Vail Dance Festival 2018 Program

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Thanks to You: Dollars @ Work, Volunteer of the Year

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Fringe Festival & Community Events American Ballet Theatre

A singular voice in dance

Ballet Hispánico Historic company debuts in Vail

��th Anniversary


Celebrating classics, nurturing new directions

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Three dynamic decades of the Vail Dance Festival

BalletX and Lil Buck New collaborations bring high-energy excitement

Dorrance Dance and The Blues Project

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Celebrating Our Past, Looking to Our Future

Merce Cunningham Events in Vail


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Welcome from the President & Artistic Director



16 18 19 20 22 24



Fast feet and roaring rhythms

Music of Dance Live music enhances dance

At Home in the Air A dancer returns to the Festival

NOW: Premieres


New commissions are the heart and soul of the Festival

Peck + Shaw Choreograph, Compose & Create

Photos by: Erin Baiano, Camila Falquez, Bill Hebert, Rex Keep, Paula Lobo

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UpClose Vail premieres and past Festival highlights

Modern Stories Eliminating the boundaries between ballet and modern dance

VAIL DANCE FESTIVAL OFFICIAL PROGRAM 26 Performance Schedule 27 Opening Night ��th Anniversary Season 28 American Ballet Theatre 29 Dancing in the Park: Alonzo King LINES Ballet 30 Alonzo King LINES Ballet 31 UpClose: Vail Premieres 32 International Evenings of Dance I & II 34 NOW: Premieres 35 Dance for $20.18 36 Dancing in the Park: Ballet Hispánico 37 Ballet Hispánico 38 The Blues Project

Featuring Dorrance Dance with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely

39 Closing Night Celebration with BalletX 41 Presenters Circle 42 Festival Patrons & Underwriters 45 Board of Directors, Vail Dance Festival Committee Members 46 Featured Companies 49 Festival Artists 52 Thank You 62 Festival Venues and Intern Program

An Education

that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. >> WWW.VMS.EDU


Dear Vail Dance Enthusiasts,


ello and welcome to the 30th Anniversary of the Vail Dance Festival. Like you, we are excited to watch this season’s programming unfold, to see new interpretations of classical dance, and to witness the original works and artistic collaborations that have become this event’s hallmark. We have a lot to enjoy, not only this season but for many seasons to come. I would like to look back at our incredible legacy and history, and thank everyone who has been a part of this Festival’s storied 30-year journey. As you can read on page 20, this Festival began with a chance appearance by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and we are very much indebted to a core group of visionaries who saw the potential in that first year’s impressive performances—and immediately knew that it could be more. Perhaps the best way to show appreciation for this event’s remarkable 30-year history, and all the many generous people, organizations, and institutions that have helped raise it to such heights, is to enjoy the current event to its absolute fullest. With that in mind—I hope you have a delightful and memorable 2018 Vail Dance Festival, and on behalf of our Board and staff, thank you for your support. Warmest regards,

Mike Imhof President & CEO, Vail Valley Foundation

From the Artistic Director


elcome to the Vail Dance Festival 2018, which proudly marks our 30th season. Over these past three decades the Festival has become a place where artists explore and evolve through their experiences. I recall the first time I myself danced on the stage of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in 1993, and how the extraordinary natural setting created an atmosphere that could only be described as magical. As the sun set we began our performance, the mountain air gave us an extra sense of clarity, and the audience created a feeling of community and warmth that placed us all in the same dream-space. Every year, we welcome new artists to this wonderful world, the sunsets and the magical ritual of performing in Vail begins, adding layer upon layer of creative legacy with each passing season. We mark this anniversary year by welcoming a host of new companies to our stages across the valley, even while we happily welcome back returning artists to the Festival. It is this process that has been key to how the Festival has grown over these last years, with our creative conversation constantly enhanced by new voices. As a fulcrum point of new work, musical collaborations are always a special focus for us, and this year in particular we highlight new music in concert with new choreography, spearheaded by our first Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence, Caroline Shaw. We are so happy to be able to set the musical stage for invention over the course of the Festival—from impromptu jam sessions to works in development over many months, we look to provide the platform for artists to take a next step in their creative lives. This creative ethos extends well past the rehearsal studio and stage, as the same hope for a next step for our artists is also key to our work in the community. Through our Community Arts Access program, our free dance events, our free lawn tickets for children, and in everything we do, we seek to encourage and build an audience that is as inclusive, varied, and complex as the content of our performances. We seek to create a Festival for everyone. And through our Celebrate The Beat education program, we are ensuring that the arts are an essential and valuable part of children’s lives in the Vail Valley, not as an abstract concept but in actual practice. Our Festival would not be possible without the generous support of our donors, sponsors and partners, and you our audience. To each of you who support us, in whatever way you can, I send my thanks on behalf of the Vail Dance Festival, the Vail Valley Foundation, and all of the artists who come to grace our stages every summer. My heartfelt thanks to all of you—and I look forward to seeing you for all of the dancing.

Damian Woetzel Artistic Director, Vail Dance Festival




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Wren Bova


Heather Hower


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Martha Brassel Alix Miller Martin Nieves Claudia Schreier




Katie Coakley Heather Hower Susan Reiter Shelby Seier Sarah Silverblatt-Buser Melanie Wong PHOTO CONTRIBUTORS

Jack Affleck Erin Baiano Kyle Froman Rex Keep Gordon Lewis John-Ryan Lockman Zach Mahone Brian Maloney Marka Moser DESIGN

Shannon Muench, Open Mind Studios CIRCULATION MANAGER

David Hakes


Roman Mejia. Photo by Erin Baiano.

All programs and artists are subject to change.

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Celebrating Our Past and Looking to the Future IN THE BEGINNING…

“When we were offered the opportunity to welcome the legendary Bolshoi Ballet Academy dancers to the Vail Valley, it was a wonderful, serendipitous moment. We didn’t know then that this world-renowned Festival would be born of that effort, nor did we fully understand how beautifully our dance culture would blossom here in Vail to become what it is today. It took visionary support from early patrons, volunteers and town leaders to help create this incredible legacy for Vail, and I look forward to seeing what more magic awaits us as the Festival heads into its next 30 years. Enjoy!”—Bob Knous, Former VVF President & CEO


“The Vail Dance Festival salutes Judy Berkowitz, who has led the Vail Valley Foundation's Vail Dance Festival Committee with energy, enthusiasm and love. We are so grateful to you Judy.”—Damian Woetzel, Artistic Director

Following the 2018 Festival, Judy Berkowitz will pass the torch to Susan Campbell as Chairperson of the Vail Dance Festival Committee.

THE FUTURE OF THE VAIL DANCE FESTIVAL… Thanks to a lead gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, we have launched an Artistic Reserve Fund to ensure the future of the Vail Dance Festival. The fund requires a 2:1 match by December 2019. Celebrate our past and be part of our future with a legacy gift. Contact Martha Brassel at 970.748.5907 or

Leni May, Susie Stern, Heather Watts and Judy Berkowitz.

“Kevin and I were inspired to give to the Artistic Reserve Fund in order to help ensure that this Festival, which we love so very much, remains vibrant, special and groundbreaking for years well into the future.”—Jill Plancher



Festival supporter Jill Plancher (middle) with her daughters, Jamie and Megan.

Historical photos of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy performing in Vail. Photos by Jack Affleck. Donor photos by Brian Maloney.


Thanks To You: Dollars @ Work Ticket sales cover only up to a third of the cost to produce the Vail Dance Festival. Donations to the Festival are tax deductible and help make it possible for the Vail Valley Foundation to provide high-caliber dance programming as well as these inspiring events and initiatives that enrich our community.

MASTER CLASSES Donations to the Festival support a Master Class Series that provides aspiring dance students an opportunity to learn from the best artists in their field. In 2017, 459 students attended the 15-class series. Tiler Peck teaching a Master Class in Vail. Photo by Erin Baiano.

WORLD PREMIERES Since Damian Woetzel became Artistic Director in 2007, the Festival has made the creation of new works a priority. From 2007 to 2017, Woetzel commissioned 68 new works which carry the name of the Vail Dance Festival in perpetuity. Da’Von Doane and Elizabeth Walker in Claudia Schreier’s Tranquil Night, Bright and Infinite. Photo by Erin Baiano.

COMMUNITY ARTS ACCESS Launched in 2016, the Community Arts Access (CAA) program works to eliminate socioeconomic barriers to the arts by providing complimentary tickets to individuals and families to Vail Dance Festival and select performances at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Last year, more than 200 complimentary tickets were provided to 16 Eagle County nonprofits. Artwork courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation.

FREE LAWN SEATING FOR CHILDREN Children ages 12 and under are invited to attend Festival performances at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater with free lawn seating for all shows*. In 2017, 1,139 kids attended the Festival for free, cultivating the next generation of dance lovers. (*When accompanied by a ticketed adult.) Photo by John-Ryan Lockman.

There are Many Opportunities to Support the Vail Dance Festival. Benefits: VIP Parking, Seating, Ticket Services, Invitations to Exclusive Social Events, Access to Closed Rehearsals and More! Contact Martha Brassel at 970.748.5907 or

���� Festival by the Numbers $3.8 million

Economic Impact on Vail


Students in Celebrate The Beat Pop Hop Camp


Commissioned World Premieres


Volunteer of the Year: Jan Hiland


an Hiland, the Vail Valley Foundation’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year, was a somewhat reluctant recipient who has a very simple philosophy when it comes to volunteerism. “I really feel there are other people who have been volunteering as much, if not more, than me for many years in the Vail Valley,” said Hiland. “I am extremely surprised and honored.” In a quarter century of Vail Valley volunteering, Hiland has done virtually everything—from patching up the costumes of world-renowned dancers for the Vail Dance Festival to calming the nerves of jittery performers at the Vail Valley Foundation’s incredibly successful annual Star Dancing Gala fundraiser. It all started with a daughter who danced and a friend who ran a dance school. Hiland started volunteering for the Vail Dance Festival in 2001 after the Bolshoi left and the Festival was being successfully reinvented. Many years, many volunteers and many dancers later, Hiland is the officially titled, and professionally equipped “Wardrobe Mistress,” who also doles out oxygen and water for artists impacted by Vail’s altitude. Hiland, who also serves as a senior administrator for Beaver Creek Mountain Operations, is an integral part of the Vail Dance Festival team. But no matter the cause, for Hiland it’s all about supporting others in the spotlight—and doing it with style.

Free Community Events Attended by 3,369 Guests




Volunteer Hours

526 million+ Marketing & PR Impressions


Attendees Came to Vail Specifically for the Festival




���� Fringe Festival Events


n addition to the performance schedule, the Festival provides numerous free Fringe Festival events showcasing our performers and engaging our community.

Sunday, July 29 12pm Tap Jazz Throwdown with Vail Jazz Festival Vail Farmers’ Market

Monday, July 30 5:30pm Dancing in the Park: Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Dancing in the Streets. Photo by Erin Baiano.

(Special appearance by Celebrate The Beat All Stars) Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park

Saturday, August 4 12pm Dancing in the Streets: Merce Cunningham

Cross Streets of Bridge & Gore, Vail Village

Sunday, August 5 12pm Autograph Signing with Festival Stars Vail Farmers’ Market

Sunday, August 5 3pm West Side Story Film Screening and Q&A with Damian Woetzel and guests Vail Mountain School

Tuesday, August 7 6:30pm Young Patrons Party with Phyouture “Lil P” (Ticketed event for guests under 21 years old) Borgen Family Patrons Plaza, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Wednesday, August 8 10:30am Tutu Tea Party

(Ticketed event for young dancers 4 to 7 years old) Social Courtyard, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

Wednesday, August 8 5:30pm Dancing in the Park: Ballet Hispánico

(Special appearance by Celebrate The Beat All Stars) Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park

Friday, August 10 12pm & 1pm Dancing in the Streets: BalletX

Lionshead (12pm) and Eagle’s Nest, Vail Mountain (1pm)

Celebrate The Beat


ow in its 11th year, Celebrate The Beat (CTB) provides the highest quality in-school and after-school dance programs for all children, improving their physical health and well-being, inspiring them to believe in themselves, and establishing a standard of excellence that impacts all aspects of their lives. CTB uses CTB performance at Dancing in the Park. Photo by Erin Baiano. dance and music to teach children to “learn how to learn,” and gives them a valuable life lesson: that energy, discipline, hard work, commitment and focus can lead to success. For many children, CTB is a life-changing event; for all, it is an amazing experience they will never forget. Each summer, the Vail Dance Festival hosts a Pop Hop summer camp for 120 children, who then perform on stage at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for the International Evenings of Dance program on Friday, August 3. CTB is directed by Tracy Straus and is a proud associate of National Dance Institute.



