Mondo Della Luna (UMD Opera); Cinderella (UMD Theatre); West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, Death of a Salesman (Lake Superior Community Theatre).

    Ann is proud to be a partner with Cal Metts in the LOON Scenic Shop.


     Amber Burns – Guest Choreographer, Moving Beyond.Amber+Burns-web

    Amber Burns has been a resident choreographer for the Duluth Playhouse for the past five years. Growing up in Chanhassen, Minnesota, she trained at a company called the Dance Academy in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary dance. Throughout her training Amber received various scholarships with companies such as Break the Floor Productions, West Coast Dance Explosion, LA Dance Magic, and The Pulse on Tour. In 2006 Amber came to Duluth to go to the University of Minnesota Duluth and graduated with a BFA in Art Education and a minor in Dance. Amber now teaches Art at Marshall School, manages the Resident Acting Company for the Playhouse, and choreographs, directs, performs, and teaches for various theater and dance companies in Duluth such as the Duluth Playhouse, Underground Theater, Renegade Theater, Madill Performing Arts, and UMD.

    Some of Amber’s choreography and directing experience include: American Idiot (Playhouse), Nine (Underground), Minnesota Ballet’s Celebrity Dance Challenge, Shrek (Playhouse), Wayside School (Playhouse), Things to Ruin (Renegade), Off the Record (UMD), Peter Pan (Playhouse), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Renegade), Spamalot (Playhouse), Evita (Playhouse), Godspell (Playhouse), Singin’ in the Rain (Playhouse), The Nutcracker (Renegade Theater), Sideshow (Lundeen Productions), Spring Awakening (Renegade Theater), Parade (Renegade), Action Reaction (UMD), along with many more performances.


    Ryan Homsey, Guest Composer, Moving Beyond

    A Superior native and Lecturer of Music at the Conservatory of Music at the State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, Mr. Homsey is a versatile American composer equally at home writing for chamber and choral ensembles, theater, and dance. Before turning to composition, Homsey had a seven-year professional ballet career including at the Minnesota Ballet, American National Ballet, and Lexington Ballet Company, as well as training in classical and popular music.

    In 2013 the Minnesota Ballet was awarded a grant from the American Composers Forum’s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program, in partnership with NewMusicUSA, with funds provided by the McKnight Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant enabled the Ballet to commission a musical score from Mr. Homsey, Recurrent Stages for String Quartet, Electronics and Tape for Robert Gardner’s premiering choreography.

    Mr. Homsey earned a Bachelor of Music at SUNY and a Master of Music at New York University. His music has been performed in the US, Italy, and France, performed by JACK Quartet, PUBLIQuartet, violinist Adrianna Mateo and baritone Kelvin Chan, among others. Commissions and awards have come from Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, NY Children’s Aid Chorus, New York City-based choir ActorCor, New Haven Oratorio Choir, and the Renaissance vocal ensemble Earlybird.

    Mr. Homsey’s music has been featured in new music festivals and concerts by Circles and Lines, Music With A View, and the Westchester Square Arts Festival, celebrating the opening of the Cephas Center for the Arts. His “Rounding the Apse,” recorded by PUBLIQuartet, will be featured in the Ballet’s “Moving Beyond” performance.