Rist was so impressed with the hip-hop duo that he knew he found what he was looking for. He picked a handful of songs from the CDs he purchased and eventually created choreography to the tracks as part of his larger ballet project, "Black Dog Cafe". "I wanted to do more with their music but I ran out of time," Rist said.
He said the movement in the ballet is inspired by the interactions he watches at Black Dog Cafe: people coming and going, laughing and crying, bumping into old friends and making new ones.
This web of human interactions weaves certain movements into the ballet as well. Instead of having Ill Chemistry's CD playing during their section of the show, they will join the dancers live on stage. The two entities, the worlds of refined art and gritty streets, will be interacting with each other throughout the act, Rist said.
"As I sat there, the whole place was moving to their own rhythm," Rist said of the Ill Chemistry concert at the block party. "So the dancers will be interacting witht he band in the sense that, at points, they circle her as she's singing."
There will be no prima donnas in pink tutus and pointy shoes, but some of the elements of classical ballet movements are incorporated into the show. The section with Desdamona and Carnage features more updated, modern dancing with some reggae and hip-hop inspired moves added in.
Both Carnage and Desdamona said they are excited to work with Ballet Minnesota.
"It's cool to me that people want to dance to me beat-boxing," Carnage said. "Our music isn't actually drums, so it makes me feel good that people still feel it like they do with drums."
Ballet meets hip-hop at the intersection of music and self-expression, Ill Chemistry said.
"We're all also pushing boundaries with this," Carnage said. "Things can have a connection,like this, if people are willing to go outside the box."
Also, Desdamona said, the show will motivate Ill Chemistry to push their sound in a new direction.
"When you put two things that maybe seem like they don't fit together, that's when new things are created," Desdamona said. "New realities and new ideas come out of that."
The differences between the musical styles doesn't worry Desdamona, since she said she's worked with dancers in the past.
"The difficult part, actually, for us is going to be not being able to really get in and rehearse with them a lot," Desdamona said.
Ill Chemistry's busy performance schedule prevents them from rehearsing frequently with the dancers, so Ballet Minnesota uses their recorded tracks for practice. The hip-hop pair will have to recreate their recordings bery closely because of this, which is a departure from the improvisational tone of their concerts.
Cultural differences won't just occur on stage at the Fitz. The audience, tempted by the offer of free admission to all of the ballet's showings, will probably represent a diversity of ages and musical preferences, too.
Children and their parents, hip-hop fans, dancers, Black Dog patrons and older people who support the arts will most likely all attend, Carnage said.
"I think it'll be a really diverse crowd," he said. "And not necessarily a hip-hop crowd, either."
The hip-hop group isn't worried about this diversity, though.
Just as they proved on that fateful day in July, theya re ready to play whenever, wherever, and win people over in the process.