Damian Woetzel rehearsing Joaquin De Luz and Tiler Peck
Photo (C) 2010 Caitlin Kakigi
Each year the Vail International Dance Festival brings some of the best dancers from around the world to stages in the Vail Valley. In addition to the dancers, we also bring countless stage hands, production managers, company mangers and interns to town.
Moving forward for the 2010 Festival we will be chronicling the Festival from the perspective of one of our Interns, Erica Sheftman. Sheftman, a Junior studying History and Literature at Harvard University has been assisting in all aspects of the Festival including video and photos. Enjoy her first dispatch as an embedded intern below and look for more posts in the coming days.
FROM ERICA SHEFTMAN:
On Wednesday, I watched Artistic Director Damian Woetzel rehearse New York City Ballet (NYCB) principals Tiler Peck and Joaquin De Luz in a suite of collaborations between choreographer Jerome Robbins and the composer Frederic Chopin. Damian has spoken of his relationship with Robbins often, including to Time Out New York editor Gia Kourlas in his farewell season at NYCB; he said then that during rehearsals with Jerry he "watched him take [the dance] apart in certain places and let other things go by and...the room was alive with the seriousness of his intent...The idea of working with someone like that changed everything."
Tiler and Joaquin will dance a series of excerpts titled 3 Chopin Dances as part of International Evenings of Dance. On Thursday, August 5 they will rehearse the suite for the public as part of Up Close: Stars of International Evenings of Dance - hosted by Damian at 6pm - and they will dance it on Saturday, August 7 at 7:30pm as part of Intenrational Evenings of Dance II.
The suite will include selections from Robbins' extended pas de deux Other Dances - featured in the above video montage - as well as from his ballet Dances at a Gathering and a pas de deux created for Mikhail Baryshnikov and NYCB ballerina Patricia McBride for a live telecast, "Baryshnikov at the White House," hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Carter. The latter hasn't been seen since 1979.
Baryshnikov and Robbins at the White House in 1979
The White House telecast, playing on a VHS player in the studio at the Vail Mountain School where Festival dancers have been warming up and rehearsing, confirmed some partnering maneuvers and stylistic choices, and supplied the faint mumurs of Chopin.
It's not just Robbins being honored; through 3 Chopin Dances, the 2010 incarnation of Vail International Dance Festival pays tribute to the bicentennial of Chopin's birth. In rehearsal, Damian spoke of creating mood and emotion through a purposeful reticence in relation to Chopin's various waltzes and mazurkas.
In the same Time Out New York interview, he said, "It was how one was dancing to the music and not so much on the music...in Other Dances, as the pas de deux begins, it was of paramount importance that one not walk on the beat of the music, but rather to be slightly slower than the rhythm."
Watch as Tiler and Joaquin prepare the opening pas de deux with Damian watching on.
Damian Woetzel Rehearses Tiler Peck and Joaquin De Luz
Video By Erica Sheftman
Read more from Erica Sheftman on The Winger.com HERE.