Boldly, Audaciously American From its inception, American Ballet Theatre has nurtured new choreographers while celebrating the classics By Susan Reiter


merican Ballet Theatre's (ABT) dancers have been frequent participants in the Vail Dance Festival's (VDF) programming during recent years. Many have had opportunities to expand in new directions, including Misty Copeland, James Whiteside, Calvin Royal III and Devon Teuscher; Isabella Boylston and Herman Cornejo have both taken a turn as Festival Artist-In-Residence. This year promises another exciting highlight: ABT makes its official debut at the Festival, in a program showcasing choreographers who have helped shape the company’s identity. Now in its 78th year, ABT proudly carries its illustrious history while maintaining its distinct identity to help move the art of ballet into a bright future. When Ballet Theatre—as it was initially named—was launched in 1940, those who believed in the possibility of establishing a truly American ballet company were visionary—and perhaps audacious. The founders, Lucia Chase—an indomitable figure who continued to lead the company for the next four decades—and Oliver Smith, planned to cultivate a repertory that combined great works of the past with important new choreography. Through the company's nearly eight decades of growth and change— and generations of stellar dancers who have left their marks on ballet history—that basic formula has held firm. ABT is closely associated with many of the 19th-century full-length classics, such as Giselle, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as seminal 20th-century additions to the form, such as Kenneth Macmillan's Romeo and Juliet and Frederick Ashton's Cinderella. The company regularly performs this repertory throughout its extensive domestic and international tours each year, as well as for most of its annual eight-week New York season. But, from the start, ABT has nurtured significant and innovative choreographers, and the list of landmark ballets that had their premieres on an ABT program is extensive. Antony Tudor and Agnes de Mille were mainstays of the company during its initial decade, and beyond. Tudor's potent, psychologically probing ballets were strikingly new, even shocking at times. De Mille, whose beloved Rodeo became an ABT repertory staple, also melded potent theatricality and an inherently American optimism and warmth in many enduring ballets. Also making a name for himself during the 1940s was a young ABT dancer who longed to choreograph—Jerome Robbins. The company took



a chance on him, and in 1944 he burst onto the scene with Fancy Free, a ballet that was not only distinctly American in its flavor and attitude, but that also captured a quintessential historical moment with its brilliantly conceived depiction of three wartime sailors on 24-hour leave in New York City. Composing the score was an equally talented and innovative young American—Leonard Bernstein. Their ballet became a huge hit that audiences couldn't get enough of, and it remains a beloved standard today, as evidenced by its performances at last year's Festival. It launched two titanic careers and frequent collaborations between the two, including the groundbreaking musical West Side Story. Both Robbins' and Bernstein's centennials are being celebrated worldwide throughout 2018. Fittingly, both of these seminal figures will be represented on ABT's July 29 program. The company will perform Alexei Ratmansky's 2016 Serenade After Plato's Symposium, one of this master choreographer's most profound and original works, set to and titled after Bernstein's vibrant 1954 score. Seven men form a community that moves through contemplation, fury, exhilaration and—with the appearance of a lone woman—the possibility of ideal romance. Robbins will be represented by his 1976 Other Dances, a virtuosic duet to Chopin piano selections that ranges through varied moods, from meditative to playful. Tiler Peck, the beloved VDF mainstay, will make a guest appearance. ABT will also be part of the Festival's opening night on July 28, performing a very different Ratmansky work, Souvenir d'un lieu cher, in which two elegant couples meet and intermingle to Tchaikovsky's deeply romantic music. Ratmansky, who has become one of the world's leading and most indemand ballet choreographers, signed on as ABT's Artist-In-Residence in 2009. Busy as he is, Ratmansky always makes time to create new works there, and the range of his ballets is astonishing. Vail audiences will be fortunate to experience this sampling of his seemingly unlimited inspiration.

Devon Teuscher, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer. Photo by Camila Falquez.


Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox BRECK MUSIC PRESENTS Arturo Sandoval BRECK MUSIC PRESENTS Boundless Baroque CHAMBER Danzmayr Conducts Mozart ORCHESTRA BMF & NRO Joint Concert ORCHESTRA Czech, Please! CHAMBER Music of the Beatles ORCHESTRA POPS Breck Music KidFest FREE FAMILY The Mountain that Loved a Bird FREE FAMILY CONCERT Peace, Love and Rock & Roll APPLAUSE FUNDRAISER Folksongs & Fantasy CHAMBER Haydn & Harrison ORCHESTRA Keller Williams’ Petty Grass BRECK MUSIC PRESENTS Luminous: Music of Beethoven & Beyond ORCHESTRA I’m With Her BRECK MUSIC PRESENTS


AUG 09 AUG 09 AUG 10 AUG 11

Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi FREE FILM AND MUSIC Vijay Iyer Trio SPECIAL JAZZ Around the World with Disney ORCHESTRA POPS Barber’s Violin Concerto ORCHESTRA



Chamber music in private homes, prefaced with light fare and champagne every Sunday, July 15–Aug 13

Breckenridge Music’s summer festival is built upon a resident chamber orchestra led by Artistic Director & Conductor Steven Schick. Throughout the year, Breck Music presents live music performances across genres, and innovative music education programming in Summit, Lake and Park County Schools.

Stirring Minds Alonzo King LINES Ballet brings more than dance By Katie Coakley


or more than 35 years, Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been captivating audiences with performances that evoke emotions and imagination well beyond the movement of the dancers. King’s choreography has been described as living in both the “African fusion, and the ‘go nowhere fast’ school,” in a review by The New York Times, with “movement [that] uncharacteristically wells up from the dancers’ bodies rather than being laid on them.” This melding of influences makes King’s work uniquely his own. In speaking to Mr. King, it’s clear that the performance is more than just the sum of the choreography, the dancers and the music. “We’re trying to touch hearts and stir minds. And that always remains the object, regardless of particular ballets or what it’s going to be,” King said. “It’s for people. It’s an attempt to awaken anything that is sleeping in human beings because we are creatures of habit and, after a while, we can turn into automatons because we have this daily schedule. One of the wonders of art-making is that it can reawaken you in the same way that going into nature, that getting out of the city and spending some time in nature, will re-enliven you, will make you feel connected once again to the largeness of the universe and the insignificance of our teeny little size in the bigger picture.” Audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy performances by LINES in two outdoor venues during the Festival: on July 30 at the Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park for a Dancing in the Park event, and then on July 31 for the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater debut performance featuring two acclaimed Alonzo King ballets, Biophony and SAND.



Biophony, which incorporates soundscapes from various ecosystems, merges dancers with nature, creating a new form of sound and motion. SAND probes the connections between the grains and humans, exploring the idea that something small has the power to shape and create. “We possess incredible power and when you watch art, it can slap you in the face … and you remember, my god, I’m really underserving myself by thinking so small,” King said. “And then the other side of that is that you recognize that we are small and that we are large. Both of those things work together. What does that mean? It means that in our physicality, in terms of size, in space and on the planet, we’re minuscule, but internally, inside these bodies, we are more than gargantuan.” The excitement audiences feel at a LINES performance can be described as visceral and dynamic, but it is clearly also profound and thoughtprovoking. As a debut company this year at the Vail Dance Festival, LINES brings more than just extraordinary dancing.

“... when you watch art, it can slap you in the face … and you remember, my god, I’m really underserving myself by thinking so small.”—Alonzo King

Adji Cissoko, Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Photo by RJ Muna.

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Not Your Grandmother's Latin Dance Breaking stereotypes with poise and passion, Ballet Hispánico debuts in Vail By Melanie Wong


hatever your preconceptions about Latin dance, leave them at the door when you attend a Ballet Hispánico performance. The New York-based dance company, hailed as the country’s premier Latin dance organization, makes its Colorado mountain debut as part of the Vail Dance Festival. Audiences can catch the company as it presents a revamped, unconventional take on Bizet’s Carmen, performed on the intimate stage of the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Ballet Hispánico will also premiere a new work in collaboration with ballet choreographer Claudia Schreier as part of NOW: Premieres.

“People are always trying to stereotype Latin dance. But we allow the artist and choreographer to decide what’s Latino.”—Eduardo Vilaro

allet Hispánico seems to effortlessly push the frontiers of Latin dance while still celebrating the very elements that make the culture unique. As Artistic Director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro

pointed out, the group is all about breaking stereotypes. Whether they’re taking on gender identity by poking fun at the machismo culture or combining traditional flamenco movements with intensely acrobatic choreography, there’s always a surprise in store. Not every piece is an extravaganza of stomping Latin rhythms, but audiences


Ballet Hispánico in Linea Recta. Photo by Paula Lobo.




are guaranteed to be dancing in their seats throughout the show. Traditional dances and folklore figure prominently in some numbers, but the passion and the love for storytelling are unmistakable in every work. “People are always trying to stereotype Latin dance,” said Vilaro. “But we allow the artist and choreographer to decide what’s Latino.” What results is a fusion of Latin influences from around the world with elements of contemporary dance. Ballet Hispánico’s repertoire draws upon the cultures of Colombia, Spain, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico and more, incorporating echoes of flamenco, salsa, modern dance—and of course, ballet. The effect is playful, sensual and dynamic. “This is not your grandmother’s Latin dance—prepare to be surprised and energized,” Vilaro said. Take the piece the group will be performing at Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center on August 9. CARMEN.maquia is unlike any version of Bizet’s classic opera that you’ve ever seen. Set in monochrome, its movements are powerful and energetic, but the story and the emotions portrayed are instantly recognizable. The dance company, which celebrated its 48th anniversary in 2018, is as much about education and outreach as it is about performance. Vail audiences will have the chance to get better acquainted with this side of the group through an interactive, educational, family-friendly performance at the Dance Festival’s Dancing in the Park program in Avon. Vail Dance Festival Artistic Director Damian Woetzel called Ballet Hispánico a “historic venture.” “I’ve been watching them for years in New York. They’re a true force,” he said. “I’m excited to have them do a real residency in Vail with several performances over a number of days, so that the community can really see how spectacular they are.”

Merce Cunningham

Shining Supporters


he 2018 Vail Dance Festival recognizes the upcoming centennial of modern dance pioneer, Merce Cunningham (1919-2009). Cunningham was a leader of the American avant-garde throughout his 70-year career and is considered one of the most important choreographers Merce Cunningham photographed by Annie Liebovitz (1997). of our time. With an artistic Photo courtesy of the Merce Cunningham Trust. career distinguished by constant experimentation and collaboration with groundbreaking artists, Cunningham expanded the frontiers of dance and contemporary visual and performing arts.

Friday, August 3 9:30am Festival Forum: Merce Cunningham discussion with current and former dancers and company members.

Friday, August 3 7:30pm A special staging of Cunningham’s work, Scenario, will be performed on International Evenings of Dance I.

Manor Vail Lodge

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

(Ticketed Event)

(Ticketed Event)


arb and Rob De Luca have been mainstays of Vail art and culture since they first came to the Vail Valley and opened their famous jewelry shop, Currents, in 1977. The couple were early supporters of the Vail Dance Festival, and developed great friendships with its early luminaries, including Madame Sophia Golovkina and President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford. More than one famed dancer has been adorned in their jewelry, and the De Lucas were instrumental in helping create the Festival’s sparkle and style, which remains to this day.

Saturday, August 4 12pm Dancing in the Streets: Merce Cunningham.

(Free Event)

Cross Streets of Bridge & Gore, Vail Village

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Ceil Folz, President Ford and Donna Giordano, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (1994). Photo by Rex Keep.

A Brief History of the Vail Dance Festival F

President and Mrs. Clinton, President and Mrs. Ford, and Madame Sophia Golovkina, International Evenings of Dance (1994). Photo by Jack Affleck.

Misa Kuranaga, International Evenings of Dance (2009). Photo by Kyle Froman.



rom its first performance, the Vail Dance Festival has been an inclusive endeavor. It has celebrated dance from countless cultures, created a thousand connections between artists, audiences, patrons and performers and broken down barriers every summer for 30 years. In fact, the reason the Festival is here today is because global barriers fell: in 1989 the Iron Curtain was finally showing transparency and the Berlin Wall was less than a year away from destruction. The famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy dancers of the Soviet Union were performing in the United States. Their performance schedule fell into disarray due to financial, security and defection concerns, and in the crisis a group of Vail visionaries saw an opportunity. With support from President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford, former Vail Valley Foundation President and CEO Bob Knous and former Chairman Harry Frampton rallied a host of supporters who included Oscar Tang, Henry Kravitz and Dick Swig, all who ensured the Bolshoi Academy could perform that summer in Vail. In those early years many supporters came forward to provide vision, patronage, leadership and artistry including Donna and Gil Giordano, Lissa Tyler, Susan and Harry Frampton, John Garnsey, Allie Coppeak and many more played a part in building strong Festival roots that would soon reach great heights. Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kersten navigated brilliantly for 15 years, led the creation of International Evenings of Dance and put the Vail Dance Festival into the international spotlight. In this 30th season, we also take time to celebrate Judy Berkowitz, who has served as Chairperson of the Vail Dance Festival Committee since 1999. Judy, along with Oscar Tang, played a key role in bringing on current Artistic Director Damian Woetzel. Judy’s tireless support and advocacy have been instrumental in creating the Festival that we know today. She now passes the torch to Susan Campbell, who has also been a key component of the Festival’s success for many years, and who will help usher in the next 30 years of the Vail Dance Festival. In 2018, the future looks bright. Under Woetzel’s direction, the Festival has come to exemplify creativity, collaboration, inclusiveness and patronage of new works. The annual season is heralded by critics as one of the finest unifications of diverse dance talent to be found anywhere, and it has become one of the premiere summertime treasures in the Rockies. Of course, the accolades go beyond the critics: Fans from all walks of life, from first-timers to long-time dancegoers, have come to appreciate the event’s “welcome oneand-all” mentality, its free performances, its community outreach programs and its friendly spirit. With that open spirit in mind, we welcome you to the 30th season of the Vail Dance Festival, and look forward to sharing many more to come.

