N E W S R E L E A S E
February 28, 2011
Peg Sweeney, County Commissioner
St. Louis County Courthouse
Duluth, MN 218-726-2450
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
St. Louis County Board to Honor Robert Gardner -
Minnesota Ballet Artistic Director
In keeping with the St. Louis County Board’s 2011 theme of recognizing those county residents who have excelled in the fields of arts and sciences, Fifth District County Commissioner Peg Sweeney will honor Minnesota Ballet Artistic Director Robert Gardner with its “Excellence in the Arts & Sciences Award” next Tuesday, March 1st. Mr. Gardner will be recognized by the County Board beginning at 9:30 a.m., just prior to its regular County Board meeting held in the County Board Room of the St. Louis County Courthouse, 100 North 5th Ave. W., Duluth, MN.
Commissioner Sweeney explained her selection of Robert Gardner by saying, “Mr. Gardner has received an Artist Fellowship and a Career Opportunity Grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, in addition to a Video Documentation Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and served on the State Arts Board Panel for the Arts in Education Roster of Artist. Recently received the inaugural Oeuvre Individual Achievement Award for his ‘tireless devotion to the Duluth arts scene’.”
In addition to staging the major classical ballets and pas de deux, he has choreographed such acclaimed pieces as Suite Italienne, to Stravinsky music, which the Duluth News Tribune praised for a “signature style of satisfyingly developing movement themes so that audiences could see a journey in the choreography from start to finish.” For his original choreography of Sleeping Beauty, the News Tribune declared the new story ballet “further entrenches the Minnesota Ballet as a national source for repertory that is faithful to tradition.”
Robert Gardner has been with the Minnesota Ballet since 1992 and Artistic Director since 2007. A native Virginian, he began his studies with Mavis Ray of the Royal Ballet. After scholarships to the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York, he was asked to join the Joffrey II dancers. With Joffrey II, he toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and the Orient, performing ballets by Antony Tudor, Sir Frederick Ashton, Robert Joffrey, and Choo-San Goh.
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