‘UpClose’ series offers behind-the-scenes view of dance | VailDaily.com

‘UpClose’ series offers behind-the-scenes view of dance

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Rex Keep/Special to the DailyChristopher Wheeldon directs last year's Morphoses "UpClose" performance.

VAIL ” While Judy Garland’s Dorothy was instructed to “ignore the little man behind the curtain” in the timeless movie classic “The Wizard of Oz,” the Vail International Dance Festival’s “UpClose” series will pull back the curtain Thursday and again on Aug. 6 to reveal a unique look at dance masters and masterpieces.

Debuted last summer at the 2007 festival, Artistic Director Damian Woetzel’s project will once again usher audiences into the inner circle of the dance world, serving up discussions, demonstrations and performances featuring some of the most gifted dancers and choreographers in the world today.

“The ‘UpClose’ series provides a wonderful opportunity for our audiences to be both entertained and educated by the dance process,” Woetzel said. “Not only do you get insight into a particular piece, choreographer, or company, but you also have a chance to see the dancers and choreographers as people, up close and at work, rather than as just performers.”

The 2008 edition of the Festival’s UpClose series will get underway on Thursday evening at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek as Woetzel and Pacific Northwest Ballet Director Peter Boal host a definitive look at the work of Jerome Robbins. The evening will include demonstrations and performances of such Robbins’ masterworks as “In the Night,” “Fancy Free,” “The Concert” and “West Side Story Suite,” among others.

“Both Peter and I had the privilege of working with Jerome Robbins at New York City Ballet,” Woetzel continued, “and this evening will be a very special look at one of the greatest artists in American history.”

Robbins is well known for his work as a choreographer of ballets as well as his work as a director and choreographer in theater, movies and television. His Broadway shows include “On the Town,” “Billion Dollar Baby,” “High Button Shoes,” “West Side Story,” “The King and I,” “Gypsy,” “Peter Pan,” “Miss Liberty,” “Call Me Madam” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” His last Broadway production in 1989, Jerome Robbins Broadway, won six Tony Awards including best musical and best director.

The second installment in the series is slated for Aug. 6, also at the Vilar Center, as Christopher Wheeldon and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company return to the Vail International Dance Festival following their triumphant world premier last year.

This evening will provide a behind-the-scenes look at new works choreographed during Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company’s 2008 summer residency in Vail, along with a retrospective of the company’s first year in existence. In addition to Wheeldon, other featured choreographers are scheduled to include Adam Hougland, Edwaard Liang and Pontus Lidberg.

“Our first UpClose last year focused on the making of Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet company Morphoses” Woetzel said. “We were thrilled to help him launch his company last summer, and I feel the atmosphere here in Vail truly made a difference in that process. Now one year later he will relate fascinating insights about how his company is developing, as well share the new works which will be created right here in Vail.”

Tickets for the Vail International Dance Festival’s Up Close series are priced at $55 and may be purchased online at http://www.vaildance.org or by calling 970-845-TIXS (8497) or 888-920-ARTS (2787).


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