Tina Vardaman Service | Trust | Commitment SSF TOP 10 PRODUCER 2017


eeply rooted within the Vail Valley community, Tina Vardaman has earned a reputation as a highly committed, hard-working professional. Her dedication, knowledge, connections, and high standards of service have resulted in outstanding results time and time again.

Tiler Peck and Damian Woetzel (2008). Photo by Rex Keep.

32 Wayne Creek Road


Pepi Gramshammer, Bob Knous, John Horan-Kates and Jeanne Reid, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (1987). Photo by Marka Moser.

Vail Village | 230 Bridge Street Office 970.390.7286 | |

Kimberly Glasco and Aleksandar Antonijevic, International Evenings of Dance (1994). Photo by Gordon Lewis.

A Dance Resource for All Members of Shanghai Dance Ensemble with Vail children (2001). Photo by Rex Keep. Contact: 303-871-4065

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New Collaborations BalletX and Lil Buck primed to take the stage By Katie Coakley


ance—it’s both incredibly evocative yet difficult to describe. You can break down the movements; you can describe the costumes and the setting; you can critique the form. However, what is more difficult to express is the visceral feeling from a stirring performance: it’s a spark, a fire, a wonder. BalletX is returning to the Vail Dance Festival for its sixth year. This Philadelphia-based company is known for contemporary ballet that the The New York Times describes as “threedimensional dancing that you feel as you watch.” One of the works BalletX brings to Vail is The Boogeyman, a vibrant and eclectic piece that features music from artists including Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire and other stars of the 1970s. The piece is choreographed by Trey McIntyre. “It’s a really unique piece that is fun, engaging and moves you out of your seat,” Christine Cox, artistic director of BalletX said. “It makes you want to dance.” For their performance, which closes the Festival, BalletX has paired with Memphis jookin star Lil Buck who is creating a world premiere for this special night, making it one of the most eagerly anticipated performances of the summer. “I have wanted to work with Lil Buck for the past few years because I love his dynamic approach to movement and love his passion and joy—his understanding—of how dance can move mountains and how dance can connect us,” Cox said. “So even though our styles

are different, the aesthetic is similar and the goal is similar. The goal is to connect communities through dance and show what the power of dance can do.” As with many of the premieres that will take place this summer, the choreographers are keeping the exact details of what will occur under wraps. “I wanted to accept the challenge of choreographing a big number,” Lil Buck said. “It’s been some time since I choreographed a piece as long as this one will be, and I’m very excited about it.” One detail Lil Buck will divulge is that the music he’s using is by Jon Batiste, bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. While there is a base idea, Lil Buck noted some reticence because of the upcoming workshops with BalletX that may change the inspiration and direction of the piece.


Lil Buck rehearsing with BalletX in Philadelphia. Photos by Bill Hebert.

“It puts you in a creative space, collaboratively. It puts you in the best space.”—Lil Buck

“I love [Lil Buck’s] dynamic approach to movement and love his passion and joy—his understanding—of how dance can move mountains ...” —Christine Cox


After all, that’s really what the Vail Dance Festival is about: the collaborations and the connections that are formed between dancers, companies, choreographers and directors. “It puts you in a creative space, collaboratively,” Lil Buck said. “It puts you in the best space… I love everything about it—the stage, the performances, the level of performers and the high level of dance. Everyone who comes to Vail is open to new things, and that’s what I love about it.” This connection is like a spark, Cox said, one that jumps between the performers as the various works ignite creativity and inspiration. That spark creates transformation and energy within the artists which is then transferred to the audience.


A Neolithic African Arrowhead and Ancient Cowry Shell set in 14 Karat Rose Gold.


Creating Heirlooms Since 1970

VAIL VILLAGE 970.476.4760

Where M Movement and Music Collide Collaborator, choreographer and dancer: Michelle Dorrance brings her magic to Vail By Katie Coakley



ichelle Dorrance has thrilled audiences at the Vail Dance Festival with her innovative and infectious style of tap dancing since her first appearance here in 2016; she followed with a tenure as Artist-In-Residence in 2017. A dancer, choreographer, director, teacher and 2015 MacArthur Fellow (among other accolades), Dorrance founded her own company, Dorrance Dance, in 2011. She returns to the Festival this year to perform, collaborate and choreograph. Her energetic Vail schedule will be highlighted by a co-commissioned world premiere from Vail Dance Festival and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) featuring ABT dancers and other Festival artists. The piece debuts on August 6 at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. She’s also bringing The Blues Project to Vail. Featuring original live music from Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely that both supports and drives the explosive energy created by the choreography, The Blues Project is a collaboration between Dorrance, Reagon, Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia SumbryEdwards, that illustrates the relationship between music and movement. The dancers become composers, in solo and group settings, along with the musicians on stage; the resulting composition illustrates the beauty of creation as an individual as well as a set. The Festival is known as a fertile ground for collaboration and relationships are cemented during the weeks of the event, which are packed with activity and opportunity for the artists. Whether functioning as a performer or a choreographer, Dorrance admitted that she never knows what will happen here—that’s part of the magic. “There is an energy in Vail that comes from the environment and the people that sparks creativity and ideas,” Dorrance said. “There are endless possibilities and room for play that is incredibly exciting. Everyone comes with an open mind. We are all students of one another, learning from each other as collaborators. I am so honored to be part of this community.”

The dancers become composers, in solo and group settings, along with the musicians on stage.

Michelle Dorrance, Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely in The Blues Project. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Music in the Mountains

Live music sets the stage By Heather Hower


ail Dance Festival musicians hail from a wide range of styles, but once in Vail they not only join in the adventurous crossover

spirit of the Festival—they propel it forward. “That’s the unique beauty of the Vail Dance Festival,” shared Johnny Gandelsman, a violinist with resident string quartet Brooklyn Rider. “Every year, Damian Woetzel brings incredible performers together, and many magical and memorable moments are created.” The 2018 Festival promises musical innovation throughout: singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kate Davis, pianist Cameron Grant, percussionist Savannah Harris and other musicians will collaborate with the dancers and choreographers during the two weeks. Early in the schedule, the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra will join American Ballet Theatre in an evening featuring Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. Later in the Festival, Dorrance Dance’s extraordinary tap dancing meets acclaimed blues guitarist and vocalist Toshi Reagon’s unmatchable blues style in The Blues Project. Brooklyn Rider—also composed of violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords and cellist Michael Nicolas—will perform on

several programs in 2018, including UpClose: Vail Premieres and both International Evenings of Dance. The quartet culminates its Vail season with the NOW: Premieres program, with two world premieres featuring musical commissions by the Festival. One debut is a score by acclaimed composer Gabriela Lena Frank for a new ballet choreographed by Claudia Schreier, created for dancers from Ballet Hispánico. In one of the most highly anticipated musical moments of NOW: Premieres and the Festival overall, Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw unveils her new score for a new ballet by New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck. “I am very excited about Caroline, a violinist, singer and the youngest-ever Pulitzer-Prize winner for composition,” shared Gandelsman. “She is cooking up some very cool things, so I would highly recommend not missing anything!”

Lil Buck, Tiler Peck, Johnny Gandelsman and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles in Vail Dance Jam 2.0. Photo by Erin Baiano.

At Home in the Air

Roman Mejia returns to the Vail Dance Festival By Katie Coakley


he Vail Dance Festival features dancers at all stages of development, from acclaimed stars to young artists just beginning their careers. Roman Mejia is one of the latter. Last year, he thrilled audiences at the Festival with his exuberance, and was even called out in The New York Times for an “unanticipated multiple pirouette of bewildering velocity” executed before “bouncing blithely into brilliant jumps.” He returns to Vail this summer at the ripe old age of 18, now officially a member of the corps de ballet at New York City Ballet. This rising star is excited to return to Vail: “Last year was my first taste of it and the most exciting part was being able to come in and take warm up classes and have all these stars all around you… it was super inspiring,” Mejia said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting new people. I’m getting ready to be even more inspired than I was last year and to learn a lot from watching the other dancers.” Audiences will have many chances to see Mejia perform, from Opening Night and the International Evenings of Dance, to a featured role in the new work choreographed by Tiler Peck on the NOW: Premieres program.

Roman Mejia in Matthew Neenan’s 2017 Vail premiere Farewell. Photo by Erin Baiano.



Alonzo King LINES Ballet


VAIL DANCE FESTIVAL Opening Night 30th Anniversary Season Saturday, July 28 7:30pm

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

American Ballet Theatre Sunday, July 29 7:30pm

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Dancing in the Park:

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Monday, July 30 5:30pm

Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park

Tuesday, July 31 7:30pm

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

UpClose: Vail Premieres

Wednesday, August 1 6:30pm

Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Dancing in the Park:

International Evenings of Dance I

Wednesday, August 8 5:30pm

Friday, August 3 7:30pm

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

International Evenings of Dance II

Ballet Hispánico

Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park

Ballet Hispánico

Thursday, August 9 6:30pm

Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Saturday, August 4 7:30pm

The Blues Project

NOW: Premieres

Friday, August 10 7:30pm

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Featuring Dorrance Dance with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely

Monday, August 6 7:30pm

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Dance for $20.18

Closing Night Celebration with BalletX

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail

Tuesday, August 7 7:30pm

Saturday, August 11 7:30pm

Season Presenters Jody & John Arnhold, Judy & Howard Berkowitz, Susan & Jeff Campbell, Oscar Tang Family and Betsy & George Wiegers Generous support for the Vail Dance Festival is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Fund 26


SATURDAY, JULY �� Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

30th Anniversary Season

Opening Night Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Vail Dance Festival presents a mixed-bill evening previewing the 2018 season, featuring Festival artists along with appearances by Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre performing the Vail premiere of Souvenir d’un lieu cher choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.

“…plenitude and diversity of talent alone makes the Vail Dance Festival extraordinary.” —The New York Times

Performance underwritten by Lisa Tannebaum & Don Brownstein Lil Buck, Michelle Dorrance and Ron "Prime Tyme" Myles in Vail Dance Jam 2.0. Photo by Erin Baiano.



SUNDAY, JULY �� Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

American Ballet Theatre

“One of the most beautiful sights in dance is American Ballet Theatre in full flight.” —New York Post

Since 1940, American Ballet Theatre has created a tradition of passion, innovation and athleticism that transcends cultural boundaries and touches the soul of ballet lovers old and new. In its Festival debut, the company will present an evening of mixed repertory, including the Vail premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, hailed as the choreographer’s “…most authoritatively original creation.”—The New York Times. Set to a score by Leonard Bernstein, live musical accompaniment will be provided by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra. The program will also feature Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances with guest artist New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck.

Performance underwritten by The Storr Family Foundation in memory of Carol Storr 28


Calvin Royal III in Alexei Ratmansky's Serenade after Plato's Symposium. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor.

MONDAY, JULY �� Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park �:��pm Free Performance

Dancing in the Park: Alonzo King LINES Ballet The free family-friendly show on the extraordinary stage of the Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park features Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Alonzo King’s visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary LINES Ballet dancers, is renowned for connecting audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity.

Presented by Town of Avon

Also performing will be the Celebrate The Beat All Stars.

Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park. Photo by Zach Mahone. LINES Ballet. Photo by Chris Hardy.



TUESDAY, JULY �� Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

“Pure joy and energy that stretches the imagination.” —The Irish Times

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is a contemporary ballet company led by Alonzo King, “…one of the few bona fide visionaries in the ballet world today…”—San Francisco Chronicle. Known for collaboration and creation of works that draw on diverse cultural traditions, LINES imbues classical ballet with new expressive potential.



Choreography by Alonzo King Music by Bernie Krause and Richard Blackford


Choreography by Alonzo King Music by Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran

Performance underwritten by Wendy Williams and Noel & Ben Kullavanijaya  Additional support provided by Karen & John Arnold 30


Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Photo by RJ Muna.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST � Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek �:��pm

UpClose: Vail Premieres

“Adventures of this kind are what has made Vail legendary in today’s dance world.” —The New York Times

Festival Artistic Director Damian Woetzel presents an all-star cast in a rehearsal-style performance highlighting new dances and new music at the Festival. This UpClose will bring into focus the new work being created this season by Leonard Bernstein ComposerIn-Residence Caroline Shaw and choreographer Justin Peck, and will also feature the Vail premiere of Blueprint with choreography by Pam Tanowitz and resident string quartet Brooklyn Rider performing Shaw’s accompanying score. Elevate your evening by attending a pre-show reception and post-performance dinner with the dancers at Splendido. (Tickets sold separately.)

Performance underwritten by Anonymous Patricia Delgado with Johnny Gandelsman in Pam Tanowitz's Solo for Patricia. Photo by Teresa Wood.



FRIDAY, AUGUST � & SATURDAY, AUGUST � Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

International Evenings of Dance I & II A brilliant cast of dancers from around the world takes the stage in these signature Festival performances. These two unique gala evenings of innovation and artistic collaboration include debuts and new partnerships by a selection of today’s foremost dancers. “Where dancers shine beyond their usual specialties”—The New York Times.

