Festival Forums


Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden from the popular podcast series, “Conversations On Dance” host in-depth discussions with Festival artists from dancers – past and present – to musicians and choreographers. The Forums are inspirational and thought-provoking conversations with those engaged in the dance world. You can hear selections from the 2017 and 2018 Vail Dance Festival here. A limited number of $20 tickets are available and price includes light food and drink. Hosted by Manor Vail Lodge.


Festival Forum: James Whiteside, Creating for ABT

SATURDAY, JULY 27  |  9:30-10:30AM

American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, James Whiteside, is creating a new work for American Ballet Theatre that will premiere later that day. Michael and Rebecca of the podcast Conversations on Dance, will talk with James on the morning of the premiere about his initial vision for the piece, the creation process, and what audiences can expect to see from his newest work.


Festival Forum: BalletX, Imagining The Little Prince

MONDAY, JULY 29  |  9:30-10:30AM

BalletX brings the world premiere of The Little Prince, to the Vail stage. The Little Prince is a full-length story ballet for the whole family by choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic novella.


Festival Forum: Kenneth Parris III & Melissa Toogood talk Cunningham

TUESDAY, JULY 30  |  9:30-10:30AM

Artist Kenneth Parris III will have many of his Merce Cunningham paintings and drawings featured throughout the festival this year, and many of these pieces feature Cunningham dancer, Melissa Toogood. Michael and Rebecca of the podcast Conversations on Dance sit down to chat with this duo about their artistic partnership and their relationship with the works of Merce Cunningham.


Festival Forum: Lil’ Buck, Dance and Social Justice

WEDNESDAY, JULY 31  |  9:30-10:30AM

Festival Dancer Lil’ Buck sit down with the hosts of the Conversations on Dance podcast to give insight into the amazing world of jookin, talk about the company they founded together, “Movement Art Is,” and how they are using movement artistry to inspire and change the world. The duo will also offer a preview of UpClose: JUST Dances that will be happening later that day.


Festival Forum: Lauren Lovette in Conversation

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4  |  9:30-10:30AM

Festival Artist-In-Residence, Lauren Lovette, sits down with Rebecca and Michael of the podcast Conversations on Dance to discuss her experience at the 2019 Vail Dance Festival. This conversation will cover Lauren’s past experiences in Vail, what she is dancing this year, and her new work that she is creating for the festival.


Festival Forum: Tiler Peck in Conversation

MONDAY, AUGUST 5  |  9:30-10:30AM

Longtime festival mainstay, Tiler Peck joins the Conversations on Dance podcast to catch up on her year of dance since we saw her last. Tiler will talk about her newest choreographic venture that will be debuting later in the day, offering insight into her intention for the piece and what that audience can expect.


Festival Forum: Martha Graham Dance Company in the 21st Century

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8  |  9:30-10:30AM




Rebecca King Ferraro was born and raised in Northern California. She received her ballet training from Contra Costa Ballet Centre in Walnut Creek, Calif. King spent two summers studying at San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Gloria Govrin. Her senior year in high school, she attended The Rock School in Philadelphia. After graduating in 2006, she moved to Miami to train at Miami City Ballet School.

King joined Miami City Ballet in 2007 as a company apprentice and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2008. Since then, she has worked with many of today’s most sought-after choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett and Justin Peck. She has danced in the majority of MCB’s Balanchine repertoire, as well as classical full-length ballets and contemporary works. From 2010-2016, she served as a Company Representative on behalf of the dancers, a role similar to a union representative.

In 2010, she founded a dance blog, TendusUnderAPalmTree.com, which has enabled her to reach out to dancers and audience members from around the globe. In 2012, Ms. King started her own social media management company where she helps her clients reach their marketing potential through online platforms. King has taught ballet master classes across the country and is currently a member of the faculty of The Dance Academy of Stuart in Stuart, FL.

Ms. King retired from Miami City Ballet in 2018, after an 11 year career with the company.

Michael Sean Breeden was born in Lexington, KY, where he began training at the Lexington Ballet at the age of 7. He began attending the School of American Ballet on scholarship in 2002, with additional training completed at San Francisco Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Vostrikov’s Academy of Dance. While a student at the School of American Ballet, Mr. Breeden performed ‘Tarantella’ at Symphony Space’s Wall-to-Wall Balanchine centennial event, as introduced by Lourdes Lopez and Edward Villella.

Mr. Breeden joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2006 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2008. Since joining the company, he has performed in the works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett. Mr. Breeden has joined Miami City Ballet on acclaimed tours to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris.

Since January 2014, Michael has given interactive pre-performance talks for the Miami City Ballet that broaden the audience’s knowledge of the ballets programmed and allows them to directly question the artists involved. Michael has also danced for Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Suzanne Farrell Ballet.  Mr. Breeden most recently worked as Ballet Master for Troy Schumacher’s, BalletCollective.

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