2022 Vail Dance Festival continues with world premieres

Special to the Daily
DanceAspen performs 'Press Play' by Caili Quan.
Beau Pearson/Courtesy photo
If you go …
  • What: Vail Dance Festival
  • When: Now - Aug. 9, 2022
  • Where: Vail, Colorado
  • Cost: $29 - $150
  • More information:

One of the leading cultural highlights of the summer season, the Vail Dance Festival, a project of the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, will bring its 34th annual season to a close on Tuesday, Aug. 9. The two-week event, which began on July 28, welcomed thousands of visitors to numerous events and performances across Vail, Beaver Creek and Avon.   

“With 262 artists, interns, staff and volunteers from 17 states and four countries, presenting this world-class event is truly global in scale,” said Sarah Johnson, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy. “At the heart of it all is the outstanding support of our generous community of donors and Vail Valley citizens who have graciously welcomed this Festival and its many visitors with wide open arms.”

The final days of the Festival will present signature “only in Vail” partnerships and role debuts as well as a slate of new dance works by Caili Quan, Pam Tanowitz, Claudia Schreier, Tiler Peck, Jodi Melnick, Bobbi Jene Smith and Justin Peck.

“The spirit of creative adventure is a hallmark of our Festival” says Artistic Director Damian Woetzel. “In addition to innovative new works by some of the most celebrated female chorographers working today, we will also debut an exciting collaboration between Justin Peck and bluegrass star Chris Thile, who will perform live alongside the dancers at our final two performances this season.”

There is still more to see and experience as the Festival nears a close on Aug. 9.     

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Remaining Performances Include:

International Evenings of Dance II
Saturday, Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

503 S. Frontage Road East, Vail
Tickets: Reserved pavilion $50 – $150 | General admission lawn $29

Another dazzling evening of dance continues with two performances in one night. The program in both performances this evening includes the Festival revivals of 1-2-3-4-5-6 by Michelle Dorrance and Justin Peck’s Rise Wait Climb Through, as well as performances of Giselle pas de deux with Lauren Lovette and Calvin Royal III, Jerome Robbins’ Three Chopin Dances performed by Devon Teuscher and Cory Stearns, When Love with India Bradley and Christopher Grant, and The Two of Us performed by Sara Mearns and Robbie Fairchild. An encore of the new Tiler Peck work commissioned for the 2022 Scholars-In-Residence will also be presented at both performances as well.

For the 5 p.m. performance audiences will enjoy a preview of Caili Quan’s new solo choreographed for fellow Artist-in-Residence Roman Mejia as well as a performance of Don Quixote pas de deux starring Maria Kochetkova and Chan Wai Chun who debuts in the role. 

In the 7:45 p.m. performance dance audiences will witness Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia in George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Christopher Wheeldon’s Liturgy performed by Unity Phelan and Chan Wai Chun, and ballroom duo Denys Drozdyuk and Antonina Skobina and a made for Vail Tea for Two alongside jazz pianist Joel Wenhardt. The 5 p.m. performance is generously underwritten by Judy and Howard Berkowitz and the 7:45 p.m. performance by Jill and Kevin Plancher. Casting and programming details can be found at and


Sunday, Aug. 7 at 6 p.m.
Vilar Performing Arts Center
68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek
Tickets: $50 – $100

Making their world debut last summer, DanceAspen has risen as a new collective of professional dancers from the former Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The company will present innovative new works from their burgeoning and impressive repertoire including Press Play by Caili Quan, Begin Again and in the end, both by Matthew Gilmore, For Pixie and Everyone’s in St. Barth’s, both by Danielle Rowe, and Next To by Penny Saunders. Generously underwritten by Susan and Jeff Campbell. Casting and programming details can be found at

