The Vilar Performing Arts Center

The official blog for the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

The Vail International Dance Festival

The official blog for the Vail International Dance Festival in Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado.

Vail Free Concerts

The official blog for Vail Valley Foundation free concerts including Bud Light Street Beat, Bud Light Hot Summer Nights, Mountains of Music and ShowDown Town.

The Teva Mountain Games

The official blog for the summer and winter Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado.

The American Ski Classic

The official blog for the Korbel American Ski Classic in Vail, Colorado.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ambassador Corner: Allie Hutt Reviews Martha Graham Dance Company

Allie Hutt is one of our 14 VIDF Ambassadors. She is 17 and originally from Littleton, Colorado. Her favorite dancers include Tiler Peck of New York City Ballet, Drew Jacoby/Trey McIntyre Project and company Alonzo King LINES Ballet. 

"For what is shockingly the first time, the Martha Graham Dance Company graced the stage of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater last night. Three of Ms. Graham’s classic, and most iconic works were performed, and included sets designed by Isamu Noguchi, completing the ultra-modern aesthetic that we think of when we think Martha Graham. There is a certain geometric look to all of the choreography; angles are everywhere (including the very simple, structural sets), complicated formations take on the look of three dimensional geometric figures, and the clean, ultra-precise steps the dancers take around the steps remind one of something that can only be described as precise mathematical calculations that in the end reveal not an answer, but rather an archetypal human story.

Appalachian Spring describes the universal human emotion of hope; all of the characters seem to understand that there is something bigger, something larger than themselves. For the preacher, whose movement gives off an air of religious fervor, that larger thing is God, but for the Pioneer Woman, who Kathryn Crocket danced with stability and elegance, the larger thing is perhaps the unknown, land that has yet to be seen, and may never be seen. Embattled Garden tells of love, and betrayal, and forgiveness, themes very familiar to any audience member. And finally, Chronicle, which included two of the most powerful sections of the evening, told the story of destruction, and women rising against that destruction as a community.

Martha Graham is indisputably one of the most important modern dance choreographers ever. She not only veered off from ballet, but she influenced people like Merce Cunningham, and Mark Morris, who veered off from her and moved dance forward into a completely different era. It was such a treat to be able to see the Martha Graham Dance Company last night, and I hope this won’t be the last time we see them in Vail!"

- Allie Hutt

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ambassador Corner: Haslam Ford on NYCB UpClose: Stravinsky by Balanchine

Haslam Ford is one of 14 VIDF Ambassadors. She is 14, originally from Denver, Colorado. Her favorite dance company is The Royal Ballet. Why she wanted to be an Ambassador? "The opportunity to meet the dancers and see how the performances come together, as well as see a variety of choreographic styles." Welcome Haslam!

"The 3 nights filled with passion and beautiful connections between the dancers of New York City Ballet MOVES beginning on Sunday July 29th of the Vail International Dance Festival, has come to an end. The stunning pieces like In the Night created by Jerome Robbins with its romance and flawless execution and Red Angels choreographed by Ulysses Dove with its intensity and energy was only the beginning.

The second night incorporated Moves by Jerome Robbins where the dancers were faced with the challenge of dancing in complete silence. Audience members could interpret it in many ways, but as a whole they saw how aware the dancers were of their surroundings and how they seemed to effortlessly shift from partnering, to solos, to connecting with everyone on stage with no music to guide them. The following piece, Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux by William Forsythe is simply portrayed with comedy, connection, and concentration. The duet quickly caught the audience’s attention and gave no inference to look away.

The concluding night of New York City Ballet MOVES was the Upclose: Stravinsky by Balanchine displaying many of the brilliant pieces choreographed by the incredible George Balanchine. These unforgettable nights demonstrated world-class dancing, music, and choreography and the breathtaking execution of the dancers of New York City Ballet. However, New York City Ballet is not yet done in sharing its talent. Tyler Angle, Craig Hall, Lauren Lovette, Daniel Ulbricht, and Wendy Whelan will perform in the International Evenings of Dance on Friday and Saturday, along with many other exquisite dancers from top companies around the world."

- Haslam Ford, VIDF Ambassador

PHOTOS FROM UpClose: Stravinsky by Balanchine:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

“Love and Happiness,” That’s What It’s All About

When I drove west last summer from Syracuse, NY to start my internship with the VPAC, I had a few general predictions of what an internship with a small performing arts center would entail. Surely I would be passing out flyers, hanging posters, making copies, and working longer hours than I’ve ever known. My guess was spot on, but these minute tasks occupy only a few spare minutes in between the projects and events that make up my true internship experience at the Vilar Center.

