Founded in 2002 by Erik Sanborn, a Minnesota native whose art has taken him to stages across 25 countries, the Metropolitan Ballet curates a company of skilled dancers, some with ties to such prestigious companies as the Bolshoi Ballet. The curriculum is grounded in the Vaganova method of ballet, which emphasizes a strong core and full-body perfection of movement. The company also stays busy with a full season of performances, with lavishly costumed dancers moving through dramatic stories that have ranged from Dracula to The Nutcracker.
The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s when disco balls replaced light fixtures and complex hand-slaps were substituted for tickets. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster and terracotta exterior. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.