Artistic Director: BALLET MINNESOTA
Andrew's interests have always been in the areas of teaching, directing & choreography. After dancing professionally for 14 years, Loyce Houltonencouraged Andrew to become Avocational Director of the Minnesota Dance Theater school (1986-87). In 1987 Andrew and his wife Cheryl co-founded the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota and in 1990 they co-founded Ballet Minnesota, of which Andrew became artistic director. Under his direction, Ballet Minnesota has developed a strong season which includes Fall Concert, annual Nutcracker, The Youth Concert Series, The Minnesota Dance Festival (which features the restaging of a classical ballet each year) and the River Songs Summer Series. As a choreographer, Anderw prefers working with original scores. He has created works in collaboration with Robert E Hindel, Charlie Maguire (National Park Service "Singing Ranger") and the rock group Mock Duck. His choreographic works include "Pachelbel", "At the Museum", "Nutcracker", "Italian Symphony" and in 2006 "Black Dog Cafe". "Beethoven's 9th Symphony", choreographed in 2008, recieved standing ovations to a sold out opening run. Andrew teaches in the school. He has been nominated and included in three editions of 'Who's Who Among American Teachers.' Only 5% of the nation's teachers are honored in each edition and less than 2% are included in more than one edition.
Cheryl Rist, Andrew's wife, has designed all the costumes for every work he has choreographed. "Most of my works are deeply dependent upon the costume design, which will be quite obvious when you scroll down and veiw the photo gallery below"
In the Fall 2006, Ballet Minnesota launched its Fall Concert Series dedicated to the creation of new choreography. Andrew has created 4 new works for the fall Concert. 'Black Dog Cafe' (2006, 2007), 'Beethoven's 9th Symphony'
(2008) and most recently Gershwin's 'Rhaposdy in Blue' and Mozart's '40th Symphony' (2009).
Andrew & Cheryl have 2 children - Heather and Richard. The newest addition to the Rist family is their granddaughter, Chloe, daughter of Richard and Becky.
In January 2010, Andrew's first book was published "At The Museum: Adventures of the Ballerina Girls"
School Director: CLASSICAL BALLET ACADEMY
Cheryl, a graduate of the Cornish School of Arts in Seattle, was the recipient of (7) Arts Scholarships. Her teachers include Robert Joffrey, Loyce Houlton, Hanya Holm, Flemming Halby and Frank Bourman. She began dancing with Sacramento Ballet under the direction of Jean-Paul Comelin (formerly Paris Opera Ballet). She danced as a principal with the Banff Festival, the Minnesota Dance Theater (under the direction of Loyce Houlton) and Ballet Minnesota. n 1987 Cheryl and her husband Andrew co-founded the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota and in 1990 they co-founded Ballet Minnesota. Cheryl has a special gift understanding the art of Classical Ballet. She has restaged many of the classic ballets for Ballet Minnesota which include "Swan Lake", "Giselle", "Sleeping Beauty", "Les Sylphides", "Flower Festival pas de deux", "Coppelia" and "La Bayadere". Cheryl is known for restaging the complete ballets such as 4 acts of Swan Lake. In addition to all of this she designs and costumes all the works presented by Ballet MInnesota. Although she is a sought after designer, she concentrates her engeries on CBA and Ballet Minnesota. Cheryl is the mother of Heather and Richard and is pleased to announce that she has a precious granddaughter, Chloe, daughter of Richard and Becky.