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About this Event


Welcome! This summer, the Vail Dance Festival (VDF) celebrates 30 years on stage. The festival has put innovative artists like Claudia Schreier and Lil Buck on the map, while also providing important next steps for artists from across the spectrum of dance and music. From our inaugural performance of the Bolshoi Ballet School in 1988 to our current melting pot of dance talent, VDF continues to push artistic boundaries in both performance and public spaces. More than 60 original works have been commissioned throughout our tenure. From Lil Buck and Shantala Shivalingappa’s blend of South Indian story-telling and Memphis Jookin, street dance to Michelle Dorrance’s musically-welded new work for the 2017 Festival, which challenged every dancer into tap-shoes – our creative leadership has made the festival one of the country’s foremost summer dance destinations.

The VDF is the two-week culmination of collaboration: diverse dancers, choreographers, and musicians inspired by each other. This collaboration requires a creative yet disciplined space which has been fostered by Woetzel. In fact, more than half of VDF’s history has included Woetzel, who joined the 1993 festival as a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet. In 2006, his perspective turned from center stage to artistic direction. His design has brought to the Festival artist, scholar and compose residencies, Master Classes, youth internships, Celebrate the Beat in-school education programs, Celebrate the Beat Summer Pop Hop Camp, and the Community Arts Access initiative encourage the distinctive artistic synergy of VDF.

Over the last decade, VDF has expanded beyond the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (GRFA) to the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) and then to the Avon Performance Pavilion, increasing our reach beyond Vail while engaging new valley municipalities. In addition, the Avon Dancing in the Park series, local Farmers Market Events, Village Vignettes, and the Vail Dancing in the Streets enlists visiting artists and companies to not only perform for free in public spheres, but engage the community in live dance.

We hope you enjoy the 30th Anniversary season.Please take a moment to view our silent auction and help to ensure the future of exceptional artistry and innovation on the Vail stage! The proceeds from this auction will support the Vail Dance Festival and the Artistic Reserve Fund.

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