Vail Dance Festival announces 2020 dates, full schedule of performances |

Vail Dance Festival announces 2020 dates, full schedule of performances

The Vail Dance Festival will cancel all in-person performances for the 2020 season, a decision made in the interest of the safety and well-being of artists, staff and audiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A digital event is planned for July 31-Aug. 11.
Christopher Duggan | Special to the Daily

From July 31 to Aug. 11, the Vail Dance Festival presents its 32nd season, featuring commissioned world premieres, new collaborations and partnerships, and debuts by acclaimed artists. Under the artistic direction of Damian Woetzel, the 2020 summer season continues in the festival’s tradition of creating innovative opportunities for artists and audiences.

Presale for Fan Club and Vail Valley Circle begins Tuesday, and public on-sale is March 3. Tickets for the Dance for $20.20 will go on sale June 20.

The 2020 season will also free events including the Dancing in the Park performance series and the interactive Dancing in the Streets program. Educational work will take place through master classes with visiting artists, and through the Celebrate the Beat dance and music education program, which is provided to local children at no cost.

Among the events, some highlights include Watching Jerome Robbins with Heather Watts from noon to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Manor Vail and the Tutu Tea Party at 11 a.m. Aug. 9 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. (Tickets are on sale this spring).

Also new this year, the festival is offering Pay Your Age pricing for 18- to 30-year-olds. Pay Your Age tickets must be purchased at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater or Vilar Performing Arts Center box office with valid proof of age, and ticket price is the same as how old you are.

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Here’s the full schedule of 2020 programming.

Opening Night

7:30 p.m. Friday, July 31

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail 

Pay Your Age available

The season begins with appearances by Lil Buck, Michelle Dorrance, artist-in-residence Calvin Royal III, company-in-residence BalletX, and, in its first appearance since 2012, New York City Ballet MOVES.

New York City Ballet: MOVES

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail 

Pay Your Age available

The dynamic touring arm of one of the world’s most influential artistic forces shares the NYCB repertory with audiences around the world. NYCB MOVES will present Jerome Robbins’ revolutionary Dances at a Gathering set to Chopin piano pieces and Alexei Ratmansky’s acclaimed “Pictures at an Exhibition” to Modest Mussorgsky’s music of the same title.

Dorrance Dance

6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2

Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek 

Pay Your Age available

In its only Festival appearance, Dorrance Dance presents Myelination, an exhilarating full-company work featuring original, live music. Each artist functions as both an ensemble member and improvisational soloist, working technical and musical execution with tap dance. Completing this program are the Bessie-award winning Three to One and the whimsical Jungle Blues.

BalletX: Sunset, o639 Hours

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail 

Pay Your Age available

Following a sold-out performance in 2015, Sunset, o639 Hours returns to Vail for one night only. This critically acclaimed full-length story ballet transports audiences through a poignant narrative of loss, longing, and paradise, with choreography by Matthew Neenan and music by Rosie Langabeer performed live onstage by a cabaret-style band.


6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5

Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek 

In this rehearsal-style performance, audiences see a rehearsal-style performance on how dancers prepare for the International Evenings and “NOW: Premieres” performances. Hosted by artistic director Damian Woetzel, UpClose will include a special focus on women’s voices and artistic presence in tribute to the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage.

Dancing in the Park: BalletX

5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6

Avon Performance Pavilion, Nottingham Park 


BalletX performs a free, family-friendly show on the outdoor stage.

International Evenings of Dance I & II 

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-8

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail 

Dancers and musicians celebrate artistic collaboration and innovation with new partnerships and role debuts. There will also be new works by choreographers including Kim Brandstrup, Lauren Lovette and Bobbi Jene Smith.


6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9

Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek 

Pay Your Age available

BalletX presents a made-for-Vail performance with specially chosen repertory favorites and new works, with an inside look at the dancers and process that have made this contemporary company one of America’s most dynamic artistic enterprises.

NOW: Premieres

7:30p.m. Monday, Aug. 10

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail 

Pay Your Age available

This performance will showcase new works choreographed by a selection of today’s most inspiring creative voices: Hope Boykin, Michelle Dorrance, Raja Feather Kelly, Justin Peck, Tiler Peck and James Whiteside. Quartet-in-residence Brooklyn Rider and other extraordinary musicians, including composer-in-residence Caroline Shaw, will perform the music.

Dance for $20.20

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail 

An evening for everyone, featuring a selection of festival stars and BalletX. A closing night celebration and dance party will follow the show. 

For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, visit

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