BalletX dancer Savannah Green writes about the company’s tour to the 2021 Vail Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado.
Hello to our BalletX family from the beautiful Colorado mountains! BalletX arrived in Vail on Saturday, July 31, and we are so thrilled to be in this gorgeous town performing for so many live audiences.
This touring experience is incredibly special for all of us – for the newer dancers, it is our first time travelling with the company and performing in a new place together! For the dancers who have been in the company for longer, it is a special reunion with familiar Vail artists at the gorgeous Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
For me, this is a full circle moment. I’ve been coming to the Vail Dance Festival every year since 2009. In 2012, I saw BalletX perform for the first time and immediately fell in love with the company. I remember seeing a performance of Matthew Neenan’s The Last Glass and thinking, “THAT is what I want to do.” The way the company used ballet technique in such unexpected and beautiful ways spoke to me in a way that I had never experienced before. Debuting in Neenan’s Sunset, o639 Hours at Vail on August 2, alongside so many dancers I’ve looked up to, was a dream come true. Dancing to live music and sharing the story of Captain Musick’s journey was truly a remarkable experience. To make it even more special, we were so lucky to even have some Philly family in the house to join us! It’s a night I know none of us will forget.
One of the many wonderful things about the Vail Dance Festival is being able to see so many other incredible performances. The night we arrived, we were lucky to catch a New York City Ballet: Moves show! Many of us haven’t seen live dance since well before the pandemic began – we all left the performance feeling invigorated and inspired. It made me so thankful for the many opportunities we are afforded as performers to connect with audiences, and it reminded me of the special power that live shows hold for their viewers.
The Vail Dance Festival is also known for fostering unique collaborations among artists who may have never had the chance to work together before. Just a few weeks before the festival, Jamar Roberts (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Resident Choreographer) and Calvin Royal III (Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater) came to Philly to begin working on a new piece with BalletX to premiere at the Festival on August 9. The combination of our contemporary ballet language and Calvin’s sophisticated classicism in Jamar’s work feels unusually complimentary. What could have been an intimidating experience has turned out to be such a joy! Working with Jamar and Calvin has helped us grow, challenging us to hone in on precision and texture throughout our movement. It has really been extraordinary to see and feel the piece unfold into an abstract and colorful world.
Safe to say, the Vail Dance Festival is treating us quite well! I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into our time in the mountains, and I can’t wait to see you in Philadelphia for Sunset, o639 Hours at The Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Sep. 9-12!
-Savannah Green from Vail, CO, August 6, 2021
Check out Savannah’s pictures from Vail below, and catch the company in Philadelphia for Fall Series, Sep. 9-12 at The Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
Savannah Green, Ashley Simpson, and Shawn Cusseaux at “Dancing in the Streets,” a free pop up performance.
Savannah Green and Skyler Lubin backstage preparing for a performance of Sunset, o639 Hours.
The BalletX company rehearsing with choreographer Jamar Roberts on stage at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.