FEATURED ARTISTS: Jared Angle New York City Ballet

Underwritten by Jean & Tom McDonnell

Isabella Boylston

American Ballet Theatre

Underwritten by Martha Head

India Bradley

New York City Ballet

Misty Copeland

(August 3 only) American Ballet Theatre Underwritten by Senenne & Marc Philippon

Herman Cornejo

American Ballet Theatre

Underwritten by Anonymous

Patricia Delgado

Underwritten by Michael Ritchie

Underwritten by Joan Whittenberg

Lil Buck

Michelle Dorrance

Underwritten by Marcy & Gerald Spector

Underwritten by Jody & John Arnhold

Preston Chamblee

Joseph Gordon

Underwritten by Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors

Underwritten by Martha & Terry Perl

Memphis Jooker

New York City Ballet

Harrison Coll

New York City Ballet

Underwritten by Barbara Baldrey

Jason Collins

Pam Tanowitz Dance

Underwritten by Genie & Robert Stine

Dorrance Dance

New York City Ballet

Alicia Graf Mack

Underwritten by Barbara & Robert De Luca

Christopher Grant New York City Ballet

Underwritten by Lisa & Bruce Goldman

The children of Celebrate The Beat Pop Hop Camp will open Friday evening’s performance. The CTB appearance underwritten by Donna & Donald Baumgartner and Nancy & Don Remey.

Friday’s performance underwritten by Marge & Phil Odeen 32


Misty Copeland in Marcelo Gomes' Toccarre. Photo by Erin Baiano.

Francesca Hayward

Calvin Royal III

The Royal Ballet

American Ballet Theatre

Misa Kuranaga

The Royal Ballet

Underwritten by Mary Sue & Michael Shannon

Boston Ballet

Underwritten by Nancy & Richard Lubin

Underwritten by Nancy Sands

Marcelino Sambé

Underwritten by Sheika & Pepi Gramshammer

Cory Stearns

Alban Lendorf

American Ballet Theatre

Underwritten by Jane & Skip Netzorg

Devon Teuscher

American Ballet Theatre

Lauren Lovette

New York City Ballet

Underwritten by Malo & John Harrison

Victor Lozano

Underwritten by Irene Shen

American Ballet Theatre Underwritten by Carolyn & Gene Mercy

most dizzying. It’s the high level of dance.” —The New York Times

Pam Tanowitz Dance

Pam Tanowitz Dance

Roman Mejia

Underwritten by Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors

New York City Ballet

the high altitude that’s

Melissa Toogood

Underwritten by Barbara & Christopher Brody

Underwritten by Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors

“At the Vail festival, it isn’t

Daniel J. Watts

Underwritten by Joanne S. Crosby

Miriam Miller

New York City Ballet

Underwritten by LaDonna & Gary Wicklund

Rashaun Mitchell Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener

Underwritten by Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors

Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles Memphis Jooker

Underwritten by Susan & Harry Frampton

Dario Natarelli

Tap Dancer

Underwritten by Colby & Tina Wilson

Tiler Peck

New York City Ballet

Underwritten by Leni & Peter May

Unity Phelan

New York City Ballet

Underwritten by Ann Smead & Michael Byram

Silas Riener

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener

Underwritten by Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors

Saturday’s performance underwritten by Jill & Kevin Plancher Unity Phelan and Calvin Royal III in George Balanchine's Agon. Photo by Erin Baiano. (George Balanchine's Choreography ©The George Balanchine Trust.)


MONDAY, AUGUST � Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

NOW: Premieres New works commissioned by the Festival from renowned and emerging choreographers, performed by artists from ballet, modern and contemporary dance. The 2018 choreographers will include: New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck in collaboration with the Festival’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw; New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette; emerging ballet choreographer Claudia Schreier, who will be working with dancers from Ballet Hispánico; modern dancers and choreographers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener; New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck, who will be making her choreographic debut and tap dance innovator Michelle Dorrance whose new work is cocommissioned by American Ballet Theatre and the Vail Dance Festival.

“A whirl of premieres, from jookin to jetés.” —The New York Times

Live music for NOW: Premieres will be performed by musicians including Kate Davis, Cameron Grant, Savannah Harris and string quartet Brooklyn Rider, who will premiere a new Festival commission by acclaimed composer Gabriela Lena Frank as the score for one of the new dance works.


Underwritten by Jody & John Arnhold

Lauren Lovette

Underwritten by Malo & John Harrison

Justin Peck

Underwritten by Janet Pyle & Paul Repetto

Tiler Peck

Underwritten by Donna & Donald Baumgartner

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener

Underwritten by Marvin Naiman and Margery Family Foundation

Claudia Schreier

Underwritten by Jody & John Arnhold

Performance underwritten by Priscilla Brewster  Support for NOW: Premieres provided by Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation 34


Herman Cornejo and Tiler Peck in Michelle Dorrance's we seem to be more than one. Photo by Erin Baiano.

TUESDAY, AUGUST � Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

Dance for $20.18 A mixed-bill evening for everyone with guest artists from the 2018 Vail Dance Festival. Specially priced $20.18 reserved seating and $10.18 lawn tickets go on sale Monday, June 18. Join the Festival Fan Club for early access to all Festival tickets including Dance for $20.18!

Performance presented by Town of Vail Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Photo by Jennifer Weintraub.



WEDNESDAY, AUGUST � Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park �:��pm Free Performance

Dancing in the Park: Ballet Hispánico The Festival welcomes Ballet Hispánico in a free family-friendly show on the extraordinary stage of the Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park. New York-based Ballet Hispánico explores and celebrates the diversity of Latino cultures through the dialogue of dance. Also performing will be the Celebrate The Beat All Stars.

Performance presented by Town of Avon and underwritten by Jody & John Arnhold 36


Avon Performance Pavilion. Photo by Zach Mahone. Ballet Hispánico. Photo by Paula Lobo.

THURSDAY, AUGUST � Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek �:��pm

Ballet Hispánico

“There is a charge that surges through these

Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latino dance organization in the United States, is breaking through stereotypes by inspiring audiences with repertory that explores the diversity of Latino cultures. Founded by National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, the company is led by acclaimed choreographer Eduardo Vilaro. The evening’s program will feature CARMEN.maquia, which was recently featured on PBS’ Lincoln Center at the Movies as an exhilarating contemporary take on Georges Bizet’s beloved composition.

Vail residency underwritten by Jody & John Arnhold  Eila Valls of Ballet Hispánico. Photo by Paula Lobo.

bodies…we are witnessing the beginning of a new era.” —The Huffington Post

Additional support provided by Dhuanne & Douglas Tansill #VAILDANCE


FRIDAY, AUGUST �� Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

The Blues Project Featuring Dorrance Dance with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely Created by Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Toshi Reagon and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards

“[Michelle Dorrance is] the most exciting and original choreographer in tap today.” —The New York Times

Michelle Dorrance and Dorrance Dance return with The Blues Project, a thrilling tap and blues experience taking the stage for one night only. Described by the Washington Post as “timeless and fearlessly experimental,” this groundbreaking show brings together the explosive tap dancing of Dorrance Dance and the lyrically powerful blues of Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.

Performance underwritten by Mary Wolf and Peggy & Steve Fossett Foundation 38


Dorrance Dance in The Blues Project. Photo by Em Watson courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow Dance.

SATURDAY, AUGUST �� Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail �:��pm

Closing Night Celebration

with BalletX

“…vividly appealing, highly individual dancers.” —The New York Times

Festival 2018 closes with the thrilling dancers of BalletX in a program of works new for Vail, including a commissioned world premiere by Memphis jookin star Lil Buck set to music by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste. The evening is also highlighted by Trey McIntyre's latest work for BalletX, The Boogeyman, and is set to music by Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Join us for a post-performance dance party on stage!

Performance underwritten by Pam & Ernie Elsner and Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors Roderick Phifer in Trey McIntyre's The Boogeyman. Photo by Bill Hebert.




Presenters Circle

The Vail Valley Foundation extends its sincere gratitude to the Presenters Circle patrons whose dedication has made it possible for the 2018 Vail Dance Festival to achieve an extraordinary level of success. JODY & JOHN ARNHOLD

Jody and John Arnhold are supporters of dance in New York City and longtime admirers of VDF’s Artistic Director Damian Woetzel. They are proud to support the Vail Dance Festival. Jody is founder of the renowned Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at 92Y and is the Executive Producer of the NY Emmy nominated documentary PS DANCE! Dance Education in Public Schools that has excited educators across the country. The film has sparked a movement #DanceForEveryChild that seeks to implement quality dance education in public schools nationwide. Stream the film and get more info at and


Howard was a founding partner of Steinhardt, Fine and Berkowitz, one of America’s first hedge funds. He recently retired as Managing Director of BlackRock and serves on the advisory board of BlackRock’s Private Equity Partners. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Howard is the Chairman Emeritus of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and now serves as Chairman of its South Florida Advisory Board. He also served as Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and is currently on the board of the New York City Ballet. Locally, he serves on the board of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. In New York, Judy serves on the board of Rockefeller University, the New-York Historical Society, and chairs The Center for Educational Innovation. Judy and Howard Berkowitz have been supporters of the Vail Valley Foundation since its inception. Their love for the art of dance and generous support have enabled the Vail Dance Festival to grow into the critically-acclaimed Festival it is today. They are longtime members of the Friends of Vail program, and Judy serves on the Vail Valley Foundation’s Board of Directors and is Chairperson of the Vail Dance Festival Committee.


Susan and Jeff Campbell started coming to the Vail Valley from Dallas when their children were first learning to ski. They continued to visit the Vail Valley as they moved to London, San Francisco, and most recently to the West Village in New York City. They are avid dance lovers and longtime supporters of the Vail Dance Festival and the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Susan serves on the board of the Vail Valley Foundation and the New York City Ballet. Jeff serves on the board of New York’s Lincoln

Center for the Performing Arts, in addition to his full-time job as CFO of American Express. The Campbells and their three children are avid skiers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts, and their Beaver Creek home has become the center of family life.


The Tang family has supported the Vail Valley Foundation at a leadership level since its inception. Oscar was a founding supporter of the Vail Dance Festival and one of the original visionaries and catalysts of VVF’s early focus on education in Eagle County. Many of these first educational programs continue to have a positive, transformational impact on youth today. The Tang family has provided vital support to the Vail Dance Festival for its entire 30 years. Oscar is an emeritus member of the Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors. In New York, Oscar serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum and the New York Philharmonic. Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang serves on the faculty at Columbia University and has advised UNESCO and the United States Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Her TV credits include two series on the Discovery and History Channel networks. Trained as a Classical musician, Agnes made her debut at the Kennedy Center in 1989. Agnes serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Opera and the New-York Historical Society, and chairs Asia Society’s Global Council on Arts and Culture. Agnes and Oscar are members of the Vail Valley Foundation’s Cornerstone Friends program and are instrumental in supporting the arts, education and athletic initiatives of the Vail Valley Foundation.


Ardent supporters of the arts in New York City and Denver, the Wiegers are also extraordinarily generous in the Vail Valley, particularly to the Vail Dance Festival, Bravo! Vail and YouthPower365. Betsy serves on the Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors, is a long-time member of the Vail Dance Festival Committee and is a former trustee of Bravo! Vail. George is the founder and creator of the University of Colorado Depression Center at the Anschutz Medical Center in Denver and is also a founder of the Deisseroth Laboratory for Brain Research at Stanford University. Their philanthropy in New York includes support of the New York Philharmonic, American Ballet Theatre and the New-York Historical Society. In Denver they support the Denver Art Museum and also contributed to the Liebeskind wing at the museum.




���� VDF Patrons

It is with the support of our patrons that the Vail Dance Festival has become one of the greatest festivals in the world. We are deeply appreciative of their generosity and investment in our mission. The list that follows represents patrons who gave a gift between September 2017 and April 2018. Gifts made after this date are recognized in the individual evening inserts. UNDERWRITERS CIRCLE

Anonymous Priscilla Brewster Pam & Ernie Elsner Janet Pyle & Paul Repetto Town of Avon Town of Vail

Donna & Donald Baumgartner

For more than 25 years Donna and Donald Baumgartner have enjoyed their mountain home in the Lake Creek Valley. They have been active supporters of both the visual and performing arts in their hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and have shared their passion locally through their support of the Vail Dance Festival. As true lovers of the art of dance, they rarely miss a performance during the two-week Festival.

Marge & Phil Odeen

Marge and Phil Odeen have had a home in Vail for more than 40 years. When not in Vail they live in McLean, Virginia, and North Palm Beach, Florida. They have supported the Vail Dance Festival for several years and both have been active in numerous cultural and charitable activities in the communities in which they live.

Jill & Kevin Plancher

Lisa Tannebaum and Don Brownstein are longtime supporters of the performing arts in Vail and Connecticut. Lisa has a career as a harpist and Don is the founder of Structured Portfolio Management.

Jill and Kevin Plancher first enjoyed the Vail Dance Festival in 1993 when Kevin was a fellow at the Steadman Clinic in Vail. They have attended and supported the Festival each and every year since. Jill and Kevin live in Greenwich, Connecticut, and have three (grown) children Brian, Jamie and Megan and a daughter-in-law Annie Knickman Plancher. Kevin has a private orthopedic practice in New York City and Greenwich, and Jill is a family lawyer with Connecticut Legal Services. They are delighted to once again support the International Evenings of Dance and this year provide special support for the new Vail Dance Festival Artistic Reserve Fund.

