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Continental Ballet Company

Continental Ballet Company’s mission is to promote the integrity of classical ballet while bringing the ballet into the community.

This is accomplished through public performances, studio classes and educational programs. Every effort is made to make the art of ballet accessible to a greater audience and to share knowledge and passion for the art of classical ballet.

The Company has been providing professional performances and educational programs for over 20 years in the Twin Cities. In addition to programs in the Schneider Theater in the Bloomington Center for the Arts, the Company has an active and successful touring program. John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C. has awarded recognition to Continental Ballet Company and placed them on their Roster of Approved Artists.

Performing such classics as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Paquita, Cinderella and Coppelia, we have presented over 130 formal performances to 100,000 people statewide. We have reached over 40,000 K -12 children through school residencies and outreach activities. We have performed for uncounted audiences through public events.

The Continental Ballet Company was established in 1988 by Riet Velthuisen, a native of Holland who has danced professionally with several European companies, including the Dutch National Ballet. Continental Ballet Company presents professional classical ballet performances and outreach programs in the suburban Twin Cities area and throughout Minnesota.

Riet has choreographed and/or staged all of the ballets in the Company’s repertoire. Riet’s original choreography has won recognition by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts and has been appreciated by audiences all over the state. Her dedication and passion for the art of classical ballet is complimented by her commitment and vision for quality productions.

"The most spectacular performance I’ve ever seen” “it was just so great…I’ve seen some good ballet before but this was exceptional” “I couldn’t be more pleased…” “it was just superb I had a fabulous time” audience comment March 2009

In its 21 year history, the Company has had many wonderful artists as members throughout the years. The Company has seen some turnover as the career span for a classical dancer is relatively short. For the Company’s 20th Anniversary we contacted former company members and were thrilled with the response. Former dancers came from as far away as California and Kansas to join us in celebrating our 20 year history. Riet taught a special “reunion” ballet class which was great fun and a great way to re-connect with original company members. Photos from this event can be found on our web page under Special Event Photos.

In its early years the Company did not have a “home” theater but started an active and successful touring program. To this day, Continental Ballet Company visits community theaters throughout the state bringing full-scale productions to new audiences. In 2009, the Company was approved and listed in the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Touring Directory and Roster for Artists in Education. This honor is recognition of the professional quality of our productions.

In 2003 the Bloomington Center for the Arts opened and as a member of the Bloomington Fine Arts Council, Continental Ballet Company was able to move to this unique facility. Along with a spacious and well-equipped ballet studio, the Center for the Arts features a 400-seat theater, a block box theater, classrooms for visual arts, two galleries, a spacious lobby and free parking. Continental Ballet Company holds daily rehearsals with professional dancers in this facility as well as daily studio classes for student dancers. Our administrative offices are also located in the Center for the Arts assisting us in operating in a professional and efficient manner.

The Company is dedicated to providing opportunities for children and families to experience the art of classical ballet through performances, classes and community activities.

School name:Continental Ballet Company
Address:Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road.
Zip & city:55431 Minnesota

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