The Vilar Performing Arts Center celebrates its 25th anniversarye anniversary in style this winter, including groundbreaking and never-before-seen performances. As part of the 25e anniversary celebration, a special BalletX World Premiere has been co-commissioned by Beaver Creek Hall to debut March 25 at 7 p.m. at the Vilar Center.
World premiere specially commissioned ballet choreography, titled “Sidd (hartha)”, is inspired by the 1992 Indian novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, who explores the spiritual journey of self-discovery and has influenced generations of readers, writers, artists and thinkers. BalletX is a Philadelphia-based dance company that has performed in the Vail Valley several times, most recently as a company-in-residence at the 2021 Vail Dance Festival.
“First of all, it’s Vilar Performing Art Center’s 25th anniversary, and if it’s not a time to celebrate, I don’t know what is,” said 25th Anniversary member Sara Friedle. of the VPAC.e Anniversary Planning Committee and the philanthropist behind BalletX’s world premiere in Beaver Creek. “And second, a world premiere ballet outside of the Vail Dance Festival is a wonderful opportunity for people who aren’t necessarily here in the summer to see world class ballet (at the Vail Dance Festival).”
Beaver Creek audiences will be treated to the world premiere of the ballet choreographed by Nicolo Fonte, co-commissioned by BalletX and the Vilar Performing Arts Center. The evening is underwritten by Friedle and Michael Towler in honor of the 25e anniversary season.
For Friedle, who grew up as an aspiring dancer, it’s a unique opportunity to work with such an acclaimed dance company as BalletX.
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“I saw BalletX perform ‘The Little Prince’ at the Vail Dance Festival and was blown away. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen and I wanted it to be the standard for 25e anniversary. We were hoping to present something that would make people laugh and cry in the same performance. And I knew BalletX could deliver,” Friedle says.
Cox founded BalletX in 2005 with Matthew Neenan. Under Cox’s tenure as Artistic and Executive Director, BalletX has produced more than 100 world premiere ballets by nearly 60 choreographers, a record that “few companies can match,” according to The New York Times. In 2020, the company launched its online streaming platform, BalletX Beyond.
“Sidd (hartha)” is choreographed by Nicolo Fonte, known for his bold and original approach to dance. Born in Brooklyn, Fonte started dancing at the age of 14 and studied at prestigious dance schools across the country. After a brilliant career as a dancer, Fonte retired in 2000 to devote himself to choreography. Since then, he has created or staged his ballets for 25 ballet companies around the world.
“Just like Misty Copeland had her first exposure to dancing at a boys and girls club in a playground, the more we reach out to kids about all that’s possible and let their parents see what’s possible for their kids. , the more they will be able to let their children find their passion,” Friedle said.
“Sidd (hartha)” features artistic collaborator and playwright Nancy Meckler, lighting and set design by Michael Korsch, costume design by Mark Eric and puppet design by Sebastienne Mundheim.
In addition to the world premiere on March 25 at VPAC, BalletX will present a special show Support the Arts Reaching Students on March 24 at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are sold out for the STARS show.
“There are so many opportunities to bring art into everyday life,” Friedle said. “We do a great job of bringing nature and extreme sports to the fore, and here’s another opportunity that shows there’s more to this valley than that.”
For tickets and more information, visit VilarPAC.org.