Leni & Peter May

Linda Waterhouse

Lisa Tannebaum & Don Brownstein

It is thanks to the generosity of Leni and Peter May that the Vail Dance Festival is able to welcome the Leonard Bernstein Festival Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw, and yet this contribution is only one aspect of a long history of support the couple have bestowed upon the world of dance. Leni and Peter have been steadfast supporters of the Vail Dance Festival for more than 20 years, and are among the original supporting members of the Vail Valley Foundation. They have had a tremendous and positive impact on the arts, athletics, and education mission of the organization, and their philanthropy also extends far beyond the boundaries of the Vail Valley, including extensive contributions to art, education, and culture in Chicago and New York.



Linda Waterhouse would like to thank Damian Woetzel and all those both on and off stage who work so hard to make the Vail Dance Festival a success. She believes that only in Vail can you see the finest dancers and choreographers in the world, in one venue over a two-week period. For Linda, the Festival is an education for the eye and an opportunity to experience the joy of dance—a beautiful “summer camp” for everyone!

FOUNDATION SUPPORT Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

In her will, Doris Duke expressed her interest in assisting “actors, dancers, singers, musicians and other artists of the entertainment world in fulfilling their ambitions and providing opportunities for the public presentation of their arts and talents.” Given this guidance and Doris Duke’s interests during her life, the foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.

Carol Storr, Storr Family Foundation

Carol Storr of Greenwich, Connecticut, along with her husband Hans G. Storr, was a proud supporter of the Vail Dance Festival. She enjoyed attending performances and planning her summer visits to her Vail home around the Vail Dance Festival. Carol admired and followed many dancers in New York City and loved to come to Vail to meet and interact with these same dancers at the Festival. Carol passed down her love and appreciation of dance to her family, and they are proud to honor her memory on July 29 at the American Ballet Theatre performance.

Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation proudly carries forth its founder’s belief in fairness and equal opportunity for women in the performing arts. It funds the commission of new works by emerging female artists in choreography, symphony, opera and theater.


Karen & John Arnold* Barbara & Christopher Brody Barbara & Robert De Luca Peggy Fossett^ Margery Goldman Sheika & Pepi Gramshammer Malo & John Harrison Martha Head* Wendy Williams & Noel and Ben Kullavanijaya Nancy & Richard Lubin Jean & Tom McDonnell Jane & Skip Netzorg Martha & Terry Allen Perl Senenne & Marc Philippon Vikki & Michael Price* Nancy & Donald Remey Mary Sue & Michael Shannon* Irene Shen Marcy & Gerald Spector* Dhuanne & Douglas Tansill Mary Forrest Wolf * VVF Cornerstone Patron


Christine & John Bakalar Barbara Baldrey Margo & Terry Boyle Ann Smead & Michael Byram Joanne S. Crosby Susan & Harry Frampton Lisa & Bruce Goldman Kathy & William Hybl Carolyn & Gene Mercy Rella & Monroe Rifkin Michael Ritchie Nancy Sands Genie & Robert Stine Joan Nissman & Judith Nissman Taylor Martin Waldbaum Joan Whittenberg LaDonna & Gary Wicklund


Anonymous Brenda & Joe Adeeb Jill Hamilton Anschutz & Christian Anschutz Martin Atkin & Reid Balthaser Dierdre & Ronnie Baker Dr. Maria Rotunno & Dr. Arthur Bertelsen Colleen Curran & Stephen Boane Doe Browning Arlene Harris & Martin Cooper Linda & Berry Craddock Robert J. Croteau & Karen A. Nold Jennie & Richard DeScherer Lois & Stephen Eisen Julie & Bill Esrey

Kim & Andrew Fink Vicky & John Garnsey Jennifer & Richard Geisman Jane & Ray Heller Lorraine & Harley Higbie Raydean Acevedo & Walter Jenkins Mary Lujack and Sarah & Gracie Johnson Kathi & Stanley Jones Alexia & Jerry Jurschak Elaine & Arthur Kelton Caroline Fisher & Bob Knous H. Carroll & Jonna Mackin Helen McIntyre Larned A. Waterman & Paul S. Mesard Karen R. Nagel Melanie & Allan Nelkin Deborah Nunez Joanne Posner-Mayer Elise & Jay Rossiter Fran Schulman Frederic Seegal Marla Steele Kelley & Brendan Synnott Linda & Stewart Turley Ellen & James Wiss Margaret & Glen Wood


Anonymous (3) Roxanne & Ed Anderson Bonnie Andrikopoulos Ellen Arnovitz Deborah & David Boillot Wendy & Warren Blumenthal Rebecca & Howard Braverman Zoë Baird & Bill Budinger Kaye Summers & Dan Carpenter Maggie & Clayton Chessman Renee & Jeffrey Epstein Nicole & Leonard Firestone Stacey Frieder Margie & Tom Gart Maryalice Cheney & Scott Goldman Paul Goodspeed Nancy E. & Neal C. Groff Sharon & Tom Haverstock Bonnie Lee & Lawrence Kivel Ellen & Harry Levitt Ferrell & William McClean Ruth Malman & Michael Opatowski Carey & Tim Romer Lisa & Kenneth Schanzer Patricia & Jack Sturdivant Jayne & Dennis Withers


Anonymous (3) Sheila & James Amend Martha Brassel & Chris Anderson Christine & George Burns Donae & Rob Chramosta Allie Coppeak Brenda & Thomas Curnin Chus De La Lama Ellen Dehaven Fred Distelhorst Julia & Simon Dixon Louise J. Douglass Holly & Buck Elliott Jim Francis Miriam & Morris Futernick Pamela & Richard Hinds Karin & Dean Johnson Sue & Tony Krausen Kaye Lawrence Ann & William Lieff Beth Barbre & John Mangan Joe Maslowski Andrea & Robert Miller Marka Moser Elizabeth Chambers & Ronald Mooney Sandy & Fred Pack Laura & Tim Parker Tom Russo Nancy & John Snyder Barbara Steinhauser Mark & Kimberlee Sullivan Tina & Steve Vardaman Patricia & Edward Wahtera Joan & Robin Walls
Hanna Warren

In Memoriam

We are truly saddened by the loss of Peggy Viehland Fossett, who passed away in October 2017. While Peggy was always one to avoid the spotlight, she loved the performing arts and provided meaningful support for the Vail Dance Festival, the Vilar Performing Arts Center and the Vail Valley Foundation. We are forever grateful to Peggy for her generosity.


Anonymous (10) Janet & Bill Adler Catherine & Truman Anderson Carol Atha ARC School of Ballet Kay Barber Ann & Gerald Bass Elizabeth Benish Carrie Benway Karla & David Berman Jordan & Alison Biggers Kathy & Jack Blair Kate Boniface Jan Boswinkel Linda Boyne Diana Bradley Dr. Donna DeSimone & Dr. Stephen Brenman Bobbi Bryson Judy & Arthur Canter Jeff Carey Julie Carr Ruth & Randall Chang Jerome Chaves

Stephen Waterhouse was beloved and highly esteemed by family, friends and colleagues around the world. He lived in Vail, New York, London and New Hampshire. Stephen passed away in December 2017 after leading a very rewarding life of business, travel, scholarship, athleticism and philanthropy. He enthusiastically supported arts, academics and athletics through his active participation in many organizations, including the Vail Dance Festival and the Colorado Ski Museum.



FESTIVAL PATRONS Karyn Contino Elizabeth Dean Diane Bradshaw & Dr. John Demenkoff Nancy & Craig Denton Debra Devereaux Kim DiStefano Sandra Newman & Susan Dodson Sherry Dorward Barbara & Marty Dubin Debra & Richard Durben Kay Maune & David Elmore Wendy Elaine Erb Carolyn & Don Etter Sherry & Kenneth Fardie Kathleen & William Farley Carole & Peter Feistmann Kenneth Field Barbara & Lawrence Field Becky & Bob Ford Carolyn & Reed Ford Donald Freedman Nancy & Gary Freedman Peter Gilbert Merrily Glosband Serge Goldberg Cathy Cohn & Gilad Gordon Suzanne Greene Elizabeth & Mark Greenhill Sharon Gurwitz Joyce & Charles Haime Emy & Michael Halpert Jan Harkins Jennifer Haskell Betty Hellman Ronne & Donald Hess Loyal & Jill Huddleston Leslie & Steve Isom Sheila Kautt Ann Kennedy Robert Kidd Caroline Koekkoek Katherine & Derek Konopka Ivy & Frederick Kushner Kimberley Laskey Lisa Leach Laura Leitzinger Beth Leonard Henry Levine Helen & Robert Lyon Elspeth MacHattie Jennifer & Gideon Malherbe Cinthia Manzano Maeva Marcus Karen Marisak Stephen Marquart Ann & John Martin Patricia McFarland Nancy & Michael McKeever Janet & John Meck Jean & Thomas Merrick Mary Meyer



Daniel Mironov Leslie & Charles Mishner Emorene Morris Daniel Murphy John Murphy Gudrun Lange & Benjamin Natelson Laurian Unnevehr & Jerry Nelson Atsuyo & David Norman Ann Norton Judy & Denny O’Brien Susan Stearns & Frank O’Loughlin JeriLynn & Gordon Ommen Eileen Friars & Scott Pyle Ann & Thomas Rader Barbara Reed, MD Suzie & Frank Robinson Joan Robinson Kenneth Robinson Coralie Rogers Lynn & Randy Rose Philip Rosenfeld Jill & Bob Rutledge Susan Schneider Minna Schrag Kathryn Seitz Carol & Stanley Shapiro Martha Skinner Melissa Smith Terry Snyder Linda & Timothy Stancliffe Kenneth Stein Carolee Stewart Judy & Robert Stiber Charles E. Stoopack Selma & Harvey Sweetbaum Jill Tanenbaum Carrie Thomas Lai White & Bernd Tischer Tom & Sharon Trumble Leanne Tyler Sarah Valente Victor Vensas Alison & John Warren III Gayle Westerberg Bruce Wilson Linda Wolcott Rosalind & Larry Wolff Allison Yoelin


Anonymous Joan & Jack Carnie Sharon & Martin Coloson Doris Dewton & Richard Gretz Inge Franberg Cathy Heller Myra & Frank Isenhart Malin Johnsdotter Linda McKinney Drs. Toby & Mort Mower Peter Riposa Jennifer & Stephen Sagner

Becky & David Schamis Sondra Slappey Olivia Snider


Anonymous Jane Allaman Jennifer Babcock Whitney Bardwick Erin Bittner Erin Hall & Eric Blitzstein Kristen Blizzard Marjorie & Michael Brassel Mark Bricklin Jessica Cote Sharon Dwinnell Luis Escalante Caron Fish Margaret & Andrew Forstl Rena Gabbay Cameron Grant Victoria & Todd Green Susan & Ronald Gruber Dale Hahs Jan Hiland Betsy Hoke Elyse & Taggart Howard Jack Irving Shelly & Chris Jarnot Elyse Jones Pamela Ann Leland Irina Monger Melissa Neelley Betsy & William Nevin Nancy & Mauri^ Nottingham Lewis Ribner Alison Romer Susan Salomon Ricki & Steve Sherlin Donna Whittington & Charles Singer Gaye & Robert Steinke John Tydeman Bonnie & John Vesey Janet Walsh Jennifer Wooley


Lauren Gary Loyal & Jill Huddleston Marsha Landesman Heather Watts & Damian Woetzel


Community First Foundation Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Eagle Valley Community Fund Jerome Robbins Foundation National Endowment for the Arts Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation



Tina & David Wilson


Gretchen & Charles Lobitz


Robyn Landry




Tina & Steve Vardaman

VVF Leadership Giving Circle CORNERSTONE

Karen & John Arnold Martha Head Leni & Peter May Vikki & Michael Price Mary Sue & Michael Shannon Marcy & Gerald Spector Oscar Tang Family


Anonymous Phyllis & Steve Anderson Patricia & Sergio Arguelles Judy & Howard Berkowitz Marlene & John Boll Kathy & Bjorn Erik Borgen Ron & Lisa Brill Charitable Trust Kelly & Sam Bronfman Ann Smead & Michael Byram Patsy & Pedro Cerisola Renee & Todd Davison Julie & Bill Esrey Stephanie & Larry Flinn Susan & Harry Frampton Margie & Tom Gart Donna Giordano Georgia & Donald Gogel Lisa & Bruce Goldman Lyn Goldstein Jeanne & James Gustafson Kim Hackett & Dr. Thomas Hackett Judy Hart Angelo Rick Hayes & Johan Segerdahl Karen & Michael Herman Heather & Glenn Hilliard

Kathy & Al Hubbard Susu & George Johnson Diane Pitt & Mitchell Karlin Cynnie & Peter Kellogg Ruth & Sidney Lapidus Shirley & William S. McIntyre Amanda & Neal Moszkowski Jean & Raymond Oglethorpe Molly & Jay Precourt Mary & Steven Read Sara & Eric Resnick J. Douglas Rippeto June & Paul Rossetti Lisa & Kenneth Schanzer Sydney & Stanley S. Shuman Jim & Tammy Snee Sue & Martin Solomon Bill Stolzer James W. Taylor Denise O'Leary & Kent Thiry Deborah & Fred Tresca Debra & Ken Tuchman Barbara & Richard Wenninger Kristy & Bill Woolfolk


