Reliving the Vail International Dance Festival 2008 |

Reliving the Vail International Dance Festival 2008

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the Vail International Dance Festival. Over the past two weeks, our town of 5,000 has played host to some of the most brilliant dancers in the world.

Several performances set the 20th annual festival apart from past years. Paul Taylor Dance Company joined the lineup, redefining pure joy with “Diggity, ” a piece that had the audience chuckling at sunglass-wearing dog props. That night continued with “Changes,” a psychedelic romp set to ’60s tunes, and finished with “Esplanade.”

Two new events reached out to the masses. The modestly priced “Dance for 20.08” pieced together several different dance styles, including Soledad Barrio’s sultry, earthy flamenco. Also debuting in Vail was the “Ballroom in the Streets,” an event that drew a large crowd to the International Bridge for dancing lessons from championship ballroom couples.

Even as the festival blazed into new territory, reverence to the classics settled over the event like a mist. To mark the 10th anniversary of Jerome Robbins’ death, an UpClose event at the Vilar Center honored his life and works; The Pacific Northwest Ballet also performed “Fancy Free.”. As always in the dance world, the great master George Balanchine left his stamp on the festival with the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s tribute to his works. As if to challenge the notion that the great choreographers are dead, Morphoses unveiled its second season of freshly-created “neo-classical” dances.

As of press time, the weather had stayed clear for every event, adding charm to the already unique Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Nestled in the mountains, the venue invites audiences to gaze at the stars between dances. It is an experience only Vail could achieve: The blending of the world’s most celebrated dancers and a strikingly beautiful natural setting.

Is it something we can describe in words? Definitely not. That’s why we chose to relive the performances through images. This photo essay is our attempt to record and preserve the festival so you can relive it, if only briefly.

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