Behind Morphoses’ curtain |

Behind Morphoses’ curtain

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Rex Keep

VAIL, Colorado ” While Judy Garland’s Dorothy was instructed to “ignore the little man behind the curtain” in the timeless movie classic “The Wizard of Oz,” the Vail International Dance Festival’s “Up Close” series will pull back the curtain Wednesday to reveal a unique look at dance masters and masterpieces.

Debuted last summer at the 2007 Festival, Artistic Director Damian Woetzel’s project will once again usher audiences into the inner circle of the dance world, serving up discussions, demonstrations and performances, and featuring some of the most gifted dancers and choreographers in the world Wednesday.

“The UpClose series provides a wonderful opportunity for our audiences to be both entertained and educated by the dance process,” Woetzel said. “Not only do you get insight into a particular piece, choreographer, or company, but you also have a chance to see the dancers and choreographers as people, up close and at work, rather than as just performers.”

The second installment in the series is slated for Wednesday evening at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, as Christopher Wheeldon and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company make their much anticipated return to the Vail International Dance Festival following their triumphant world premier last year.

This evening will provide a behind-the-scenes look at new works choreographed during Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company’s 2008 summer residency in Vail, along with a retrospective of the company’s first year in existence. In addition to Wheeldon, other featured choreographers are scheduled to include Adam Hougland, Edwaard Liang and Pontus Lidberg.

“Our first UpClose last year focused on the making of Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet company Morphoses,” Woetzel said. “We were thrilled to help him launch his company last summer, and I feel the atmosphere here in Vail truly made a difference in that process. Now one year later he will relate fascinating insights about how his company is developing, as well share the new works which will created right here in Vail.”

Born in England and trained at the Royal Ballet School, Wheeldon joined the Royal Ballet in 1991. He was invited to become a member of the New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1998. Wheeldon began choreographing for City Ballet in 1997 and during the 2000-01 season, Wheeldon served as the company’s first ever artist in residence.

In addition to the Up Close series, individual tickets for the 2008 Vail International Dance Festival are priced from $8 to $85, with an array of ticket packages also available. The 2008 Vail International Dance Festival continues through Saturday with performances at both the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.

The 2008 Vail International Dance Festival is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Dance Festival, visit For more information on the foundation, visit or call 970-949-1999.

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