Holly Adams Bacca Foundation Liz Cronin Angela & Peter Dal Pezzo Georgia & Robert Hatcher Tara & Robert Levine Nicole & Steve Lucido Michele Mittelman Amy & Jay Regan Margery Pabst Steinmetz & Charles Steinmetz



Anonymous Sheldon D. Andrew & Jeffrey D. Byrne Libby Anschutz Ann Newman & Andy Arnold Marilyn Augur Jeanne & Joe Brandmeyer Kay & Thomas Clanton Jane & Reed Eberly Trish Fillo Joan Francis Laura & William Frick Elizabeth & Michael Galvin Sheika & Pepi Gramshammer Kiwi & Landon Hilliard Gina Browning & Joe Illick Alexia & Jerry Jurschak Marlene & Ben Krell Almudena & Rodrigo Lebois Patricia & Frank Lynch Richard McVey Carolyn & Gene Mercy Alejandra & Tomas Milmo Vicki & Trygve Myhren Marlys & Ralph Palumbo Sissel & Richard Pomboy Suzanne & Bernie Scharf Elaine & Steven Schwartzreich Harvey Simpson Elizabeth & Rodney Slifer Brooke & Hap Stein Mark & Becca Stupfel Jacqueline & Norman Waite Laura & Stephen Wehrle Joan Whittenberg Jan & Greg Winchester Marilyn & Ron Wollard ^ recently deceased

Anonymous Lisa Tannebaum & Don Brownstein Mary Beth & Phil Canfield Jeff & Susan Campbell Peggy Fossett^ Cindy & Christopher Galvin Tina & Craig Held Mr. & Mrs. H. Anthony Ittleson Roberta & Michael Joseph Kristen Nostrand-Junker & Steve Junker Shelby & J. Scott Key Sarah & Peter Millett Senenne & Marc Philippon Lisa Sidhu Kerri & Steven Siegel Liz Logan Sterett & Bill Sterett Marjorie A. Swig Linda & Stewart Turley

Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors Andy Arnold John Arnold Hans Berglund Judy Berkowitz Sam Bronfman Susan Campbell Steve Coyer Andy Daly Ron Davis Matt Donovan Bill Esrey Johannes Faessler Tim Finchem Steve Friedman John Garnsey Margie Gart Donna Giordano Sheika Gramshammer Mike Herman Beth Howard Al Hubbard B.J. Hybl Mike Imhof


Adam Aron Marlene Boll Bjorn Erik Borgen Berry Craddock Jack Crosby, In Memoriam President Gerald R. Ford, In Memoriam Harry Frampton, Chairman Emeritus Pete Frechette, In Memoriam John Galvin, In Memoriam

Chris Jarnot George Johnson Alexia Jurschak Doug Lovell Sarah Millett Ellen Moritz Kaia Moritz Michael Price Eric Resnick Dick Rothkopf Ken Schanzer Mike Shannon Stanley Shuman Rod Slifer Ann Smead, Chairman Hap Stein Kristin Tang Fred Tresca Stewart Turley Mary Webster Betsy Wiegers Gary Woodworth

George Gillett Pepi Gramshammer Steve Haber Martha Head William Hybl Elaine Kelton Kent Logan Peter May Doug Rippeto Oscar Tang

Vail Dance Festival Committee Members Judy Berkowitz, Chairperson Priscilla Brewster Susan Campbell, Vice Chair Allie Coppeak Stacey Frieder Lisa Goldman Sheika Gramshammer B.J. Hybl Sarah Johnson

Alexia Jurschak Jane Netzorg Senenne Philippon Jill Plancher Fred Tresca Linda Waterhouse Betsy Wiegers Damian Woetzel

Tiler Peck in George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. (Choreography by George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust). Photo by Erin Baiano.




Photo by Marty Sohl.

American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director: Kevin McKenzie

Photo by Quinn B. Wharton.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet Co-founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer: Alonzo King Co-founder and Creative Director: Robert Rosenwasser Alonzo King LINES Ballet celebrates contemporary ballet, drawing from a diverse set of deeply rooted cultural traditions, imbuing classical ballet with new expressive potential. Alonzo King has led the company since 1982, relying on his understanding of ballet as a science—founded on universal geometric principles of energy and evolution. The company continues to develop a new language of movement from its classical forms and techniques. Alonzo King’s choreography, brought to life by the LINES Ballet dancers, connects audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. LINES Ballet has been featured at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Monaco Dance Forum, Maison de la Dance, the Edinburgh International Festival, Montpellier Danse, the Wolfsburg Festival, the Holland Dance Festival and Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris.

Recognized as one of the premier dance companies in the world, American Ballet Theatre (ABT) brings preeminent dance and dancers to audiences across the globe. Celebrating its role as “America’s national ballet company,” ABT tours nationally and internationally, performing for more than 400,000 people annually. Under the direction of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith from 1940 to 1980, ABT developed a repertory that honored the past while encouraging the development of the art form through the creation of new works. ABT’s mission, “to create, to present, to preserve, and to extend the great repertoire of classical dancing” is evident in its presentation of the classics and seminal works by the great choreographic geniuses of the 20th century: George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp, among others. Today, under the artistic direction of former ABT principal dancer Kevin McKenzie, the company continues to bring the art of dance theater to the great stages of the world.


Joo Won Ahn Herman Cornejo Tom Forster Alban Lendorf Tyler Maloney Calvin Royal III Arron Scott

Hee Seo Gabe Stone Shayer Cory Stearns Devon Teuscher Cassandra Trenary James Whiteside Aran Bell

Ballet Hispánico Artistic Director and CEO: Eduardo Vilaro

Photo by Paula Lobo.



Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latino dance organization in the United States, is a catalyst for change and diversity with tremendous impact, nurturing artists, students and future leaders. Founded by National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez in 1970, Ballet Hispánico is now led by acclaimed choreographer and former member of the Company, Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro. Under his leadership, Ballet Hispánico’s Company has received national and international praise, performing to ovations around the world. By bringing individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through dance, Ballet Hispánico is now a beacon of hope, tolerance and artistic excellence.

Photo by Erin Baiano.

Photo by Eric Beckman.

Dorrance Dance

Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely

Artistic Director: Michelle Dorrance Dorrance Dance aims to honor tap dance’s uniquely beautiful history in a new, dynamic and compelling context; not by stripping the form of its tradition, but by pushing it—rhythmically, technically and conceptually. “With each performance of Dorrance Dance, tap expands.”—The New York Times The company’s inaugural performance garnered a Bessie Award for “blasting open our notions of tap” and the company continues its passionate commitment to expanding the audience of tap dance, America’s original art form. Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director and MacArthur ‘Genius’, Michelle Dorrance, the company has received countless accolades, rave reviews and has performed around the globe including at The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, New York City Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and in Canada, Spain, Germany, France, England, Hong Kong and Singapore.


Elizabeth Burke Michelle Dorrance Karida Griffith Claudia Rahardjanoto Bryon Tittle

Joseph Wiggan* Josette Wiggan* Gabriel Winns Ortiz *Dorrance Dance Guest Artists

Photo by Erin Baiano.

BalletX Co-Founder, Artistic Director & Executive Director: Christine Cox BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company, unites distinguished choreographers with an outstanding company of world-

Award-winning singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon has been described as “a talented, versatile singer, composer, producer, and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana—from folk to funk, from blues to rock” by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa. While her expansive career has landed her in residence at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House and Madison Square Garden, she’s just as content to turn it on at a music festival, intimate venue or local club. Her dance and theater collaborations include work with Urban Bush Women, Jane Comfort and Company, LAVA and two operas with Robert Wilson and with her mother, Bernice Johnson Reagon. Founded in 1996, Reagon's band BIGLovely includes some of New York's finest all-star musicians The band has performed at numerous concerts, festivals and events across the world including Central Park Summerstage NYC, Melbourne International Arts Festival and Clearwater's Great Hudson Revival, to name a few.


Acoustic Guitar and Lead Vocals Toshi Reagon Electric Bass Fred Cash Violin Juliette Jones Drums and Percussion Shirazette Tinnin Electric Guitar Adam Widoff

class dancers to forge new works of athleticism, emotion and grace. Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, and now under the direction of Cox as artistic and executive director, BalletX challenges the boundaries of classical ballet by encouraging formal experimentation while preserving rigorous technique. The company is committed to producing new works of the highest quality and integrity that bring the combined visions of choreographers and dancers to life and cultivate in audiences a collective appetite for bold, new dance.


Francesca Forcella Stanley Glover Gary W. Jeter II Zachary Kapeluck Skyler Lubin

Daniel Mayo Roderick Phifer Caili Quan Andrea Yorita




Photo by Joe Kusumoto.

Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra Conductor: Steven Schick Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra is an established ensemble of professional musicians drawn from major symphony orchestras across the nation, in-residence each summer under the baton of Artistic Director and Conductor Steven Schick. Flexible in both size and repertoire, the Festival musician collective enlivens Breckenridge with orchestra concerts at the Riverwalk Center as well as with intimate chamber performances on trails, in homes, and throughout Summit County. Steven Schick was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor this year and will debut at the Breckenridge podium in his new role in July during the 37th annual summer festival. Schick is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, as well as co-artistic director of the Summer Music Program at the Banff Centre.

Photo by Erin Baiano.

Brooklyn Rider Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the veteran string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents eclectic repertory and gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21stcentury ensemble.” To start the 2017-18 season, Brooklyn Rider released Spontaneous Symbols. The album features new quartet music by Tyondai Braxton, Evan Ziporyn, Paula Matthusen, Kyle Sanna and Brooklyn Rider Violinist Colin Jacobsen. This season the quartet reunited with former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan and Choreographer Brian Brooks. They also teamed up with incomparable banjoist Béla Fleck—with whom they appeared on two different albums, Juno Concerto and The Impostor.


Violin Johnny Gandelsman Violin Colin Jacobsen

Viola Nicholas Cords Cello Michael Nicolas

���� Festival Forums


ebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden from the popular podcast series, Conversations On Dance, host in-depth discussions with Festival artists from dancers—past and present—to musicians and choreographers. The Forums are inspirational and thought-provoking conversations with those engaged in the dance world. A limited number of $20 tickets are available, hosted at Manor Vail Lodge. For more, visit

Tuesday, July 31 6pm Festival Forum: Collaborative Spirit in Vail, with composer Caroline Shaw and choreographer Justin Peck Thursday, August 2 9:30am Festival Forum: What’s Special about Vail, with Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambé, The Royal Ballet



Friday, August 3 9:30am Festival Forum: Merce Cunningham’s upcoming centennial, with Abi Sebaly and Melissa Toogood

Sunday, August 5 9:30am Festival Forum: World Premiere in Vail, with Claudia Schreier, Eduardo Vilaro and dancers from Ballet Hispánico

Saturday, August 4 9:30am Festival Forum: Breakout Season, with Roman Mejia, New York City Ballet

Monday, August 6 9:30am Festival Forum: Choreographic Debut in Vail, with Tiler Peck and artists featured in her new work


Stella Abrera

Jared Angle

New York City Ballet

American Ballet Theatre

Preston Chamblee

Harrison Coll

Jason Collins

Pam Tanowitz Dance

American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre

Barton Cowperthwaite

Patricia Delgado

Michelle Dorrance

Melissa Fernandez

Joseph Gordon

Francesca Hayward

Misa Kuranaga

Alban Lendorf

Lauren Lovette

American Ballet Theatre

New York City Ballet

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

Christopher Grant New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet

The Royal Ballet

Isabella Boylston

Dorrance Dance

Boston Ballet

India Bradley

School of American Ballet

Misty Copeland

Ballet Hispรกnico

American Ballet Theatre

Lil Buck

Memphis Jooker

Herman Cornejo

New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet




Victor Lozano

Roman Mejia

Pam Tanowitz Dance

Dario Natarelli

Tap Dancer

Calvin Royal III

New York City Ballet

Miriam Miller

New York City Ballet

Tiler Peck

Unity Phelan

New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet

Rashaun Mitchell

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener

Phyouture “Lil P”

Scholar-In-Residence Memphis Jooker

American Ballet Theatre

The Royal Ballet

Marcelino Sambé

Claudia Schreier Choreographer

American Ballet Theatre

Devon Teuscher

Melissa Toogood

Lyvan Verdecia

Daniel J. Watts

American Ballet Theatre



Pam Tanowitz Dance

Ballet Hispánico

Cory Stearns

Dancer, Vocalist, Spoken Word Artist

Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles Memphis Jooker

Silas Riener

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener

Pam Tanowitz



Christine Cox BalletX

Michelle Dorrance Dorrance Dance

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

American Ballet Theatre

Kevin McKenzie

Eduardo Vilaro

Cameron Grant*

Savannah Harris

Nancy McDill

Ballet Hispánico


Kate Davis


Gabriela Lena Frank Composer

Principal Pianist

���� Music Fellows Joel Wenhardt Piano Noah Halpern Trumpet Cameron MacIntosh Percussion

Toshi Reagon

Toshi Reagon & BIGLovely



Artists confirmed as of May 21, 2018

*Cameron Grant’s appearance underwritten by Linda Waterhouse.

