Vail International Dance Festival offers 'UpClose' performances, dialogue with visiting artists

By Real Vail
August 3, 2010

The 22nd annual Vail International Dance Festival features two weeks of dance performances at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, including two events in the UpClose series. UpClose: Stars of the International Evenings of Dance will be held on Thursday, August 5 at 6pm and UpClose: The Art of Tango takes place Saturday, August 7 at 2pm. Both events will be held on the Amphitheater stage.

New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck rehearses Larry Keigwin's world premiere Aretha Franklin ballet, Rock Steady.
Photo by Erin Baiano

The UpClose series was conceptualized by Festival Artistic Director Damian Woetzel four years ago when the first UpClose (with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company) was held. The events are billed as a behind the scenes look at the creation of dance and dance performances with choreographers and artistic directors on stage alongside the dancers, mostly dressed in rehearsal attire. Woetzel hosts the series, facilitating discussion between the artists and audience and occasionally demonstrating a few dance steps himself.

As with UpClose: Morphoses/The Wheeldon company, UpClose audiences are often the first to see newly created works that are slated to world premiere at the Festival. “A highlight of the UpClose: Stars will be a preview of the world premiere Aretha Franklin ballet by our artist in residence Larry Keigwin, the lucky UpClose audience will the very first to see it on the stage,” says Woetzel. He continues, “we will also be looking at some of the greatest dancers in the world do their pieces for International Evenings. Stars like Herman Cornejo and the thrilling bravura showpiece Don Quixote. This is an amazing opportunity to see the stars of dance like never before.”

UpClose: The Art of Tango will feature acclaimed ballroom dancers Natalia Hills and Gabriel Missé with their full company of dancers and musicians Tangueros del Sur. The ensemble will be preparing their new piece, Romper el Piso (Break the Floor), scheduled to world premiere on Sunday, August 8 at the Ballroom 2010: Tango performance.

Tickets to UpClose: Stars of the International Evenings of Dance are $35 and for UpClose: The Art of Tango are $25. Tickets to all Vail International Dance Festival performances are available online at or by calling 888-920-ARTS(2787). The Vail International Dance Festival is presented by the Vail Valley Foundation.

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