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Dance for two

Cassie Pence
Shane Macomber/Vail DailyShoko Nakamura and Jurgen Wagner perfect their dance routine during rehearsal for the Dance festival's International evening of dance, Wednesday at the Ford Amphitheater.
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With the closeness of lovers, dancers twirl romance about the stage as they perform the pas de deux, or dance for two, tonight at the Ford Amphitheater.The International Evenings of Dance started in 1993 as a one-time gala event and has grown into two nights where the world’s most distinguished dancers grace the amphitheater’s stage.

“The key thing that holds this evening together is every artist is at the top of their profession,” said Katherine Kersten, Vail International Dance Festival’s producing artistic director.Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel of the American Ballet Theatre; Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares of The Royal Ballet; Shoko Nakamura and Jurgen Wagner of the Vienna State Opera Ballet and Natalie Woolf and Victor da Silva, International Exhibition guest artist and dance champion, perform tonight and Saturday.Kersten strives to keep the evenings’ repertoire fresh. It is a challenge, however, because there is a limited repertoire of traditional pas de deux. The dance for two is usually excerpted from a complete choreography and is most often a romance and always about relationships. The connection between the couple is essential to sell the dance.

“Natural chemistry can’t be denied, as well as a similar sense of musicality, and the way your bodies fit together in the terms of height and size is important,” Murphy said. “I think the main thing is rapport between the two people.”Murphy and Stiefel’s interpretation is a bit more realistic because they’re emotionally involved off the stage. The couple said their involvement can be drawn upon to enhance the performance. “When your getting something from that person, artistry, small looks, things that happen, that can be quite fun and exciting or romantic,” said Stiefel, who is one of the top male dancers in the world.



Murphy and Stiefel will be forming a flirtatious piece choreographed by George Balanchine with music by George Gershwin.”When your dancing to Gershwin it has a feeling of romance, love is in the air,” Murphy said. “The final product is graceful and beautiful.”Keeping the evening fresh, Murphy, Stiefel, Nunez and Soares will be performing a variation of “Le Corsaire,” which is traditionally a dance for two or three. All four people will be on stage, feeding off each other’s energy. Murphy feels it will be the most exciting dance of the night.

“For me, it’s quite amazing to do something with Ethan,” Soares said. “I’m used to seeing him in the videos and seeing him as a big dancer, and now I’m here working with him. It’s a pleasure for me.”Soares and Nunez will be performing pieces from “Don Quixote,” pulling from their South American roots, and “Swan Lake.”For more information or to purchase tickets, call 845-TIXS.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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