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Dance from around the globe in Vail

Ruth Moon
Daily Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
HL Intl Dance 01 TS 08-01-08
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VAIL, Colorado – Dance lovers will be able to travel the globe this weekend without ever leaving the Ford Amphitheater.

The Vail International Dance Festival’s “International Evenings of Dance” tonight and Sunday will combine dancers and styles from New York to the west coast and even overseas from Brazil, Taiwan and Buenos Aires.

The program was chosen to highlight a broad spectrum of the dance world, from classics by renowned choreographers to martial arts inspired Brazilian Capoeira, dance festival director Damian Woetzel said.

“It’s a balance between showcasing individual star dancers from around the world and showcasing star choreography,” Woetzel said. “There is sort of an encompassing feeling to it.”

Carla Korbes, a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, will dance three pas de deux, or dances for two, in this weekend’s International Evenings. She will dance the pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet on Saturday, and Apollo and Diamonds, two pas des deux choreographed by George Balanchine, on Sunday.

A pas des deux is a dance for two people – usually a man and a woman – performed as part of a larger ballet. The pas de deux typically consists of a solo part for each dancer and a section choreographed for the two dancers together. The Romeo and Juliet pas de deux takes place during the balcony scene, just after Romeo and Juliet have met for the first time at the ball, and the first time they are alone together.

Korbes will perform this weekend’s version of the Romeo and Juliet pas de deux – with choreography by Jean-Christophe Maillot – for the first time on Saturday. But her dance partner, Seth Orza, is an old friend; they have known each other for over 10 years.

That friendship is important to making the scene work, Korbes said.

“A pas de deux is such an intimate thing, because there are only two people on stage; especially with Romeo and Juliet, you’re telling the story of two young lovers,” she said. “It’s important to have a connection with your partner.”

As a principal dancer, Korbes has danced pas de deux as well as solos onstage, and said each type of dance has unique challenges. But it is harder to dance Juliet’s solo alone and convey a picture of a young girl than to dance the pas de deux with someone else to portray a couple in love, she said.

“It’s thrilling to create beautiful things (in a pas de deux) because you have somebody else there to help you create space,” she said. “In a solo, since you’re by yourself, you’re connecting with the audience but you don’t have anybody to play off, so it’s all up to you to develop a role and express yourself. In a solo, you know if you mess up you’re on your own and you can create new things. In a pas de deux, you have to rely on your partner to be right and be with you. It’s kind of a trust thing.”

This year’s International Evenings will feature almost entirely different repertoire on Saturday and Sunday. Only one dance, “Afternoon of a Faun,” choreographed by Jerome Robbins to Claude Debussy’s music, will be repeated both evenings.

E-mail comments about this story to High Life editor Caramie Schnell at cschnell@vaildaily.com.

A dancer’s story

Ashley Bouder is living her dream as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.

The 25-year-old dancer will take the stage this weekend with the “Black Swan” pas de deux from Swan Lake and excerpts from “Who Cares,” a dance by George Balanchine. Bouder has wanted to dance since she was nine, she told the Vail Daily over coffee in New York City last fall.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the New York City Ballet. I’ve always wanted to be a principal dancer here,” Bouder said. “I told my mom when I was nine that this was what I was going to do.”

Her mother was skeptical, but Bouder accomplished her dream. Over 300 students attend the School of American Ballet, which feeds dancers to the New York City Ballet; of those 350, 10 are accepted to the New York City Ballet every year, Bouder said. And once accepted to the company, there is still the route to travel from corps dancer to soloist to principal.

And that’s not the only dream that has come true for Bouder. She had smaller scale dreams come to fruition as well, like performing in a dance called “Stars and Stripes” with Damian Woetzel, who was also a dancer at the New York City Ballet.

“I got to do it,” she said. “Not only did I get to do it, but it was good, and he was nice.”

Looking far down the road, Bouder is sure of one thing: she doesn’t want to choreograph after she retires. Teaching, maybe. Or maybe something unrelated to dance. But choreography?

“I’m just not that creative,” she said. “I’m a good interpreter. You can put something on me and I’ll interpret it, but (choreography) is way too much pressure for me.”

Bouder said she never had a clear sign that she should dance; she just took the next logical step. Her interest started when her mother, who had danced, ran into an old ballet teacher in the mall.

“I didn’t know who this woman was,” Bouder said. “My mom said ‘oh, she’s a ballet dancer,’ and I said ‘what’s ballet?’ I don’t remember having an epiphany or anything, just thinking, I want to do what my mom did, and then ‘oh, I like this! I’m good at this, I could do this!'”

And she did.


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