This is my second summer as a VPAC intern, and over the course of these two summer concert seasons I have had the chance to talk about favorite bands, albums and players with world-class musicians and their road crews, assist the Indigo Girls’s guitar tech in preparing an assortment of pre-war Martin acoustic guitars for the show, discuss favorite Robert Johnson guitar licks with bluesman Keb’ Mo,’ receive a lecture on love from Reverend Al Green during a ride to the airport, and best of all, see thousands of both impressive and questionable dance moves from Vilar audience members. I plan on bringing a couple of those moves back to school in Richmond, VA with me, but a memorable few are best left as good memories at the VPAC.

I study Arts Management within the Department of Music at the University of Richmond, and I’ll be heading into my senior year this fall. Studying music in college has given me the ability to perform many different styles and ethnic varieties of music, and to talk about the music and culture surrounding it with people who share a similar passion. I’ve traveled the world with the University of Richmond Jazz Combo, touring Spain, Greece, and Costa Rica, and have been lucky enough to perform in some of the best jazz clubs, theaters, and universities in each of these locations. This has contributed a significant portion of my knowledge pertaining to the arts, but the Vilar Center has given me the skills that will make me an asset to the industry, and allow me to share my love of music and the performing arts with others. The staff at the Vilar Center are professionals of the highest caliber in this industry, and they work every day with this same passion and love for what they bring to the Vail Valley. They understand that the live music experience is something that everyone should have the chance to be a part of, and they are constantly brainstorming ways to share interesting performances of the highest quality, with people of every demographic. I strongly believe in these objectives, and hope to bring stimulating and thought-provoking performances to as many people as possible throughout my lifetime.

Reverend Al Green couldn’t have demonstrated more clearly at the most recent date on the VPAC summer concert series, that the performing arts are meant to improve quality of life, and more simply, to make you happy. If you couldn’t feel the love when the band broke into “Love and Happiness” Wednesday night, then you may be suffering from some form of emotional disconnect. This is what it’s all about after all: the musicians and the audience, sharing their love of the music, and the happiness that results from this relationship. Two summers working at VPAC has only further strengthened my belief in this.

The truth of the matter is that the concert experience that the Vilar Center provides at every single show is something that most people experience once, maybe twice in a lifetime. This venue allows you to listen, watch, and feel the music in a completely unique way, and you can be sure that every night at VPAC is filled with Mr. Green’s famous words: “Love & Happiness.”

-- Owen

An intern's experience at the VPAC

This summer, I am working as an intern at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.  I knew I was in for a good time from my first day which consisted of a staff hike and lunch in Beaver Creek.  As the Summer Concert Series got started, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work for amazing artists like Ringo Starr, Michael McDonald, and Al Green.  The experience of working these shows has felt like a dream.  Of course there’s always the need to run to the grocery store finding the artist’s favorite kind of iced tea, but I also get to be there when they set up, sound check, and when they’re just hanging out back stage.  I even had a conversation with Ringo Starr before the concert!

When I’m not working the shows, I am involved in a bunch of other areas. Some days I work in the marketing office where I write press releases, record radio ads at the local station, and help brainstorm ideas for making the best use of social media. I also get to attend the Beaver Creek rodeo every Thursday to sell tickets and talk to people about how amazing the Vilar Center is, which is always a blast.

I have learned so much about the way the entertainment business works and how to run a performing arts center.  Because the Vilar staff is such a small family, I am truly involved in all aspects of the business.  I am allowed to attend all sorts of meetings from the Vilar Committee meeting, to outreach group meetings, to budget planning meetings. I have helped plan important events like the bi-annual patron dinner.   I am even set up to have lunch with the Executive Director so that I have a chance ask him as many questions as I can about what he does.

All of the staff members are incredibly friendly and welcoming.  On down days, I have hiked, tubed, and gone out for food and drink with many of my co-workers.  Besides working hard at the Vilar, there are a million amazing things to do in Beaver Creek and the Vail Valley.  The amount of concerts and shows that go on in the summer is truly amazing, and one of the perks of working here is that I have been able to see a ton of these shows for free!

It has truly been an amazing summer and I know I will be sorry to leave such a fun work environment and a beautiful part of Colorado.

-- Mari

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ambassador Corner: Allie Gruber on New York City Ballet MOVES

Allie Gruber is one of 14 VIDF Ambassadors for 2012. She is 15 years old from Vail, Colorado. Her favorite dance companies are Alvin Ailey and New York City Ballet. She is most looking forward to watching Herman Cornejo and Misa Kuranaga dance on International Evenings, as well as her returning favorites from NYCB Wendy Whelan, Craig Hall, Tiler Peck, Robbie Fairchild, Daniel Ulbricht, Carla Korbes and Tyler Angle. 

