New York City Ballet MOVES to perform ballet masterpieces in Vail Saturday |

New York City Ballet MOVES to perform ballet masterpieces in Vail Saturday

Works by Robbins, Balanchine and Ratmansky featured in second night of Vail Dance Festival

Joel Solari
Vail Valley Foundation

Sara Mearns of the New York City Ballet performs “In The Night”
Photo © Erin Baiano

Ballet masterpieces come to life at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in the second evening of performances of the 32nd season of the Vail Dance Festival.

Returning to the Festival after nearly a decade, New York City Ballet MOVES will present a program of two classics by Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine, followed by a contemporary masterwork by Alexei Ratmansky. Launched at the 2011 Vail Dance Festival, MOVES is the dynamic touring arm of the world-famous New York City Ballet with a specialty in showcasing chamber works from their legendary and history-making repertory.

The evening represents a reunion of sorts, said New York City Ballet’s Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford.

“We are thrilled to be back after a nine-year absence,” Stafford said. “It’s always wonderful to partner with Damian Woetzel (himself a longtime NYC Ballet principal dancer) … and for this year’s program, we chose beautiful piano works that were created expressly for New York City Ballet.”

Opening Saturday’s program will be “In the Night” by Jerome Robbins. As a follow-up to his earlier Chopin ballet, “Dances at a Gathering,” Robbins originally choreographed this work in 1970 for three sets of contrasting lovers. The dancers move throughout the piece accompanied by Chopin’s nocturnes, romantic compositions for piano suggestive of night, to be played by Susan Walters on piano in Saturday’s performance. The dreamy ballet will be danced this evening by Joseph Gordon, Russell Janzen, Lauren Lovette, Sara Mearns, Unity Phelan and Andrew Veyette.

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Up next in the program is George Balanchine’s expressive and elegant “Sonatine,” a pas de deux set to music by celebrated French composer Maurice Ravel. The piece premiered in 1975 as part of the 100th birthday celebration of the composer and will be performed in Vail by principal dancers Tiler Peck and Anthony Huxley, who is making his debut in the role, with Elaine Chelton on piano.

Tiler Peck, New York City Ballet principal dancer and beloved Vail Dance Festival artist, said of the piece that it is “something that comes and goes quickly and whimsically, but (it) has a lasting effect. I hope it brings that same brief joy to the audience and leaves them wanting more.”

Closing out this evening of world-class dance artistry will be Alexei Ratmansky’s acclaimed “Pictures at an Exhibition,” set to Modest Mussorgsky’s extraordinary music of the same title. A Vail Dance Festival premiere, the piece was described by The New York Times as a ballet that “gathers unstoppable momentum.” As the evening’s finale, “Pictures at an Exhibition” will feature Joseph Gordon, Ashley Hod, Lauren Lovette, Roman Mejia, Unity Phelan, Andrew Scordato Gretchen Smith, Andrew Veyette, Adrian Danchig-Waring and Indiana Woodward. Performing on piano will be Stephen Gosling.

“Returning to Vail means there is hope and the light at the end of the tunnel,” Peck said. “The Vail Dance Festival always feels like a constant and is a place of immense growth for me artistically. I am really looking forward sharing the stage with so many dancers I love and admire.”

Tickets to Saturday’s performances are limited but can still be purchased online at or through the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Box Office located at 530 S. Frontage Road E in Vail. The Box Office hours are 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. daily. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 970.845.TIXS (8497).

*Vail Dance Festival schedule is subject to changes and additions

If you go…

What: Vail Dance Festival, Day 2

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, 503 S. Frontage Road E, Vail

Tickets: $27 for general admission lawn and at $50 for pavilion seating. They can be purchased online at or through the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Box Office.





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