Founded by Zoé Emilie Henrot, Ballet Co.Laboratory is a cooperative performing arts organization that strives to use community collaboration to challenge the stereotypes of ballet and bring the art form into a different light.
Our mission at Ballet Co.Laboratory is to create, develop and inspire artists and communities through collaboration with the art of ballet. For us artists and staff, collaboration has always been the pulse of art learning and creation, so we would like to bring it to the forefront. Dance and art is about experimenting, trying new things and making the impossible come to life. The studio is an experimental, collaborative laboratory of possibilities. The School and Company of Ballet Co.Laboratory will always work to create a nurturing, safe space to explore all of these possibilities and continue to train and experience the technique and art of ballet.
Director and Founder
After serving as the Artistic Director of St. Paul Ballet for five years, Zoé is thrilled to begin a new journey with Ballet Co.Laboratory. In her first year as Artistic Director of SPB, Henrot created the holiday performance of Clara’s Dream from the Nutcracker, a Nutcracker with Clara as the main character and with no prince. This production continued to grow over the next five years into a staple holiday performance. Minneapolis/St. Paul critic names ‘“Clara’s Dream” is the most feminist of the local “Nutcrackers,” giving its main character more agency and allowing her to enjoy childhood without the pressure to fall in love.’ In the next four years, Zoé created eight original works and two full length ballets in addition to diversifying the Company repertoire by commissioning over six works by choreographers from around the world. In October 2017, Henrot co-directed a Knight Arts Challenge event with Element Boxing Gym owner Dalton Outlaw entitled The Art of Boxing – The Sport of Ballet. In this work, professional ballet dancers and professional boxers illuminated common bonds within the rituals of both disciplines, blurring lines and illuminating the grace and athleticism of ballet and boxing. After two years of collaboration, local composer Richard Erickson and Zoé premiered Carmen in the 1920s in May 2018 at The O'Shaughnessy, bringing the traditional story of Carmen into the 20s era with swing dance, a live 5-piece jazz band and knife fights.
Henrot received most of her early dance training from Boulder Ballet under the direction of Ana Claire and Peter Davison, becoming an Apprentice with the Company in 2007. In addition to her training in Boulder, Henrot trained with Kansas City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet. Zoé graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 2012 with a double major in Dance and Biological Sciences. During her time at Mount Holyoke College, Zoé studied with Rose and Charles Flachs as well as Terese Freedman and Jim Coleman. She created her first full-length work for her senior thesis entitled Becoming Undone. In November 2012, Henrot was invited to be a guest choreographer for the Five College Dance Department in Massachusetts to restage Becoming Undone. This fall, Zoé will return to her alma mater to stage a new work for the Five College Dance Department. Working with prominent choreographers such as Peter Davison, Joseph Morrissey, Kinsun Chan, and Diane Coburn-Bruning has very much influenced her artistry and choreography.
In her free time, Zoé enjoys doing home improvement projects with her wife Martha and cuddling with her cats Jasmine, Milou and Bradley.