Cleo Parker Robinson troupe returns to the Vail dance festival after 18 years |

Cleo Parker Robinson troupe returns to the Vail dance festival after 18 years

Daily Staff Report
Special to the DailyCleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble was the first dance troupe to step on the Ford Amphitheater stage. The ensemble returns after 18 years Tuesday to perform in the Vail International Dance Festival's Different Dimensions.

VAIL – The year was 1988 and the Ford Amphitheater was in the midst of celebrating its sophomore year as the Vail Valley’s newest summer attraction. The inaugural season had featured performances by Willie Nelson, the opening season of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the kickoff for the Hot Summer Nights free concert series.However, there was still one performance element missing from the fledgling facilities’ repertoire. That was until July 16, 1988, when the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble came to town, marking the first dance troupe to ever grace the stage.

Now, 18 years later, Denver’s Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will return to the Ford Amphitheater Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. to help celebrate the Vail International Dance Festival’s “Different Dimensions” performance. The company will join forces with San Francisco’s ODC/Dance and the Nevada Ballet Theatre for a triple-header evening, billed as a “festival within a festival.”Founded in 1970 with the belief that the language of dance transcends the boundaries of culture, class and age, the company is committed to bringing dance into the lives of many diverse people.

Artistic director Robinson is a master teacher and choreographer, as well as a cultural ambassador, who has taught and performed with her troupe throughout the world. In 1994, the Denver native was inducted into the Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame, while in 1998, former President Clinton named Robinson as one of two artists to be appointed to the National Council of the Arts.This time around, Cleo Parker Robinson’s contribution to Different Dimensions will feature a performance of Raindance, choreographed by Milton Myers to the music of “Equinox” by Jean Michel Jarre. Fittingly, Raindance was also included as part of the 1988 performance.

Myers came to Denver in 1984 to create this work for Robinson. Since then, Raindance has become the ensemble’s signature piece, symbolically uniting peoples of all ages and cultures through dance.Tickets for the Different Dimensions evening are priced from $14-$55 and are available by calling 845-TIXS (8497) at either the Ford Amphitheater or Vilar Center box offices or online at

The 2006 Vail International Dance Festival is presented by the Vail Valley Foundation. For more information, call 949-1999 or visit, Colorado

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