The Minnesota Ballet is salvaging what it can and preparing to dance on after a recent flood damaged an estimated 90 percent of its sets and backdrops, valued at more than $100,000.
“This is the history of the ballet,” artistic director Robert Gardner told the Duluth News Tribune,looking into the back of a truck filled with damaged sets.
The ballet’s storage area at US Bank in West Duluth was shin-deep with water after the flood. The space was cleared out and damaged drops were hung to dry over the stage at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. They were sprayed for mold and allowed to re-dry. Gardner said they are still assessing whether paint has bled or the pieces are stained or stretched.
Staff and volunteers filled semi-trucks using a triage system of what might be salvageable and what is not. The ballet saves sets, costumes, and drops from old productions for re-use and to rent out to other companies around the country, Gardner said. A Nutcracker head from an old version of the production, a wishing well from Coppélia, and a carousel from The Carnival of Animals are among the items ruined.
The Minnesota Ballet did not have any costumes in the storage space. The sets from Midsummer Night’s Dream were rented by a company in Florida and sets from the current version of The Nutcracker were in storage in Superior. Both were spared.
Gardner said the company has gotten donations from dance companies and individual donors from around the country. The flood damage will not affect the status of the ballet company, he said.
“Ballet companies have lived through World War I and World War II,” Gardner said. “We may be doing it a different way, but we’ll be doing it. We can still tell stories, we can still bring beauty, we can still exemplify human emotion. We have the ability to do the whole thing. We have the artists.”
To read more, visit http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/235627/.
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