NOW: Premieres

Monday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

503 S. Frontage Road East, Vail

Tickets: Reserved pavilion $50 – $125 | General admission lawn $29

An evening of entirely new works commissioned by the Festival, performed by a cast of extraordinary dancers and musicians. The signature NOW: Premieres program includes Bobbi Jene Smith creating a new work for Sara Mearns, Caili Quan creating a new work for fellow Artist-In-Residence, Roman Mejia, and a second new work to commissioned music by Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw, Claudia Schreier choreographing a new work with music by Gonzalo Grau, Pam Tanowitz choreographing to music by Meredith Monk and Peter Sarstedt, Jodi Melnick making a new work set to commissioned music by Andreia Pinto-Correia, and a new work by Ephrat Asherie. The evening will also include a preview of a new work by Justin Peck collaborating with bluegrass artist Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, National Public Radio) who will perform alongside a cast of dancers including Robbie Fairchild, Patricia Delgado, India Bradley, KJ Takahashi, Byron Tittle, and Peck himself.  The new work will also be performed on the following evening’s program on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Generously underwritten by Gina Browning and Joe Illick. Casting and programming details can be found at

Dance for $20.22, Closing Night

Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

503 S. Frontage Road East, Vail

Tickets: Reserved pavilion $20.22 | General admission lawn $10.22

Dance for $20.22 is a rousing grand finale featuring special appearances by Festival stars, DanceAspen and Ephrat Asherie Dance. The evening will also feature the official world-premiere of the new Justin Peck and Chris Thile collaboration that was previewed on the night prior. Generously Underwritten by Town of Vail. Casting and programming details can be found at

Final Festival Event Highlights Include

Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Tuesday, Aug. 9

*Please note that the Vail Dance Festival schedule and casting are subject to changes and additions 

Conversations on Dance                   
Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Tuesday, Aug. 9
9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
Manor Vail Lodge Piney Ballroom
595 Vail Valley Drive, Vail

The popular Conversation on Dance podcast concludes its 2022 Vail residency with a schedule that includes insightful and engaging conversations with Sara Mearns and Pam Tanowitz (Aug. 3), Caroline Shaw, Justin Peck, and Johnny Gandelsman (Aug. 5), DanceAspen (Aug. 6), Claudia Schreier and Lauren Lovette (Aug. 7), Lil Buck and KJ Takahashi (Aug. 8), and Jovani Furlan (Aug. 9). A limited number of tickets are sold to each live recording session of the podcast or listeners can tune in from anywhere once they are posted online at Tickets are $25 and include coffee, tea, and pastries. Generously underwritten by Town of Vail. Ticket sales end at 8 p.m. the night before the event.

Master Classes                      
Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Tuesday, Aug. 9
9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Vail Mountain School
595 Vail Valley Drive, Vail

The 2022 master classes offer the opportunity to take classes with some of the biggest names in dance in a variety of genres. Ballet with Patricia Delgado and Hip Hop with Byron Tittle (Aug. 3), Ballet with Calvin Royal III and Jookin with Lil Buck (Aug. 4), Ballet with Margaret Tracey (Aug. 5), Contemporary Ballet with DanceAspen and Ballroom Dance with Denys Drozdyuk and Antonina Skobina (Aug. 6), Merce Cunningham Technique with Melissa Toogood and Ballet with Sara Mearns (Aug. 7), Mindful Movement with Viki Psihoyos (Aug. 8), and Ballet with Unity Phelan and Repertory with Lauren Lovette (Aug. 9). Tickets are $30 each to participate. If a parent, guardian, or dance instructor would like to observe the class, an observation ticket must be purchased for $15. Ticket sales close at 8 p.m. the night before the class. All classes will be taught at an advanced level and are intended for pre-professional students unless stated otherwise on the event page. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

FREE: Dancing in the Streets
Sunday, Aug. 7 at noon
At the intersection of Bridge Street and Gore Creek, Vail

Join break dance artist Ephrat Asherie, tap dancer Dario Natarelli and other Festival artists in a Dance Jam for audiences of all ages and skill levels in this pop-up style performance in the heart of Vail Village.

All performance and event tickets can be purchased at or through the Box Office by phone at 970-845-TIXS (8497). The Box Office hours are 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit  

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