Sunday, April 15, 2018
St. Paul Ballet presents The Art of Boxing – The Sport of Ballet
Experience a beautiful and raw performance as ballet dancers and boxers illuminate our common bonds with electric physicality.
The Art of Boxing – The Sport of Ballet springs from the partnership between the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym. Their shared performance is an interactive experience that crackles with energy, blurring lines and illuminating the grace, athleticism and common rituals of ballet and boxing.
“In fifty minutes my stereotypes of ballet dancers and boxers disappeared, and I saw them all only as human beings.” — Audience member
The performance, funded in part by The Knight Foundation Cultural Opportunity Fund, springs from the unusual partnership between the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym that is sure to challenge stereotypes as it bridges seemingly disparate cultures and demanding physical pursuits. The St. Paul Ballet’s Artistic Director Zoé Emilie Henrot and Element Boxing Director Dalton Outlaw choreographed the performance as an interactive experience that highlights the common rituals of ballet and boxing.
The partnership between St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym began organically as the St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym shared common space with dancers and boxers, working and training side by side. The partnership evolved as the two groups learned more about their common goals to transform lives, build community and to provide access to high quality programs in an inclusive, diverse community. The organization’s leaders, both passionate about their craft, also see in the partnership a unique opportunity to bring cultures together. Together, the organizations serve more than 500 individuals every year and hope to reach many more.
In 2016, St. Paul Ballet and Element Gym were one of 27 organizations selected to receive the Knight Arts Challenge award, which funds the best ideas for engaging and enriching communities through the arts in four U.S. cities: Akron, Detroit, Miami and St. Paul. Their first major joint performance last October received enthusiastic support from a diverse audience with audience members calling their collaboration “transformative” and “life changing.”
Post-show | Target Atrium
Meet artistic directors Zoé Emilie Henrot and Dalton Outlaw, as well as the dancers and boxers, after the performance for a Q&A and conversation.
Additionally, meet local independent filmmaker Maribeth Romslo and students from the High School for the Recording Arts, who filmed the Art of Boxing—The Sport of Ballet in October 2017 to gain real-world experience, build their resumes, and create video shorts of their interpretations of the collaboration.
This performance is made possible in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.