Vail Daily column: Support live performance
Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is executive director for the Vilar Performing Arts Center, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.Looking ahead to the upcoming schedule at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, I was reminded of the incredible variety and diversity of programs that we are fortunate enough to present. Over the course of the next eight days, we will play host to four performances that cover the bases of comedy, dance and music. While all of these shows will obviously feature their own unique audience base, I feel confident that there is something within this group of performances that will appeal to everyone. Rather than focus on any single show, I want to give you a quick overview in the hope of inspiring the readers of this column to find the show or shows that they would like to attend. Saturday night, John Gorka will grace the stage, sharing his wit, entertaining insight and musical genius. Folk music lovers will delight in experiencing John’s performance in such an intimate “coffeehouse” setting, while Underground Sound fans will be able to relive the wonderful ambiance of this fall. Fans of comedy will not want to miss NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” Live Tour on Sunday, as the finalists and winner of the hit TV reality series bring their hilarious stand-up routines to Beaver Creek. The show is full of variety as each finalist gives us their best material. Fans of the TV show packed the Vilar the last time we presented this tour. Warning: this show contains adult themes and language and is not suitable for children or those who are easily offended.Next Thursday, we are pleased to welcome back Keller Williams, one of the most creative musicians performing today. Fans of his music know that Keller puts on a show that you have to see to believe. He is often described as a “one-man jamband,” due to his frequent use of live phrase looping with multiple instruments. We thoroughly enjoyed when Keller last played at the Vilar two years ago.This time around, Keller will perform a solo set, as well as a second set with Larry and Jenny Keel. The trio, Keller & The Keels recently released their second album entitled “Thief,” a collection of cover songs originally recorded by the likes of: Kris Kristofferson, Cracker, Amy Winehouse, The Grateful Dead, Yonder Mountain String Band and others. This show is really two concerts in one and I encourage you not to miss it.Finally, on Jan. 15, we are pleased to welcome back one of our favorite dance companies, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. During their previous engagements at the Vilar, they have never failed to win over the hearts of our dance fans. Considered a contemporary ballet company, they also have strong roots in classical ballet and ballet training. I love this company for a number of reasons, including the fact that they have no resident choreographer. Instead, they focus on bringing the best and most exciting artists from around the world to create works for the company. Their repertoire is eclectic, sophisticated, fresh and always entertaining. The dancers really flourish in this environment of working with so many talented and varied choreographers. Their evening program at the Vilar is scheduled to include: “Uneven” by Barcelona born and Munich-based choreographer Cayetano Soto; “In Hidden Seconds” by Nicolo Fonte with music by John Tavener; and “Red Sweet” by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo with music by Antonio Vivaldi and Heinrich Biber.All this being said, I hope you find something in this upcoming schedule of diverse events that inspires you to get out and support live performance.