Vail International Dance Festival announces 28th season, July 30 to Aug. 13 |

Vail International Dance Festival announces 28th season, July 30 to Aug. 13

Daily staff report
Isabella Boylston and Zachary Catazaro in the world premiere of Matthew Neenan’s "Show Me" at the 2015 Vail International Dance Festival.
Erin Baiano | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — The Vail International Dance Festival has announced its 2016 season, July 30 to Aug. 13, celebrating the 10th anniversary of artistic director and former New York City Ballet star Damian Woetzel with the annual summer event.

In celebration of his 10th year, the season will feature Isabella Boylston as artist-in-residence and company-in-residence BalletX. Other companies include Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dorrance Dance and Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance.

Under Woetzel’s direction, the festival has presented more than 45 new works, and this year will add at least 10 world premieres to that list, with new pieces by choreographers Jodie Gates, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, Matthew Neenan, Claudia Schreier, Shantala Shivalingappa, Jodi Melnick and more. This year’s special UpClose performance (Aug. 3) will feature artists who regularly make Vail their creative summer homes under Woetzel’s direction, including Carla Korbes, Tiler Peck, Lil Buck and Robert Fairchild.

“It is a real pleasure to realize how these past seasons in Vail have brought together so many dancers, choreographers, musicians and audiences,” Woetzel said. “For me, the spirit of collaboration has been the most vital part of the Festival, giving artists the chance to experiment and work in new forms with new partners and, for audiences, the chance to experience this work and be a part of the art itself through our community work for children and adults alike.”

This year’s season will feature debuts from a number of artists and companies, including MacArthur Genius grant recipient Michelle Dorrance and her groundbreaking tap company Dorrance Dance, the iconic Dance Theatre of Harlem and Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, which will take the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater stage for the first time since its reincarnation as a company dedicated to showing the works of contemporary dance voices, in addition to those of its namesake founder.

“Dancing with the Stars” luminary Anna Trebunskaya will perform in, and curate, a Ballroom Spectacular, and the International Evenings of Dance will once again present a wide array of dance styles and stars, including The Royal Ballet’s Lauren Cuthbertson and Eric Underwood; the Argentinian tango virtuoso Gabriel Misse; New York City Ballet’s Lauren Lovette, Unity Phelan, Jared Angle, Chase Finlay, Joseph Gordon and Zachary Catazaro; Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga; Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Angelica Generosa; and American Ballet Theater’s Herman Cornejo, James Whiteside, Jeffrey Cirio and Calvin Royal III.

To close the season on Aug. 13, Dance TV will return, bringing together stars in a celebration of dance on television. Live music continues to be a highlight, with select performances by musicians including acclaimed singer and multi-instrumentalist Kate Davis, Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato, tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das, the Catalyst String Quartet and pianist Cameron Grant.

Vail International Dance Festival Fan Club presale ticketing begins Feb. 23, with public tickets going on sale March 1. For Fan Club information, contact Martha Brassel at or 970-777-2015. Visit for more information and follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Vail International Dance Festival Lineup

Opening Night — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: This year’s festival kicks off with an evening featuring an extraordinary range of artists, from Memphis Jookin’ virtuoso Lil Buck to American Ballet Theatre ballerina Isabella Boylston, artist-in-residence.

BalletX — 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: The Vail Dance Festival’s 2016 company-in-residence, BalletX is Philadelphia’s acclaimed contemporary ballet company. A favorite of Vail audiences for the past seasons, BalletX presents an evening of works both familiar and new, including the hilarious dance “Slump.”

Dorrance Dance in Concert — • 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: 2015 MacArthur Genius grant recipient Michelle Dorrance and her company present an evening of tap dance, live music, original choreography and sonic creation like no other. Dorrance and her company are leading a revolution in the world of tap dance and now make their first appearance at the festival.

UpClose: Vail International Dance Festival with Damian Woetzel — 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek: Woetzel celebrates his 10th anniversary leading the festival with a unique UpClose rehearsal-style performance, focusing on the artists who make Vail their collaborative home every summer. Featuring a range of dancers including former artists-in-residence Tiler Peck, Carla Korbes, Lil Buck, Robert Fairchild and this year’s addition to that growing team, Isabella Boylston, with live music by New York City Ballet and Festival principal pianist Cameron Grant.

International Evenings of Dance I & II — • 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: A magnificent cast of stellar dance artists from around the world takes the stage in these signature Festival performances.

NOW: Premieres — • 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: A collection of new works commissioned by the festival from renowned choreographers and performed by a cast of artists from ballet to modern and contemporary dance, all sharing the stage in this signature performance. Choreographers include Jodie Gates, Lil Buck, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, Matthew Neenan, Claudia Schreier and Shantala Shivalingappa. Featured dancers include Isabella Boylston and BalletX.

Dance for $20.16 — 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: An evening for everyone with guest artists from the Vail International Dance Festival, with specially priced $20.16 reserved seating and — in honor of Damian Woetzel’s 10 year anniversary as artistic director — $10 lawn tickets.

Dance Theatre of Harlem — 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek: Shortly after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., legendary African-American ballet star Arthur Mitchell was inspired to start a school that would offer children — especially those in his native Harlem — the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts. That dream grew into Dance Theatre of Harlem, which, four decades later, has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of creative expression and artistic excellence. In its Vail debut, Dance Theatre of Harlem brings new life to ballet with a program of classics, as well as groundbreaking contemporary works.

Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance is a major new initiative from one of the great forefathers of American modern dance. This performance marks the Festival debut of Taylor’s new venture, presenting extraordinary works choreographed by the living legend himself alongside today’s preeminent choreographers representing the next generation of dance.

Ballroom Spectacular — 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: Anna Trebunskaya, of “Dancing With the Stars” fame, creates a unique, made-for-Vail showcase with ballroom champions from around the world performing a variety of dances, from the waltz to the rumba, cha-cha, merengue, samba, tango and foxtrot.

Dance TV — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail: The Festival closer brings the thrill of small-screen dance to life, with artists from hit shows such as “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and more.

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