Artistic director leaving the Vail dance festival |

Artistic director leaving the Vail dance festival

Daily Staff Report
Special to the DailyArtistic Producing Director Katherine Kersten is saying "au revoir" to the Vail International Dance Festival.

VAIL – The mainstay of the Vail International Dance Festival for the past 15 years will turn over the reins of the two-week festival at the conclusion of this summer’s program.Katherine Kersten, the dance festival’s producing artistic director since 1992, has decided to pursue a series of new opportunities that have been on the horizon for some time, including consulting on several new dance initiates in the U.S. and France, along with expanding the American Ballet Competition in Miami, which Kersten co-founded and directs.”I’m happy and proud to have seen my vision for the Vail International Dance Festival become a reality,” Kersten said. “Together with the Vail Valley Foundation and its generous supporters, we have built a festival that is internationally recognized for the unsurpassed artistic quality of its programs and performances.”

Kersten came to the dance festival following 12 years as the school director for the Milwaukee Ballet. In 1993, she originated and produced the first International Evenings of Dance, featuring principal couples from major international dance companies. The International Evenings quickly developed into the cornerstone of the Festival. She also introduced a choreographic dimension, the Choreographers Collection, to the Dance Festival in 1998, commissioning and performing a world premiere new work each year, while adding the Different Dimensions performance concept in 2004. “Katherine has done a wonderful job with the Vail International Dance Festival,” Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, said. “Her vision and professionalism have established this festival as one of the premier events in the international dance community. She will most certainly be hard to replace, but we wish her all the best with her new endeavors.”

The Vail International Dance Festival began in the summer of 1989 when the Foundation was able to put together a last minute replacement set of dates for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Moscow at the Ford Amphitheater. The company was in the midst of its first American tour in almost 20 years. “It will not be easy say ‘au revoir’ to my good friends and colleagues at the Foundation this coming August,” Kesten said. “I look forward to a harmonious transition and even greater days ahead for this wonderful festival.”The 2006 Vail International Dance Festival is schedule for July 30 through August 13 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail and the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek.

The Vail International Dance Festival is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For further information on the Festival, visit or contact the foundation at 949-1999.Vail, Colorado

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