Vail Dance Festival puts on free performances in Avon and Vail Village
The Vail Dance Festival hosts some of the greatest dancers and dance companies in the world, many of whom are featured in the free community shows that the festival stages across the valley.
The Vail Dance Festival is hosting a number of free community shows this week, including a staged performance on Thursday evening at Nottingham Park in Avon and two “Dancing in the Streets” performances this weekend at Solaris Plaza in Vail Village.
“Dancing in the Streets” programming has been a part of the festival since 2008. It started as a single ballroom dancing lesson on the international bridge, and has grown into a regular opportunity for visiting artists to do interactive work with the public.
“One of our core values at the Vail Valley Foundation (VVF) is to enhance the quality of life in our community through the arts,” said Sarah Johnson, the senior vice president of education and the arts for the VVF. “Our free programming gathers participants and spectators together in a collective spirit of community and celebration. Audiences, dancers and enthusiasts of all levels and abilities are invited to celebrate the joy of dance with festival artists and fans alike.”
This past weekend at Solaris Plaza, the festival’s Company-in-Residence, BalletX, performed a scene from the critically acclaimed “Sunset, o639 Hours”, an original full-length ballet that they staged at the amphitheater on Monday night.
Following the performance, the dancers stuck around Solaris Plaza to teach a piece of choreography from the ballet, and dozens of children that had been watching the free show got up on their feet to follow along.
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Christine Cox is the co-founder of BalletX, as well as the current artistic and executive director, and she said that staging free shows is integral to the company’s mission of finding new ways to expand the vocabulary of classical dance for more audiences than ever before.
“Free performances are very much a part of what BalletX does, and we love doing it here in Vail,” Cox said. “It’s about building experiences for the community, for family, for friends, and creating moments that you can remember for a lifetime.”
BalletX will also be staging an hour-long performance at Nottingham Park on Thursday. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be a collection of various short pieces, none longer than ten minutes each.
“It is going to be an incredible sampling of all of our different repertoire,” Cox said. “It’s designed for families, the pieces are short, between five and ten minutes long, and it just takes you through all the different possibilities of what ballet can be.”
The “Dancing in the Streets” series continues at Solaris Plaza on Saturday at noon, with a program focused on the theme “Empowering Boys in Dance” that features a cast of entirely male-identifying artists from the festival.
The series concludes on Sunday at noon with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, who will be giving a preview of the brand new choreography that they will be unveiling on stage at the final night of the festival.
Each of the community shows above are free entrance for all, and do not require reservations. To see a full schedule of the Vail Dance Festival events, visit vaildance.org.