High Altitude Society: BalletX premieres Nicolo Fonte’s ‘Steep Drop, Euphoric’ | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: BalletX premieres Nicolo Fonte’s ‘Steep Drop, Euphoric’

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
Choreographer Nicolo Fonte, Xin Barron, BalletX’s Co-founder and Artistic and Executive Director Christine Cox and Associate Artistic Director Tara Keating mingle in the Vilar Center May Gallery before the world premiere of “Steep Drop, Euphoric."
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily

The Vilar Performing Arts Center presented a world premiere with contemporary ballet company BalletX, performing Nicolo Fonte’s, “Steep Drop, Euphoric,” on Saturday. Gina Browning and Joe Illick and Martha Head underwrite the dance series. Patrons of the May Gallery gathered for a pre-performance meet-and-greet and listened to the warm welcome from the Chair of VPAC Committee Alexia Jurschak, who was delighted with the evening’s offerings.

“We are thrilled to welcome you here for a wonderful evening with one of our favorite dance companies in the world, all the way from Philadelphia, BalletX,” Jurschak said and introduced BalletX the co-founder, artistic and cxecutive director, Christine Cox. “I think that in the Vail Valley, at VPAC and with the Vail Dance Festival we are very fortunate to have forged such a friendship with BalletX. They have been performing at the Vail Dance Festival since 2012 … and we are especially thrilled to have a world premiere performance by Nicolo Fonte. I am especially proud of the fact that we are forging a collaboration between the Vail Dance Festival and Vilar Performing Arts Center.”

‘Special time to connect’

“It is such an honor and privilege to be here and are we are so grateful that you all came out for the special time to connect and for the performance. It is a really special night … the dancers want to do their best for you … as we all do at BalletX,” Cox said. We are committed to world premiere ballets and have commissioned over 70 ballets in the last 13 years, seven of them performed here in the Vail Valley.” Cox thanked the team at the Vilar for the incredible experience and introduced renowned choreographer Nicolo Fonte.

“This is my third commission from BalletX … I am already feeling part of the Vilar and Vail family, so thank you for your wonderful hospitality and generosity, and for making everything work so smooth. There is a lot that goes into making magic on stage, and everyone on the team has been wonderful,” Fonte said. “So, ‘Steep Drop, Euphoric’ — how is that for a ski town title? There are no skis in the ballet, though. It is a super high energy, dynamic piece. I hope that you all enjoy it.”

VPAC Executive Director Duncan Horner shared his enthusiasm for the evening.

“It is fantastic to be part of the journey with BalletX and see the success that you have brought to the Vail Valley and to the world of dance … it inspires us all,” Horner said. “Tonight at VPAC, we have reached a new high-water mark in terms of winter dance attendance.”

For more information on the Winter Dances Series, calendar, tickets, volunteering and support, visit http://www.vilarpac.org.

Betty Ann Woodland is a long time local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.