Stars come out for Vail dance spectacular Aug. 2 |

Stars come out for Vail dance spectacular Aug. 2

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Matt Albani/Special to the Vail DailyAmerican Ballet Theater Superstars Ethan Stiefel and Gillian Murphy headline the Festival Highlights Spectacular Evening Aug. 2 in Vail, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado- American Ballet Theatre stars Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel headline the Vail International Dance Festival’s mixed-bill evening, “Festival Highlights Spectacular,” on Aug. 2 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

New to the 2009 Dance Festival, “Festival Highlights Spectacular” is the only night Murphy and Stiefel perform together.

“Seeing Gillian and Ethan perform is reason enough to make it a point not to miss Festival Highlights Spectacular,” says dance festival Director Damian Woetzel. “They are truly magic on stage.

Murphy joined American Ballet Theatre in 1996 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2002. In March of 2008, she made her debut with the Kirov Ballet, also appearing as a guest artist throughout the U.S. as well as Japan, Mexico, Germany, Italy and Canada.

Stiefel, named a principal dancer with New York City Ballet in 1995, joined American Ballet Theatre in 1997. He starred in the motion picture “Center Stage” in 2000 and also toured the U.S. and Russia with Kings of the Dance.

Also performing will be dancers from Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Miami City Ballet, along with tango artists Gabriel Misse and Natalia Hills and swing dance champions Naomi Uyama and Todd Yannacone.

Misse is considered one of the great “milongueros” of this generation while Hills was a member of the original cast of the Broadway and London hit “Forever Tango”, as well as a 1998 Tony Award winner for Best Choreography.

Uyama has won champion titles at such prestigious swing dance competitions as the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown and the U.S. Swing Dance Championships, while Yannacone is one of the most recognized names on the swing dancing circuit today.

The students of Celebrate the Beat, one of the cornerstones of the Vail International Dance Festival’s educational programs, will kick off the festivities with a special performance, joined by Woetzel and a guest partner.

“Celebrate the Beat is a tremendous program that introduces children to music, dance, and self expression,” Woetzel says.

Tickets for Festival Highlights Spectacular are $17 for general admission lawn seating and $55 and $75 for reserved pavilion seating. Tickets for all performances of the 2009 Vail International Dance Festival are available online at or by phone at either (970) 845-TIXS (8497) or 888-920-ARTS (2787).

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