ˆCaroline Shaw’s appearance underwritten by Leni & Peter May.

Caroline Shawˆ

Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence

Andrea Selby, Illustrator


he Vail Dance Festival welcomes back Festival Illustrator Andrea Selby. Andrea will be creating her live-time masterpieces from the audience’s perspective during both International Evenings of Dance and the NOW: Premieres programs. Her work will also be on display in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater’s Social Courtyard and throughout Vail Village.

Andrea’s appearance in Vail is underwritten by Linda Waterhouse. Left: Tiler Peck and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles in Budget Bulgar. Right: Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener in Desire Liar. Illustrations by Andrea Selby.




Town of Vail GMC Vail Resorts

TIAA Bank Nature Valley


Colorado Mountain Express Korbel California Champagne


AlliedPra, DSC Berglund Architects FirstBank The Gallegos Corporation Vail Integrative Medical Group


Christiania at Vail DoubleTree by Hilton Vail Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer Manor Vail Lodge Sonnenalp Hotel Vail Resort Rentals, Sun Vail Condominiums Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa


Blue Moose Holly Cole, Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine Constellation Brands / Meiomi Julia Gruen, Keith Haring Foundation The Keith Haring Foundation La Tour Larkspur Lorissa's Kitchen Town of Avon Tracey Van Curan, Foods of Vail Vail Mountain School


Mike Imhof, President & CEO Damian Woetzel, Festival Artistic Director Bob Ford, Chief Financial Officer Martha Brassel, Director of Development Martin Nieves, Assistant Director of Operations Mac Garnsey, Director of Operations Aaron Strubel, Operations Coordinator Lesley Norton, Lodging Manager Erin Kelly, Transportation Manager Shelley Woodworth, Marketing & Public Relations Tom Boyd, Director of PR & Communications Sarah Franke, VP of Operations & Marketing Maggie Bevan, Senior Marketing Manager Ruthie Hamrick, Senior Marketing Manager, VPAC



Alix Miller, Marketing & Digital Media Manager Melissa Bartoletta, Assistant Marketing Manager Heidi Elzinga, Assistant to the President & CEO Jennifer Craig-Geisman, Public Relations Dave Dressman, VP of Sales & Sponsorship Greg Bloom, Sponsorship Sales Director Jessica Stevens, Sponsorship Sales Director Julia Salerno, Sponsorship Sales Director Sacha Kostick, Sponsorship Account Manager Lisa Babb, Hospitality Manager Tanya Hiple, Director of Development Emily Sessler, Senior Development Manager Gretchen Swanson, Development Officer Kendra Powell, Membership & Donor Relations Manager

Carrie Benway, Development Director Erin Hall, Development Operations Manager Whitney Harper, Development Officer Sara Amberg, Grants Director Helen Gies, Senior Accounting Manager Brian Muller, Senior IT Director Carlos Molina, IT Manager Erik Brown, Director of Special Projects Dionne Drugan-Brown, Office Manager Sarah Silverblatt-Buser, NYC Festival Coordinator Russell Kaiser, Artistic Planning/ Rehearsal Director

Carla Kรถrbes, Rehearsal Associate Kurt Crowley, Music Arranger Jeffrey Guimond, Music Administrator Michael Sheridan, Assistant to the Artistic Director Kate Penner, New Media Editor Joseph Futral, Director of Production William Knapp, GRFA Production Manager Angelina Pellini, Satellite Production Manager Jim Leitner, Production Lighting Designer Lisa Leonhardt, Resident Stage Manager Betsy Ayer, Guest Stage Manager Brandon Stirling Baker, Guest Lighting Designer Scott Calder, Master Electrician Mark Valenzuela, Sound Engineer Jan Hiland, Wardrobe Mistress Martha Bromelmeier, Costume Designer Bryan Bauer, Assistant Stage Manager Jacqueline Gil, Assistant Stage Manager Erin Baiano, Festival Photographer Nel Shelby Productions, Festival Videographer Brian Maloney, Special Events Photographer Shelby Seier, Artistic Admin. & Grants Assistant Joe Samala, Sound Assistant Chris Sannino, Sound Assistant II Colton Dodd, Pianist/Music Assistant Joseph Van Harn, Artistic Operations Assistant Meredith Kirkman, Artist Services Assistant

Timothy Smith, Assistant Electrician & Lighting Designer

Cameron Morgan, Social Media Assistant & Festival Coordinator

Olivia Maggi, Membership & Development Assistant

Berneil Bannon, Volunteer Front of House Coordinator

Joanna Kerwin, Transportation Volunteer Coordinator

Cathy Heller, CAA Coordinator


Lauren Gary, Box Office Manager Tim Felton, Assistant Box Office Manager Madelyn Green, Assistant Box Office Manager Jan Sackbauer Sophie Ozaneaux


Jennifer Mason, Director Patrick Zimmerman, Production Manager Peter Blosten, House Manager


Duncan Horner, Executive Director Chris Henry, Director of Operations Erik Brown, Director of Special Projects Dean Davis, Facilities Manager Kimberly Hannold, Administrative Coordinator Chris Whitney, Food & Beverage Manager Beth Pond, Director of Development Kristen Hammer, Production Manager Matthew Phillips, Technical Director Cortney Munger, Artist Relations Coordinator


Tracy Straus, Artistic Director Kris Ashley, Vail Program Director Colleen Macomber, Teaching Artist Tony Kieraldo, Musical Director Jacob Liddard, Co-Musical Director


Colby Wilson Indigo Sparks Shannon Mizell Adrianna Cota Becky Nussbaum Reed Otto Eleanor Pierman Lexa Armstrong Maria Aki Kareem Hewitt

Mia Silvestri Nasir Campbell Sophia Walder

— BRINGING NEW LIFE TO THE VALLEY Vail Health’s Family Birth Center delivered 419 babies last year. Our Level II Nursery cares for babies born after 32 weeks and those who need the special attention of our neonatal nurse practitioners.



SERVING EAGLE COUNTY SINCE 1965 Vail Health Hospital Beaver Creek Medical Center


Cardiac Cath Lab



Plastic Surgery

Cardiovascular Center


Emergency Department

Shaw Cancer Center

Endocrinology Family Birth Center

Sleep Disorders Sonnenalp Breast Center



Howard Head Sports Medicine

Total Joint Replacement Urgent Care – Avon & Gypsum

Infusion Therapy

Vaccine Clinic

Internal Medicine

Wound & Ostomy Clinic

AV O N | B E AV E R C R E E K | B R E C K E N R I D G E | E A G L E | E D W A R D S F R I S C O | GY P S U M | S I LV E R T H O R N E | VA I L


Jack’s Place, a Cancer Caring House

NOW: Premieres

The debut of these commissioned works showcases a variety of choreographers, embodying the heart and soul of the Festival By Sarah Silverblatt-Buser


ew works and collaboration characterize the ethos of the Vail Dance Festival. Through Artistic Director Damian Woetzel’s thoughtful casting and deep well of trust, spontaneous genius springs from the cross-pollination of artists otherwise divided. The Vail Valley is fertile ground, and NOW: Premieres is the evening to experience the newest results of this creative incubator. Last year’s NOW program celebrated women choreographers in recognition of the need to foster creative potential without barriers. In continuation of the Festival’s mission to nourish new voices and radically disrupt the status quo, this year six choreographers—the majority of whom are women—will create works ranging from neoclassical and contemporary ballet to tap and modern dance. Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw and Gabriela Lena Frank, named one of the 35 most significant women composers in history by the Washington Post, will compose new scores commissioned by the Festival.



iler Peck is a dancer whose speed and finesse stretch time; her meticulous musicality melds movement into sound. The New York Times has described Peck as a “paragon” of dance, and Vail as where the “prima-ballerina’s ever-increasing versatility has been most evident.” Fittingly, Vail will again provide the backdrop for Peck to take her next artistic step into the role of choreographer. “Damian has always pushed me out of my comfort zone as a dancer and individual,” said Peck. “If it weren’t for him, I am not sure I would have taken the leap.” Peck dabbled in choreography as a young girl and has created professional works in

Michelle Dorrance and artists in we seem to be more than one. Photo by Erin Baiano.

collaboration with others, such as Time It Was with Bill Irwin created for the 2015 Festival. For her first true solo choreographic work, Peck said she will consider herself to be in collaboration with her dancers. The ballet world often maintains a strict separation between choreographer and dancer. Peck’s consideration of her dancers as collaborators welcomes a collective puzzlemaking process that encourages dancers to become active participants in the creative process. “Sometimes the steps you make on yourself don’t end up looking the same on someone else,” Peck said, “so you have to see what is in front of you and be flexible.”

“Damian has always pushed me out of my comfort zone as a dancer and individual.”–Tiler Peck





s a dancer, Lauren Lovette has been described as a free spirit. In choreography, the New York City Ballet principal dancer likewise proves herself a nonconformist, naturally progressing ballet forward to better fit into the 21st century. Lovette makes work with a message. In last year’s NOW program, she choreographed a ballet for four women, including a pas de deux on Patricia Delgado and herself, featuring spoken word by the genderqueer Boulder-based poet Andrea Gibson. “I feel like we fell in love with each other onstage,” Lovette told Dance Magazine of the untraditional partnership. Most recently, Lovette created a lush pas de deux for two men in Not Our Fate, her second major work for New York City Ballet. The dance was described by The New York Times as “startling and wonderful… a tender, athletic display of desire.” Lovette, who describes herself as being “in a constant flow of information, desire, emotion and connection with people,” draws inspiration from the powerful personal experiences that move her. Lovette’s intuitive approach to dance-making renders her work radically relevant without seeming preachy or put on. She simply senses her world—our world—and synthesizes it through movement and music to comment on issues relating to gender and sexuality, race and sexual harassment. “I want to let out a lot of things that have happened that aren’t necessarily sparkly,” she said. “I don’t want to hide the struggle.”



“I want to let out a lot of things that have happened that aren’t necessarily sparkly. I don’t want to hide the struggle.” –Lauren Lovette

Miriam Miller, Devon Teuscher, Lauren Lovette and Patricia Delgado in Angels of the Get-Through. Photo by Erin Baiano.

Schreier dives into rhythmically charged music to create ballets that synthesize classical ballet with a distinctively grounded and spiraling style.

drawing upon her multicultural heritage—she is of Peruvian, Chinese and Lithuanian Jewish descent—and mining from traditional Latin American idioms to create hybridized forms for the 21st century. Frank’s reference to a “genetic memory of culture” as responsible for Peruvian music “sifting” through her compositions resonates powerfully with Schreier, who is of Jamaican and Jewish descent. Schreier’s impulse to create dynamically layered works infused with undulations and twists is fueled in part, she said, “by the exuberance of the Jamaican spirit” that she inherited from her mother. “My choreography is rooted in the cleanliness and rigor of classical ballet technique,” Schreier said, “but I have a visceral response to music that moves me in less traditional ways and makes me want to dance with abandon.”

laudia Schreier is an independent neoclassical choreographer whose bourgeoning career climbs skyward. This summer will mark Schreier’s third ballet for the Festival, which has kindled her career since she began as an intern eleven years ago, during Woetzel’s first year as Artistic Director. Schreier dives into MICHELLE DORRANCE: rhythmically charged THE CHOREOGRAPHY CHEMIST music to create ballets that synthesize classical n last summer’s NOW: Premieres program, tap heroine Michelle ballet with a distinctively Dorrance showed the symbiotic benefits of creative conspiring in grounded and spiraling her premiere of we seem to be more than one. As Choreographer-Instyle, an impulse that takes Residence, Dorrance was given free rein to let her wild imagination run on deeper meaning for her and merged the Festival’s myriad styles—including ballet, contemporary, latest NOW premiere. She will choreograph a duet for two dancers of tap, modern, flamenco, and even vaudeville—together. The artistic Ballet Hispánico, a company that intimately involves music as a means of alchemy confirmed Dorrance’s remarkable ability to coalesce detailed expressing the varied richness of Latino culture and identity. The work will rhythmic and spatial patterns regardless of the movement language. co-premiere alongside a new score by celebrated composer Gabriela Lena The accomplishment, witnessed only once in Vail, lead to the coFrank, who has been described as “something of a musical anthropologist,” commissioning of three new premieres by the Festival and American




Ballet Theatre this year: a small gala work to premiere at ABT's annual spring season at the Met, a group piece in Vail and a final, larger-scale work for the Company's fall season in New York. “The gala piece will be a shorter work, but a foundation for what happens in Vail, which in turn could be a foundation for what happens in the fall,” Dorrance told The New York Times. “But in Vail, the range of the dancers’ styles and the collaborative nature of the Festival means that crazy things happen, and there are likely to be elements that might just stay in Vail.”