Wow, what an opening night at the Vail International Dance Festival by New York City Ballet Moves.  Starting off the night was In Creases choreographed by Justin Peck.  The eight performers wore beautiful icy blue costumes.  This playful and aerobic contemporary ballet was very enjoyable.  The piece had unique shapes that flowed from movement to movement which was appealing to the audience’s eye.  I liked that there was group work and partnering between the beautiful dancers.  In Creases was a great way to begin the show.
Next came the piece Sonatine choreographed by George Balanchine.  This ballet was performed by Tiler Peck and her partner, Chase Finlay.  This was a romantic style piece.  I loved how the dance ended when Chase and Tiler did turning grande jetes in a circle in opposite directions around each other.  I thought it was a very pretty step that looked good on both dancers.  In ballet class, I have been working on improving my ballet runs en pointe across the floor.  Watching Tiler in this piece gracefully run across the stage was like spreading soft butter across the stage.  She is so soft and talented.  I loved watching Tiler’s professionalism and skill in this dance.
Red Angels choreographed by Ulysses Dove concluded Act One.  I particularly like the red unitards in this piece.  The costume accentuates the dancers’ beautiful long limbs.  This dance was sharp and had dynamic attitude.
After Intermission, Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette took the stage in Zakouski choreographed by Peter Martins.  Zakouski means appetizer in Russian, but this dance reminds me of dessert.  It was sweet, satisfying, and passionate.
My favorite piece, In the Night by Jerome Robbins closed the show.  Six dancers performed in this graceful and enchanting number.  The female dancers’ dresses were so lovely and flowy.  I so wanted to be on stage with them!  This dance was amazing.
This was a wonderful night of dance at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.  I loved the live music accompaniment.  The New York City Ballet Moves members were amazing tonight and I look forward to watching them on other nights of the Festival.

- Allie Gruber, VIDF Ambassador
With Craig Hall and Fang-Yi Sheu in the audience!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Teva Mountain Games: Man of the MUD

This blog post is written by our lovable Operations guy, Adam Lueck - he's the guy that makes things happen at all of the Vail Valley Foundation events! His other name is Dr. Mud.

After three years of trial and error, I think I finally have the perfect receipt for mud.  Hours upon hours were spent pouring over mud wrestling websites to find the elusive mixture.  Just the right amount of this and that and a little water to produce a slippery, gooey, messing mud!  Yes I did finally find the perfect mixture.  I hopped in the truck this morning and drove 120 miles to a somewhat shady looking warehouse to pick up 400 pounds of the secret ingredient.  The warehouse guys loaded me up and I drove back to Vail and tested it out.  One cup of the super material and 10 cups of water produced the best mud I have ever seen short of that one mud wrestling site.

"Super Gel-X" - Definitely top secret.

This year’s Eddie Bauer Mud Run will be like no other.  We have a new location in Golden Peak that puts the 24’x24’ mudpit on a smooth and level surface.  Combine that will a run over some real obstacles this year and you have the making for an epic adventure.  I have a few other tricks up my sleeve this year so don’t miss out.  Register early as the event is limited and will sell out fast!

Just plan on wearing clothes you don’t mind getting real dirty because this year the mudpit is going to be unlike any you have ever seen before, unless you happened to be on one of those websites I was “researching”.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Wanna ROCK! at the VPAC

This blog post is written by VPAC Facebook fan Cynthia Wood, who won the trivia contest on our page and 2 tickets to Rock of Ages at the VPAC on February 29th.

 I was lucky to spend the extra day of the year going back to my youth. I won tickets to see the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.  Growing up as a fan of 80’s hair bands with posters of Whitesnake, Def Leppard and Warrant on my bedroom wall, it isn’t a surprise this musical has been on my bucket list of shows to see.  Not to mention it is soon to be released as a feature film starring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, and Mary J. Blige.

Besides the rockin’ music with a lot of comedy thrown in, the main highlight for me was being able to see the show in such a small, intimate setting.  This isn’t the first time I’ve been to the VPAC, but I still felt lucky to experience Rock of Ages there compared to a larger venue.  Even though I was in the upper balcony, I could still see the expressions on the actors’ faces.  It just added an extra special take on the musical others can’t say they had.

I wasn’t the only one that enjoyed Rock of Ages though. Everyone in the audience, young and old were dancing and singing along to the hair band songs that told the story.  We all felt like we were a part of the musical.  The extra-friendly staff of ushers and ticket checkers also had smiles on their faces throughout the show.

Sometimes, tickets for similar shows can be a bit cheaper in Denver compared to the VPAC, but it is worth the extra few bucks to be able to see shows in such a beautiful, smaller venue.  I would highly recommend experiencing a show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center if you haven’t already.  It is more than worth it!

- Cynthia Wood

See the Rock of Ages VPAC photo gallery!


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