The Snowblower Ballet is raising money for Springboard for the Arts.
Men. Machines. Flying snow. The drudgery of snow removal becomes performance art. Because it’s Minnesota.
Imagine hearing a familiar tune, the climax from "Swan Lake" or the swaying lilt of "The Blue Danube."
As the music swells, a group of snowblower engines growl into life. Dancers wielding snow shovels fan out onto a frozen surface, throwing snow in time with the music.
Performers pushing snowblowers also move into the formation, sending snow cascading through the air in precise arcs like the fountains at the Bellagio casino. Think of the geometric patterns of a Busby Berkeley or Esther Williams spectacle. Only a lot colder. And with snow instead of water.
An audience watches as the dancers weave back and forth, rhythmically clearing away the snow.
A drone soars overhead, its camera revealing that this is not just a dance, but a form of frozen land art. From above, we can see that the area cleared by the dancers forms an image: a giant snow angel.
That's the plan for the Snowblower Ballet, a free outdoor dance performance featuring the St. Paul Ballet, planned first this winter as part of the Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake and and then in the last week of January 2018 on Harriet
Island in St. Paul as part of the Winter Carnival and featuring the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
The 2018 event we hope will get attention from national media in town for Super Bowl LII. It's a way for people in Minnesota and St. Paul to define their uniqueness to the rest of the world. It will show off our snow-filled landscape in a joyful, lighthearted way and build a sense of community around an art project.
But it will only happen with your help. The Snowblower Ballet is a winner of the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grant, but the grant will
only be available if we're able to raise $34,000 in matching funds. We're seeking support to raise the match, which will be used to pay for the venue, dancers, orchestra, sound and video, hot chocolate, earflap hats and fleece-lined tutus for ballerinas, snow shovels, snow blowers and a drone pilot.
We're starting out with a goal of $2,000 by this winter to fund a smaller version of the dance at the Art Shanty Projects. If you'd like to help make the Snowblower Ballet a reality, please consider giving. Find out more at snowblowerballet.com or follow us at @snoblowerballet. Thanks!
A fiscally sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts. To give to Springboard: https://givemn.org/organization/Springboard-For-The-Arts