For the last few years, the American Ballet Theater soloist Calvin Royal III, 30, has been on the cusp of stardom. Some of his most interesting challenges have actually come during the summers, in three stints at the Vail Dance Festival. This summer, he got his first stab at one of the most desirable roles of all: the lead in George Balanchine’s “Apollo,” a ballet about a young god in training, testing his powers. At Vail, he danced with Unity Phelan, a New York City Ballet soloist.
When the Vail International Dance Festival proposed to Alonzo King that he choreograph a new work featuring four members of his San Francisco company, Lines Ballet, and four from New York City Ballet, he knew just what he needed: a partner. For Mr. King, that had to be the jazz pianist Jason Moran. This summer, as part of the Vail festival, which opens on July 26, the pair will present the premiere of their latest collaboration. So far, it doesn’t have a title.
The New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette will be this year’s artist in residence at the Vail Dance Festival, heading a female-centric lineup of choreographers and a boldface list of star dancers, the festival announced on Thursday.
“Is the sociology of the dance world changing? The last two years have brought many more commissions for female choreographers.
English National Ballet made a splash in 2016 with an entire program of new choreography by women. And this year’s “NOW: Premieres” program at the Vail Dance Festival here was subtitled ‘Celebrating Women Choreographers.’ Does this sound like mere tokenism? It’s worth pointing out that all four of these female dance-makers — Michelle Dorrance (this year’s artist in residence), Lauren Lovette, Claudia Schreier and Pam Tanowitz — have worked at the festival before.”…
“Since the two galalike signature events of the annual Vail Dance Festival were star-studded, it’s tempting to survey them just by dropping names. After all, on Friday here, Misty Copeland (never more mettlesome) and Marcelo Gomes (richly smoldering) danced Twyla Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite,” followed by Misa Kuranaga (lightly brilliant) and Herman Cornejo (panache itself) in the war horse “Don Quixote” pas de deux.
Saturday’s program ended with Tiler Peck dancing George Balanchine’s “Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux” with Jeffrey Cirio. Dazzling and charming artists both, they reached fresh peaks here; Ms. Peck (of New York City Ballet), in particular, has reached new zones of subtle artistry and breathtaking speed.”…
“The lineup was certainly dazzling: stars from City Ballet and American Ballet Theater but also some of the world’s greatest exponents of other forms, from modern (Matthew Rushing) to tango (Gabriel Missé) to kuchipudi (Shantala Shivalingappa) to Memphis jookin (Lil Buck). Yet what made the programs special was Mr. Woetzel’s way of balancing the surefire and crowd-pleasing with novelty and risk.”
“Damian Woetzel, impressively ambitious, has been making dance history for 10 years in Vail, Colo. As artistic director of the two-week Vail International Dance Festival, he assembles each August a top-class gathering of performers in multiple genres. No single program is performed twice. World premieres by front-rank choreographers (notably Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon) occur. So do unexpected partnerships between dancers from different companies and far-apart disciplines.”