Vail International Dance Festival Celebrates Damian Woetzel’s 10th Anniversary and Announces 28th Season: July 30-August 13

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The Festival Welcomes American Ballet Theatre Ballerina Isabella Boylston as Artist-in-Residence and Company-in-Residence Philadelphia’s BalletX

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“It is a real pleasure to realize how these past seasons in Vail have brought together so many dancers, choreographers, musicians, and audiences,” Artistic Director Damian Woetzel.

The Vail International Dance Festival announces its 2016 season (July 30- August 13) and celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its Artistic Director, former New York City Ballet star Damian Woetzel. In celebration of his 10th year, the season will feature Isabella Boylston as Artist-in-Residence, Company-in-Residence BalletX, and other companies appearing will include Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dorrance Dance, and Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance. Under Woetzel’s direction the Festival has presented over 45 new works, and 2016 will add at least ten world premieres to that list with new pieces by choreographers Jodie Gates, Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Matthew Neenan, Claudia Schreier, Shantala Shivalingappa, Jodi Melnick and more. This year’s special UpClose performance (Aug. 3) will feature artists who regularly make Vail their creative summer home under Woetzel’s direction, including Carla Körbes, Tiler Peck, Lil Buck, and Robert Fairchild.

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

The 2016 season will feature Festival debuts from a number of artists and companies: MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant recipient Michelle Dorrance and her groundbreaking tap company Dorrance Dance, the iconic Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, which will take the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater stage for the first time since its reincarnation as a company dedicated to showing the works of contemporary dance voices in addition to those of its namesake founder. Dancing with the Stars luminary Anna Trebunskaya will perform in, and curate, a Ballroom Spectacular, and the International Evenings of Dance will once again present a wide array of dance styles and stars, including The Royal Ballet’s Lauren Cuthbertson and Eric Underwood; the Argentinian tango virtuoso Gabriel Missé; New York City Ballet’s Lauren Lovette, Unity Phelan, Jared Angle, Chase Finlay, Joseph Gordon and Zachary Catazaro; Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga; Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Angelica Generosa; and American Ballet Theater’s Herman Cornejo, James Whiteside, Jeffrey Cirio, and Calvin Royal III. To close the season on August 13, Dance TV will return, bringing together stars in a celebration of dance on television. Live music continues to be a highlight of the Festival, with select performances by musicians including acclaimed singer and multi-instrumentalist Kate Davis, Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato, tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das, the Catalyst String Quartet, and pianist Cameron Grant. Vail International Dance Festival Fan Club pre-sale ticketing begins February 23, with public tickets going on sale March 1.

Vail International Dance Festival 2016 Season:

Opening Night
Saturday, July 30, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
The 2016 Festival kicks off with an evening featuring an extraordinary range of artists from the Memphis Jookin' virtuoso Lil Buck to American Ballet Theatre's exquisite ballerina Isabella Boylston who leads this year's Festival as Artist-in-Residence. This performance launches the 10th anniversary season of Artistic Director Damian Woetzel, whom The New York Times calls, “…one of the foremost impresarios of American dance.”

Sunday, July 31, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
The Vail Dance Festival’s 2016 Company-In-Residence, BalletX is Philadelphia’s acclaimed contemporary ballet company. A favorite of Vail audiences for the past seasons, BalletX presents an evening of works both familiar and new, including the hilarious dance, Slump and the 2015 new work, Show Me, hailed by The New York Times for “suspense, vitality, comedy [and] freedom.”

Dorrance Dance in Concert
Tuesday, August 2, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
2015 MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant recipient, Michelle Dorrance and her company present an evening of tap dance, live music, original choreography and sonic creation like no other. Dorrance and her company are leading a revolution in the world of tap dance and now make their first appearance at the Vail International Dance Festival. Of a recent performance, The New York Times said, “The world of tap felt immense and young.”

UpClose: Vail International Dance Festival with Damian Woetzel
Wednesday, August 3, 6:30 p.m. at Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
Artistic Director Damian Woetzel celebrates his 10th anniversary leading the Festival with a unique UpClose rehearsal-style performance, focusing on the artists who make Vail their collaborative home every summer. Featuring a range of dancers including former Artists-In-Residence Tiler Peck, Carla Körbes, Lil Buck, Robert Fairchild and 2016's addition to that growing team, Isabella Boylston. With live music by New York City Ballet and Festival principal pianist, Cameron Grant.

International Evenings of Dance I & II
Friday, August 5 & Saturday, August 6, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
A magnificent cast of stellar dance artists from around the world takes the stage in these signature Festival performances. “…This plenitude and diversity of talent alone makes it extraordinary…” –The New York Times

NOW: Premieres
Monday, August 8, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
A collection of new works commissioned by the Festival from renowned choreographers and performed by a cast of artists from ballet, modern and contemporary dance, all sharing the stage in this signature Festival performance. 2016 choreographers include: Jodie Gates, Lil Buck, Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Matthew Neenan, Claudia Schreier, and Shantala Shivalingappa. Featured dancers include Artist-In-Residence, Isabella Boylston and Company-In-Residence, BalletX.

Dance for $20.16
Tuesday, August 9, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
An evening for everyone with guest artists from the 2016 Vail International Dance Festival, with specially-priced $20.16 reserved seating and – in honor of Damian Woetzel’s 10 year anniversary as Artistic Director – $10 lawn tickets!

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

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

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

Dance TV
Saturday, August 13, 7:30 p.m. at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail
The Festival closer brings the thrill of dance on the small screen to life, with spectacular artists from hit shows like Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and more.

The Vail International Dance Festival performances take place at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Vail International Dance Festival Fan Club pre-sale ticketing begins February 23, with public tickets going on sale March 1. For Fan Club information, contact Martha Brassel at mbrassel(at)vvf(dot)org or 970.777.2015. Visit for more information and follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Vail International Dance Festival: The outdoor splendor of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is the perfect backdrop to artistic brilliance, and each summer the unique mountain town of Vail plays host to the world’s finest dancers. Now in its twenty-eighth year, the Vail International Dance Festival has developed into a treasured celebration of dance, renowned for its artistic excellence and unparalleled programming. Nearly twenty thousand people from around the world descend on Vail, a vibrant cultural destination, for the Festival’s two-week residence. The event’s spirited atmosphere transforms the village into a culturally-rich environment that is inviting to dance aficionados and newcomers alike. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook: Vail International Dance Festival, follow us on Twitter: @VailDance, Instagram: @VailDanceFest and YouTube: @Vail International Dance Festival

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