VAIL, Colorado The flurry has begun. With only seven days and counting until the Vail International Dance Festival takes the Valleys center stage, the Vail Valley Foundation prepares to welcome renowned dancers to the valley. The Festival kicks off on July 27 and continues with two weeks of artistry and athleticism.The 2008 performance schedule, which marks the second year of programming for artistic director Damian Woetzel, features 12 performances at both the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Additional off-stage events, including free community programming, will take place throughout the Valley.We are extremely excited about the schedule that Damian has put together for 2008, said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. Last summers festival broke all of our previous attendance records; now this year, we have added two more performances so even more people can enjoy spectacular dancing in our beautiful theaters.The 2008 festival will get underway on July 27 with an eclectic blend of music and dance for opening night. The live music element includes a special performance by iconic composer/pianist Philip Glass and acclaimed cellist Wendy Sutter, and appearances by performing artists from the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. These musicians will accompany the dance aspect of the evening, which will be highlighted by the renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company, former Martha Graham Principal Fang-Yi Sheu, stars from Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet.We are very fortunate to have both Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet return to Vail for the 2008 festival, Woetzel said. These companies thrilled our audiences last summer and it will be wonderful to have them in residence again.The talent of the Paul Taylor Dance Company will again be on display July 28 as the troupe performs a collection of masterpieces from company founder Paul Taylor, dubbed by the New York Post as the most inventive and versatile choreographer alive today.Pacific Northwest Ballet will move to center stage on July 29, with a trio of unique and varied performances, designed to showcase the versatility of the company. The evenings repertoire will feature a selection of popular favorites, including classic works by Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp, along with a new piece by director/choreographer of The Producers, Susan Stroman.The company will shift gears for an all-Balanchine evening on July 30, highlighted by performances of the masters Concerto Barocco and Agon, and PNB will close out their Vail residency on July 31 with a unique UpClose evening examining through discussion and dance the works of the late Jerome Robbins, creator of such masterpieces as West Side Story.The first week of the 2008 festival will come to a close with the popular International Evenings of Dance on Aug. 1 and 2. Artistic Director Woetzel, who officially retired from New York City Ballet last month, will also make an onstage appearance.Week two will kick off with a new concept, dubbed Dance for $20.08, with specially priced tickets offered at $8 for lawn seats and $20 for reserved seats. Aiming to draw both dance lovers and new audiences with a varied selection of artists and styles, Dance for $20.08 will be a high energy evening featuring New Yorks Keigwin + Company dancing to Aretha Franklin and Neil Diamond; Madrids Noche Flamenca accompanied by live guitar and vocals; stars from New York City Ballet in a bravura ballet pas de deux and more.Dance will once again return to the Bud Light Hot Summer Nights lineup on Aug. 5 with a free performance by Buckets & Tap Shoes.Both Dance for $20.08 and the Bud Light Hot Summer Nights of Dance free show are designed to give people an opportunity to experience a fantastic array of dance, Woetzel said. Once you see great dancing like this youll want more, and these two evenings are all about making that introduction. Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, launched to great acclaim at last years festival, will return to the Vail Valley on Aug. 6, with the second UpClose evening of the festival. The discussions, demonstrations and performances will focus on new choreography, along with a recap of the companys travels and evolution over the past 12 months.The full performance by Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company is slated for Aug. 8 as Christopher Wheeldon continues to garner headlines throughout the world for his choreography and his new company.The 2008 Vail International Dance Festival will come full circle Aug. 9 with a command performance of Ballrooms Best, featuring World Champion Ballroom and Exhibition couples, assembled by Hanna Karttunen.Tickets for the 2008 Vail International Dance Festival are priced from $8 to $85 and are available online at www.vaildance.org or by phone at either 970-845-TIXS (8497) or 888-920-ARTS (2787). A full calendar of events, including details on free community offerings, is also available online.