so, how awesome is the vail international dance festival?

i grew up in colorado and sometimes i miss it terribly. i don’t so much miss the houses i’ve lived in, or denver, or school, but what i truly miss (besides my family that still lives there, of course) is the mountains. i spent much of my youth in the rockies, at our family’s cabin or hiking in rocky mountain national park, so when i am missing colorado it’s their rugged, majestic beauty and the clean crisp air that i am pining for.

i can’t claim to miss vail in itself as i have probably only been there once or twice and have no clear memory of it, but it’s in the mountains and they have dance there and it’s performed outside! the vail dance festival didn’t exist back when i lived in colorado and tho it’s been around for 25 years i had never heard of it until a few years ago when i began to stumble across it via social media. for those of you who may know nothing of the VIDF, it’s a two week long festival featuring performances in nearly every dance style you can imagine, with dancers from all over the world, shown in an outdoor venue in the middle of the rocky mountains. for me, this pretty much sounds like the coolest thing ever.

unfortunately, i have never actually been able to attend the festival in person so instead i stalk their facebook page for a couple weeks every year, impatiently awaiting new photos and video. they do not disappoint. i’ve gotta hand it to whoever runs their social media, they do an amazing  job – both thrilling me with their updates as well as making me wish i could sell my kids or something so i could afford a little colorado vacation ; )

so after watching all of their videos (some of them several times and one of them about 15 or 20 times), i’m just going to share a few of my favorite video moments from this year’s festival…..

from the upclose footwork benefit performance hosted by the fabulous festival artistic director damian woetzel– everything in this video is bloody fantastic but i think my favorite bit is heather watts explaining that bourre’s are not public transportation followed by tiler peck’s astonishing excerpt from balanchine’s theme and variations. tiler’s lightning quick footwork and the way she toys with the music is really something to behold.


herman cornejo, gabriel misse and analia centurion rehearsing tango trio. while i haven’t quite decided if this is anything to write home about choreographically- it’s hard to say without actually seeing the full uninterrupted piece- it looks like a lot of fun. and really, just watching herman prowl the stage in sensual latin tango mode is good enough for me.


tiler peck and lil buck in budget bulgar! this is pretty much the cutest thing ever. i don’t know if would ever have heard of lil buck if it wasn’t for VIDF and i looove him. this piece is so much fun! tiler and sergei rock corsaire as well, tho sergei is maybe a bit too elegant for ali. i think he’s beautiful but maybe i like my pirate slaves a little more rough around the edges.


the highlight reel from international evenings II. it’s all awesome but i’m particularly intrigued by christopher wheeldon’s mercurial manoeuvres. i must say that i am  disappointed that there seems to be no highlight reel from international evenings I – because if i could have chosen one night to attend that would have been it. for those of you that know me, you know that maybe i sort of like herman cornejo a little bit so i was very much hoping for some video footage of him dancing something that is not diana and actaeon. like la fille mal gardee with misa kuranaga for example. or rubies with lauren lovette which, judging from the remarkably striking and electric photos of this performance, must have been incredible. ah well, at least we get some kick-ass donQ coda footage here, which is better than nothing.


so a big happy 25th anniversary to the vail international dance festival! if you haven’t already perhaps you like to visit their facebook page  or have a look at their flickr photos  or give them some money  and should you find yourself in colorado around this time next year maybe you should go see a performance or two.

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