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Damian Woetzel welcomes Vail Int’l Dance Fest

Damian Woetzel
Vail CO, Colorado

This week’s Director’s Chair focuses on the Vail International Dance Festival, which continues through Aug. 9. T

he festival provides an amazing opportunity to explore and enjoy the world’s best dance. It features brilliant dancers, renowned choreographers and iconic musicians. Now in his second year as festival artistic director, Damian Woetzel has once again assembled a lineup of breathtaking variety and artistry. For the next three weeks, he’ll share his insight into the festival in this column.

I hope to see you at the festival!



” Kris Sabel

Hello again, Vail Valley! It’s been a terrific week at the festival, and we are just getting started. I can’t believe we have already had performances by Philip Glass, Paul Taylor and Pacific Northwest Ballet in the first five days! I hope you have been to some of the amazing shows by now, but if you haven’t, there is so much more great dance to see in the next 10 days.



Tonight and Saturday, we will welcome a host of world-famous dance stars to Vail, all here to bring the International Evenings alive once again. You don’t want to miss Igor Zelensky of St. Petersburg’s Kirov Ballet or Ashley Bouder of the New York City Ballet, both of whom make their Vail debuts. There will be stars from Alvin Ailey and brilliant artists from Great Britain’s Royal Ballet. It’s going to be a feast of spectacular dancing you just have to see.

On Monday, we present Dance for $20.08, which is one of the festival’s new events designed to draw the Vail community into the action as never before. Every seat in the house will be $20.08, and all lawn seating will be just $8. For this show, the amphitheater will come alive, so hurry and grab your seats for an evening of incredible ballet, flashy flamenco and contemporary dance to music from Neil Diamond to Nina Simone. Come on out and bring friends and family for a show that will be one to remember. Tickets are going fast, fast, fast ” so you definitely want to hurry on this one.

Tuesday night brings the dance festival and Hot Summer Nights together for a free show featuring Buckets and Tap Shoes, a wonderful group of hoofers and drummers who have taken every town they’ve visited by storm. This will be a lot of fun, so be sure to drop in to the Ford Amphitheater to check it out.



Wednesday heralds one of the festival’s most prized evenings, the UpClose performance by Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. Last year, Vail was the proud host of this new company’s debut performance, and now we welcome these amazing dancers back for their second summer residency.

This UpClose performance is the way to see dance and dancers like never before. Watch as they perform new works made right here in Vail, and be “in the room” as the choreographers tell you about their visions and dreams and work with the dancers right there on the stage. It’s a mix of performance and open rehearsal with Christopher Wheeldon, the brilliant choreographer and director of Morphoses, leading the proceedings. Enjoy the ballets up close, experience the dancers up close, and see creativity in action ” it’s a wonderful opportunity.

The last thing I have to tell you about for the coming week is a one-of-a-kind community event: Be at the International Bridge in Vail Village at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday for Ballroom in the Streets! Vail Village will be on fire as we put on a free evening of champion-level ballroom performance along with lessons and demonstrations for everyone. It’s going to be a big ballroom bash. Just bring your comfortable shoes, and come have a blast!

You can find out much more about the festival at our Web site http://www.vaildance.org, where you can see our PhotoBlog of the festival with pictures of all the events and rehearsals as well as videos! It’s also a way to see what’s coming each night since we usually have rehearsal footage up before each show. Also, there are links to our Facebook fan page and so much more ” be sure to check out the site regularly; we update the photos and videos daily.

That’s it for this week. I hope to see you at all the upcoming performances!


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