BALLET MINNESOTA | The Magic Returns This December!

Don’t miss our most popular show of the season seen by an annual audience of more than 10,000. Reserve you places for Ballet Minnesota’s THE CLASSIC NUTCRACKER!

Contact Sarah Pelletier for discounted tickets for groups. See more on Facebook.

Andrew & Cheryl Rist established the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota in 1987 in St Paul’s artistic hub, Lowertown. The first year included a Nutcracker lecture/demonstration performed to about 150 people at St Paul’s Galtier Plaza. Today, the Nutcracker is presented to an annual audience of over 10,000. The Nutcracker production was presented under the name Ballet Minnesota even though the name was not officially incorporated until 1990. In May 1988 the first Minnesota Dance Festival was produced at the St Paul Student Center Theater on the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus. Ballet Minnesota assumed full responsibility for the Festival in 1990. The first official performance by Ballet Minnesota was held in the lobby area of the St Paul City Hall as a tribute to then mayor George Latimer. Ballet Minnesota has developed four major pillars to their annual season: the FALL Concert, the Classic Nutcracker, the Minnesota Dance Festival including staging of the Spring Classic, and the summer River Songs. Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota is the official school of Ballet Minnesota.


1840 Peter I Tchaikovsky, composer of the Nutcracker, is born in Russia.

1890 A. Vsevolozsky, director of Imperial Theaters in Russia, planned to produce a new ballet, “The Nutcracker”. This came about because of the success which the ballet “Sleeping Beauty” recieved. He also planned to use the same choreographer (Marius Petipa) and composer (Peter Tchaikovsky) which collaborated to produce “Sleeping Beauty”:

1891 Choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned composer Peter I. Tchaikovsky to compose the music for the Nutcracker.

Early 1892: Tchaikovsky begins work on the music for the Nutcracker. Upon completion of the score in the summer of 1892 Tchaikovsky wrote that the music he composed was “infinitely poorer than The Sleeping Beauty” (which he had composed and premiered in 1890.