Giordano honored for contributions to dance
VAIL, Colorado – Vail Valley Foundation board member and Vail International Dance Festival committee member Donna Giordano will be honored this evening as Colorado Ballet’s “Tribute to Women in Dance” recognizes women who have contributed to the creation and promotion of dance in Colorado.
Giordano will join 12 other women, including the renowned Cleo Parker Robinson, for the tribute dinner and performance at the Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver. The dinner will be preceded by the opening night performance of “Tribute” by the Colorado Ballet, a repertory series of contemporary ballet, featuring world premieres by three female choreographers, including Emery LeCrone, whose piece “Archetypes” debuted at the UpClose evening of last summer’s Vail International Dance Festival.
“This is a wonderful honor for Donna,” said Vail Valley Foundation president Ceil Folz. “She and Gil were incredibly supportive of the foundation’s early efforts to establish the Vail International Dance Festival. We could not have made the festival a reality without their incredibly generous support.”
In 1989, the Vail Valley Foundation was presented with the unique opportunity to bring the Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Moscow to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The group was on its first tour of the United States in 20 years and was looking for a venue to fill a canceled engagement in Texas.
Giordano was in attendance for all three performances and was amazed at the level of professionalism of the 15-17 year old dancers. Shortly after, she called the foundation to inquire about possible future performances by the Academy.
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She had no idea at the time that the Vail Valley Foundation had entered into negotiations with the Bolshoi Academy to establish a satellite school of the famed Academy in Vail. By December of 1989, Gil and Donna Giordano and their family foundation became the underwriters and major benefactors of the newly created Bolshoi Ballet Academy at Vail.
Throughout the next several years, the Giordanos provided full scholarships to hundreds of students from all across the country to attend the four-week Vail Academy, studying under famous Russian ballet masters. Many of those students have gone on to become stars in their own right in the world of dance.
Gil Giordano passed away in 2000 and Donna is now a permanent resident of the Vail Valley. She retains her active role in the Vail International Dance Festival, which has grown into one of the most renowned summer festivals in the world. The 2012 Vail International Dance Festival is scheduled for July 29-August 11, with 10 performances at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and Vilar Performing Arts Center, along with numerous free community events.