The drudgery of snow removal becomes performance art. Because it’s Minnesota.

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The beauty of falling snow has inspired artists ranging from poet Robert Frost to painter Pieter Bruegel.

But what about the aesthetic value in getting rid of the stuff?

Plowing, shoveling and blowing snow is a winter nuisance for those of us in the North.  We’re aiming to create a new perspective on that chilly chore with a joyful, fun and uniquely Minnesotan public art performance.

Imagine a snow-covered space on the banks of the Mississippi River with a view of the downtown St. Paul skyline. A live orchestra begins to play ballet music, punctuated by the sound of engines being started.

The dancers move onto the venue, pushing snowblowers in precise formations, pivoting and wheeling, describing symmetrical patterns in the snow, the white powder being thrown into the air in coordinated arcs. Shovelers join in by pitching the snow in time with the music.

Think of the geometric patterns of a Busby Berkeley or Esther Williams spectacle. Only a lot colder.

The Snowblower Ballet will come to Harriet Island in St. Paul on Sunday, January 28, 2018 as part of the Winter Carnival (just one week before Super Bowl LII).

A live local audience will watch the free performance, but we aim to attract a potential worldwide audience with an online video, which we plan to film from above with a drone.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The project will be produced in partnership with:

 

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The Snowblower Ballet | GiveMN