Sara Mearns and Jamar Roberts to Be Resident Artists at Vail

Fans of the intrepid New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns and of the distinguished choreographer Jamar Roberts might want to mark their calendars. This year, they will be artists in residence at the Vail Dance Festival. Both will teach master classes and participate in community events, and Mearns will perform in a range of works, including debuts in George Balanchine’s “Elegie” and a new piece by Roberts.

The festival, July 26 to Aug. 5 in Vail, Colo., has specialized in bringing together an eclectic variety of dance genres and performers since Damian Woetzel, the former City Ballet principal who is now the president of the Juilliard School, became its artistic director in 2006.

In an email, Woetzel said the festival’s central poles were to create opportunities for dancers in varied repertory and to foster unexpected pairings among dancers, choreographers and musicians, who this year include the quartet Brooklyn Rider, the composer Caroline Shaw and the bass-baritone Davóne Tines.

This season offers new works by the contemporary choreographers Kyle Abraham and Pam Tanowitz, the tap virtuoso Michelle Dorrance, and the classical dance makers Lauren Lovette, Justin Peck and Tiler Peck. The starry lineup of dancers includes members of City Ballet and American Ballet Theater, as well as contemporary and tap dancers and a ballroom duo.

On opening night, Mearns, Lovette and Isabella Boylston of Ballet Theater will dance in Balanchine’s “Serenade.” There will also be a full evening program from Dance Theater of Harlem and “Dorrance Dances: An Evening with Michelle Dorrance and Friends.” The Myths by Legends program features the Limón Dance Company in José Limón’s “Orfeo” and Mearns in a solo from Martha Graham’s “Clytemnestra.” It also features debuts from Ballet Theater’s Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell in Jerome Robbins’s “Afternoon of a Faun” and from Roman Mejia of City Ballet in Balanchine’s “Apollo.”

Woetzel said he saw the festival as “a public lab for dance” that offered historic works alongside new artistic challenges. “We look back to look forward,” he said.

Back to top button