Director’s Chair: Damian Woetzel |

Director’s Chair: Damian Woetzel

Damian Woetzel
Vail CO, Colorado
Damian Woetzel

Editor’s Note: This week’s Director’s Chair focuses on the Vail International Dance Festival, which continues through Aug. 9. The 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

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” Hello Vail Valley! We’ve had a fantastic two weeks of dance here in Vail, and there are two more thrilling performances to go before we close for this season.

I can’t quite believe we are nearing the end! We have had so many terrific artists on our stages, from Philip Glass to Buckets and Tap Shoes to Soledad Barrio ” it’s been a whirlwind.

Be sure to visit our Web site ( and have a look at our photo and video blog for “behind the scenes” footage of the festival, as well as performance pictures and videos showing the artists in action.

As part of this year’s festival, I brought to Vail two ingenious young dance photographers, Erin Baiano and Kyle Froman. They, along with Vail’s own Rex Keep, will keep the memories of this festival alive.

As we move forward at the Vail International Dance Festival, I aim to make our performances and work accessible to the greatest number of interested people possible. Sponsoring world class dance photography is one way to do this, so it is with tremendous pride that I encourage you to join us online both now and throughout the year as we update our media and begin previewing festival 2009.

I hope you have had a chance to take in one or more of the performances at the Ford Amphitheater and the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek, but if you haven’t, it’s not too late! Tonight at the Ford, we present Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company in a performance that is the culmination of their two week stay here in the Valley.

Vail was the launching pad last summer for this dynamic new company headed by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, and we have welcomed them back this year for a second summer residency.

Chris and his brilliant dancers have been in town for the last two weeks, catching the other companies’ performances at night while they rehearse and make dances during the day, and now it’s their turn in the spotlight. There are just a few seats left for tonight’s show so hurry, or come stretch out under the stars on our beautiful lawn and enjoy what will be a magnificent performance by Vail’s 2008 resident summer dance company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company.

Tomorrow night we close the festival with another blockbuster ballroom show. Seats for this night have been sold out since before the festival even started, but grab some friends and come join me on the lawn for this performance.

The ballroom champs from around the world, led by Vail favorite Hanna Karttunen, have put together a show that is not to be believed” it’s a great finale to our two week festival.

There is one more event I hope you can join us for. Friday at 6:30 p.m., right in front of the Ford Amphitheater box office, we present the free 2008 Celebrate the Beat “Pop-Hop” education program performance.

This program for local third-, fourth- and fifth-graders teaches music and dance to build confidence, leadership and teamwork, as well as encourage artistry and give kids a chance to express themselves. Come out and support these children as they show what they have learned in the 2008 summer session. It’s a heartwarming demonstration of how the arts can make a difference, and it’s my honor to be able to share this essential program with you.

It’s been a privilege to present these magnificent dancers and companies over the last two weeks, and I hope to see you at the last shows for festival 2008. Here’s to festival 2009!

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