22 March 2021
By Kyra Laubaucher
In 2018, Zoé Emilie Henrot and eight other dancers suddenly found themselves unemployed when their Twin Cities–based company transitioned to a school-only model just weeks before their season was supposed to start. They had two options: go their separate ways or band together. Joining forces, they created Ballet Co.Laboratory, an artist-led company in St. Paul, Minnesota, with an inventive repertoire and an unconventional business structure. Since its founding, Ballet Co.Laboratory has presented original works like Nutcracker in Wonderland (a new spin on the holiday classic), The Snow Queen and Remembering the Little Prince, as well as premieres by emerging choreographers. The company’s dual-contract structure also provides its dancers with administrative employment, whether in management, communications, development or teaching—a framework that became especially useful in keeping the dancers employed during the pandemic.
Pointe sat down with Henrot, the company’s artistic director, to talk about Ballet Co.Laboratory, its recent Laboratory II performances, and how the company’s distinctive structure helped prepare its dancers to face pandemic challenges head-on.
To read the full interview, click here.