Peck + Shaw: Choreograph, Compose & Create “We’re constantly engaging in what it means to be a human …” —Rashaun Mitchell RASHAUN MITCHELL AND SILAS RIENER: THE SHAPE SHIFTERS


ashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, return to Vail this summer to create a new work on a cast of modern and ballet dancers, including Lovette. Such interdisciplinary play is nothing new for the duo; they are intrigued by multiplicity. In art and in life, the pair work to incorporate the particularities of the individuals and spaces they find themselves working with and within. “It’s exciting that we’ll be working with Lauren [Lovette],” the pair said of their collaborative artistic process. “She is a woman making ballet, which is so rare; it’ll be interesting to have that potential perspective in our work.” While the pair’s work may at first seem purely abstract, it is, in fact, deeply rooted in experiences of the lived world. “Our work is actually very political, but in a frame of abstraction,” Mitchell explained. “We’re constantly engaging in what it means to be a human, the ambiguities, the constant shifting, and how art can activate and change value systems around and definitions of beauty. We aren’t neutral.” NOW: Premieres will take place on Monday, August 6 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

By Susan Reiter


t’s been a short six years since Justin Peck made his first work for New York City Ballet (NYCB), where the increasingly busy and prolific choreographer is also a soloist. Since then, Peck has moved to the forefront of contemporary ballet choreographers. Peck’s has been a fresh, inventive choreographic voice. He takes chances and is often unpredictable. Contributing steadily to New York City Ballet’s repertoire (the Company quickly named him its resident choreographer in 2014), he has displayed sophisticated and adventurous musical taste. He has collaborated with hip contemporary composers Sufjan Stevens and Bryce Dessner while also finding inspiration in scores by Bohuslav Martinu, Franz Liszt and Igor Stravinsky. One of his boldest musical choices—creating his own contemporary interpretation of Aaron Copland’s iconic Rodeo—produced one of his most thrilling and surprising ballets. Among the most impressive aspects of Peck’s young choreographic career has been his level-headed manner of moving on to the next project, taking on varied challenges and moving in new directions. The results are usually surprising as well as persuasive. He has put dancers in sneakers when the music and atmosphere call for that—as he did for last year’s The Times Are Racing, one of his most original and bracing works for NYCB. Peck clearly has respect for, and extensive knowledge of, what has come before. His choreography absorbs a rich array of influences yet resonates with individuality and originality. This year, VDF has commissioned Peck for the NOW: Premieres program. He will collaborate with Caroline Shaw, the festival’s Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence. Her music has been heard on the past two years’ premieres programs—for Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener’s Romance Study #4 in 2016, and last year for Pam Tanowitz’s Entr’acte and Lauren Lovette’s Angels of the Get-Through. A youthful, category-defying musician and composer whose Partita for 8 Voices won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, Shaw’s originality and openness make her a natural fit for Vail. She has composed for orchestras and choirs, as well as cutting-edge ensembles such as Brooklyn Rider (Festival mainstays) and Roomful of Teeth. Like Peck, she is also active as a performer—in her case, as a violinist and vocalist—even while her creative career has surged forward in recent years. Just this year alone she had a concert with Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and the National Symphony; premiered a piece called Seven Joys with Mendelssohn Club in Philadelphia and a premiere at the Met Museum with Metropolis and TENET, celebrating the new Versailles exhibit there. Peck too will arrive in Vail after several extremely busy months. He made his Broadway debut in April, as choreographer for the revival of Carousel. Eight days after that production opened, his new work Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming was on the opening-night program of San Francisco Ballet’s Unbound, a festival of new choreography. He then headed back east for another premiere, set to a Leonard Bernstein score, for NYCB’s spring gala. But on August 6, Shaw and Peck will touch down in Vail for a unique collaborative opportunity that has brought them together. Catch them while you can.



Under the Microscope UpClose offers a rare look behind the scenes, and into the minds, of Vail Dance Festival artists By Shelby Seier




he demo-style performance series UpClose—created by Artistic Director Damian Woetzel and a hallmark of the Festival since 2007—was inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s Thursday Evening Preview Series at the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1962. By way of these weekly open rehearsals, Bernstein cultivated a new generation of music connoisseurs, even while challenging his musicians by working on their repertory in the public view. Ever since the inaugural UpClose performance, Vail audiences have enjoyed similar experiences with Woetzel at the helm, often joined by Balanchine ballerina Heather Watts. The program provides a coveted glimpse into the prolific output of the Festival and its artists, with a focus on the collaborative process between dance and music. This year, UpClose focuses on composer Caroline Shaw and choreographer Justin Peck, who together will premiere a new score and ballet on the NOW: Premieres program.

1. Damian Woetzel and Edward Villella on stage at the Vilar

Performing Arts Center for UpClose: Edward Villella - American Dance Icon (2009). Photo by Erin Baiano.

2. Heather Watts coaching Tiler Peck and Herman Cornejo

in George Balanchine’s Apollo at UpClose: Apollo at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (2015). Choreography by George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Erin Baiano.


3. Artistic Director Damian Woetzel and dancers of Pacific

Northwest Ballet perform Cool from West Side Story in UpClose: Jerome Robbins American Genius (2008). Photo by Rex Keep.

4. Damian Woetzel and Savion Glover in UpClose: Savion Glover Tap Genius (2009). Photo by Rex Keep.

5. Fang-Yi Sheu in UpClose: Footwork at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (2013). Photo by Erin Baiano.

3 58




6 8

6. Herman Cornejo in Dances at a Gathering at UpClose: Jerome Robbins at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (2017). Photo by Erin Baiano. 7. Heather Watts coaching Carla Körbes and Eric Underwood in

George Balanchine’s Agon for International Evenings of Dance UpClose at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (2010). Choreography by George Balanchine ©The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Erin Baiano.



8. Lauren Lovette and Jared Angle in The Cage at UpClose: Jerome Robbins at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (2017). Photo by Erin Baiano. 9. Full company at UpClose: Jerome Robbins at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (2017). Photo by Erin Baiano. 10. Christopher Wheeldon, Edwaard Liang, Pontus Lidberg, Adam

Houghland for UpClose: Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (2008). Photo by Erin Baiano.



Modern Stories ancers spring, spin, tilt and teeter across the stage in Scenario, Merce Cunningham’s 1997 creation with Commes des Garçons designer Kei Kawakubo. Cunningham’s signature powerful movement quality coupled with clever choreography at once amuses and astonishes.

Ballet’s classical lines are flipped and twisted, and the dancers are neutral, extraordinary pedestrians moving in ways possible only through a highly technical practice. Last summer, Vail audiences were treated to the unusual partnership of American Ballet Theatre’s Herman Cornejo and former Cunningham dancer Melissa Toogood in an excerpted duet from the iconic modern dance. For this year’s Festival, Toogood, who travels the country dancing and reviving Cunningham masterpieces, will restage a larger portion of Scenario involving several other duets featuring dancers from both ballet and modern backgrounds. Cornejo’s boundless jumps are always exhilarating, but even more so when framed by the dramatic pauses and quirky steps


Melissa Toogood and Herman Cornejo in Merce Cunningham's Scenario. Photo by Erin Baiano.

For classically trained ballet dancers, modern dance can be both risky and empowering By Sarah Silverblatt-Buser



characteristic of Cunningham’s work. His leaps explode from nowhere in the same unpredictable manner with which Toogood seems to carry herself across the stage in a single step. Dancing together, the two depend on one another to stay standing, precariously leaning back so far that if a single hand should slip, both would go tumbling. “What I chose to stage [on Cornejo] was made for a dancer who was a huge risk-taker,” explained Toogood about why she imagined him excelling in the role. Contrary to the quest for perfection that drives classical ballet, the risk-taking central to Cunningham’s work involves accepting and embracing imperfections that arise. “To stumble, to potentially have a line not look perfect. It can be scary!” Toogood said. “But I’d rather fall over than take it safe.”

“Modern dance can be like meditation. It can inspire clarity and be transcendent because it’s not driven by beginning, middle and end.”—Patricia Delgado

Victor Lozano, Jason Collins, Patricia Delgado and Brooklyn Rider in Pam Tanowitz’s Blueprint. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Allowing imperfection was new for Cornejo, who The New York Times has described as “virtuosic,” “miraculous” and “an impulsive force of nature.” He noted that imperfections make the individual, which in turn makes the dance, particularly when there is no story to explicitly portray. “I had to work to accept those imperfections, to be comfortable with them and to create art as a consequence of them.” This discovery allows him to approach the piece with a fresh perspective this summer. “It’s the dancer who makes the work come across,” said Toogood. “Merce was very open to what each individual would bring to the material—he didn’t discriminate against movement.” Scenario will be one of many modern dance works featured at the Festival this summer. Pam Tanowitz—who has been described as “one of the most formally brilliant choreographers around” (The New York Times)— will present her newest work, Blueprint, to the music of Leonard Bernstein Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw. The piece will feature former Miami City Ballet principal Patricia Delgado alongside two Juilliardtrained modern dancers, Jason Collins and Victor Lozano. Delgado and Tanowitz first worked together last summer after sharing a car ride from Denver to Vail. Sensing strong artistic chemistry, Tanowitz spontaneously asked Artistic Director Damian Woetzel if she could create a solo piece for Delgado. Woetzel agreed and the result was a witty, upbeat and musical creation in which Delgado was praised for being “elegant, wholly unpredictable, commandingly playful” (The New York Times). “What I love about Pam,” said Delgado, “is that she brings out a strong and independent woman in me in her work.” Tanowitz’s process stems from discovery and does not rely on a constructed character to carry the dancer or the audience away. Delgado “had to work at stripping away the ballerina way of carrying a posture, of always performing,” in order to be purely herself on stage. “Our lives already have so many stories,” Delgado exclaimed as she recounted the challenge of tempering back her dramatic expressiveness. “Modern dance can be like meditation. It can inspire clarity and be

Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener in Desire Liar. Photo by Erin Baiano.

transcendent because it’s not driven by beginning, middle and end.” Such clarity invites the audience to bring their own stories and interpretations. Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, who both danced alongside Toogood in the Cunningham company, layer many narratives upon complicated and abstract personal stories. The pair last performed their cheeky duet Desire Liar at the Festival in 2016. “We were trying to portray that we are two men in a romantic relationship as collaborators,” Riener said, “and the interesting tensions and humor that come out of that.” Through a lens of abstraction, the modern choreographers cleverly embed stories within their work, allowing for audiences to experience the “multifaceted, complex, ambiguous portrayal of how we live in the world.” Whether stripped away or radically layered, modern dance encourages letting go of expectations—there is no single correct interpretation. Instead, it offer audiences and dancers alike the freeing experience of reveling in the art of individuality.




Photo by Erin Baiano.

Photo by John-Ryan Lockman.

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater


he Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail is a spectacular outdoor venue that seats 1,260 guests in covered seating and an additional 1,300 on its expansive grassy hillside with a breathtaking view of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Gates to the venue open one hour prior to show time. Lawn seating is available on a first come, first served basis. The Amphitheater is fully ADA compliant and provides special accommodations for those with limited mobility. Concessions with food and alcohol sales are available at the facility. Picnics, legless chairs and commercially sealed nonalcoholic beverages are permitted. Bike and stroller parking is available. A complimentary express shuttle is available from the top levels of both Town of Vail parking structures. Limited paid parking is available on-site on a first come, first served basis and complimentary golf cart service is available from these on-site lots and shuttle stops. The following are not permitted at the GRFA: • Cameras • Bicycles • Smoking • Recording Devices • Scooters • Lawn Chairs • Skateboards • Firearms • Outside Alcohol

Vilar Performing Arts Center


ocated in the heart of Colorado’s Beaver Creek Resort, the Vilar Performing Arts Center is a 535-seat theater managed by the Vail Valley Foundation and presents a variety of year-round performances including Broadway musicals, concerts, family entertainment, comedy, dance, classical music and more. The intimate and inviting performance space of the VPAC was designed to exacting specifications to create perfect acoustics and unobstructed views from every seat. Free summer parking is available in Village Hall or Villa Montane in Beaver Creek Village on a first come, first served basis. Free summer parking is also available at the base of Beaver Creek Resort with free performance shuttles running on a regular schedule.

Avon Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park


n outdoor venue located in Avon, the Performance Pavilion at Nottingham Park is a yearround cultural and entertainment venue for festivals, concerts, art exhibitions, theater performances, educational events, private functions and more. Open-air seating is available on an expansive grass-covered area and is perfect for audiences of all ages. Limited Dance Festival bleacher seating is provided and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, umbrellas and picnics to make the experience even better! Beginning one hour before performances, food and drinks may be purchased on-site and public restrooms are located adjacent to the venue in Nottingham Park. Nearby free parking is offered on Lake Street, West Beaver Creek Boulevard and at the Avon Rec Center. Vail Dance Festival performances will take place—rain or shine! The following items are not permitted in the Performance Pavilion: • Firearms • Dogs • Smoking • Outside Alcohol



Festival Intern Program


ach year, the Vail Dance Festival engages ambitious undergraduate and graduate students to serve as members of the Festival team, working as interns, assistants and ambassadors to support a variety of key areas including artist hospitality, on-site hosting & promotions, media & communications, education & outreach, venue & rehearsal management and technical production & membership development. The internship lasts three weeks and offers unparalleled behind-the-scenes exposure to some of the world’s greatest dancers and choreographers and a rare, fast-tracked immersion experience into the world of arts administration. The Festival provides weekly compensation, lodging and a travel allowance for its intern and assistant program. The application process for 2019 Festival internships will begin in November. The Festival’s Internship Program is underwritten by Jody & John Arnhold in honor of Damian Woetzel’s commitment to inspire and educate the next generation.

For a complete schedule of events, artist information and to purchase tickets:

VAILDANCE.ORG ���.���.ARTS ������


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