Dance Festival to test an Avon event this summer |

Dance Festival to test an Avon event this summer

AVON — Hoping for more events in the future, the Town Council has approved $20,000 in funding for a one-night Dance Festival test event this summer.

The Vail International Dance Festival has reached a level of success where it can “hold its own against anything in the world, any cosmopolitan city that would have such a festival,” Michael Imhof with the Vail Valley Foundation told the council on Tuesday.

However, “We need more funding than ever,” Imhof added. “It’s twice as expensive as it was five, six years ago.”

Committing $20,000 to one night on July 29, council approval was unanimous.

“I see it as a larger test than just for the dance festival.”Megan BurchAvon Town Council member

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“I see it as a larger test than just for the dance festival, I think it’s a test to see what else we can do on that stage and be successful,” council member Megan Burch said on Tuesday.

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Council member Scott Prince said he can’t think of a better organization than the Vail Valley Foundation to perform such a test the stage.

“I’m sure you guys will be successful,” Prince told the Vail Valley Foundation’s representatives at the meeting.

The goal for the future would be two, three or four evenings, not just one dance performance per year, town manager Virginia Egger told the council.

“But that’s what’s proposed here as a test,” she said.

Should more events be proposed in the coming years, they could see that same pricetag per night, Imhof said, before leveling out.

“In order to elevate what we’re trying to do, the budgets go up exponentially,” he said.


Among the major elements of the pavilion that will be put to the test with the Dance Festival’s Avon event will be the sight lines to the stage.

Imhof said the new venue is awesome, but complex.

“It’s great if everyone is standing and jumping up and down for live music,” he said.

But for dance, however, where an audience would be seated, “The sightlines are a little bit trickier,” Imhof said. “Our thought is to bring in bleachers for the line of sight.”

While the details are still being worked out, the idea is to have the show be a free, up-close-and-personal dance experience, Imhof said, with interactive performances and a high level of audience participation. It would start at 5:30 p.m. with about an hour and 15 minutes of dance, followed by a tango master class and possibly a continuation of tango extending into the later hours at the nearby Westin.

“It will be a bit of a variety show,” Imhof said.

The Avon show would represent the third night of the Vail International Dance Festival in 2015. Preceeding it will be tap-dance legend Savion Glover’s return to the festival on the July 27 opening night, and a show entitled “Dance House: Ballroom/Dance TV Remix” on July 28. Following the Avon show will be two nights of no performances before the Dance Festival heads to the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek with BalletX on August 1.


Imhof said when it comes to the weather, they’re rolling the dice. With a total budget of $30,000 on the event, a canopy will not be within the realm of possibility.

“If it starts raining, we’re probably going to lose some attendance,” he said.

Last year, the Bravo! Nottingham Park debut on July 10 had event organizer Elli Gauthier scrambling at the last minute to find a backup venue when rainy skies prompted near-zero attendance numbers as the show was scheduled to begin.

For Man of the Cliff’s Nottingham Park debut a few months later, second-day attendance was described as “a bust” by Avon Special Events Supervisor Danita Dempsey due to bad weather.

“It’s risky,” councilman Scott Prince said Tuesday, before voting in favor of funding the dance event. “But it’s worthwhile.”

Learn more about the Vail International Dance Festival by visiting

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