Why I'm Already Planning My Return To Vail Dance Festival
Tiler Peck, Christopher Grant and Roman Mejia in Peck's choreographic debut: Lincoln Square. Photo by Erin Baiano, courtesy Vail Dance Festival
Last week, Dance Magazine's owner Frederic Seegal visited the Vail Dance Festival. He was so excited by what he saw there that he wanted to share with Dance Magazine readers a few of the highlights that made the biggest impression on him.
Having been fortunate enough to be on the board of New York City Center when Arlene Shuler introduced Fall for Dance in 2004, I never thought that I would see anything that could rival its inventiveness, assemblage of talent and audience enthusiasm. That is, until this week when I spent fours days at the Vail Dance Festival.
As its impresario (and there is no better word to describe him), Damian Woetzel has often said that the goal of the festival is to bring dancers, choreographers and musicians together to explore and create programming that they rarely have a chance to do in their normal lives. That sounds extraordinarily ambitious, but certainly this week, reality exceeded expectations.
I will leave it to others to chronicle and review the performances, but I would like to share some of my personal highlights:
Being one of the few people in the amphitheater at 11:30 pm in 45-degree weather watching a rehearsal for Michelle Dorrance's Ex Pluribus One which, given the collection of talent, may only be seen once in that iteration
How the lighting cast shadows of the dancers on the side walls, which were bordered by birches and highlighted the forest behind the stage
Devon Teuscher performing the titular role in Jane Eyre. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT
Story ballets that debut during American Ballet Theatre's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House are always the subject of much curiosity—and, sometimes, much debate. Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre was no different. The ballet follows the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Brönte's novel as she grows from a willful orphan to a self-possessed governess, charting her romance with the haughty Mr. Rochester and the social forces that threaten to tear them apart.
While the ballet was warmly received in the UK when Northern Ballet premiered it in 2016, its reception from New York City–based critics has been far less welcoming. A group of editors from Dance Magazine and two of our sister publications, Dance Spirit and Pointe, sat down to discuss our own reactions.