International dance stars on stage in Vail

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Three days, four big performances and one intriguing lecture are left for dance aficionados at the Vail International Dance Festival.

This weekend, the festival's performance schedule features ballet from Spain, a mixed bill of modern dance and classical Russian ballet, and the percussive majesty of Guinea's national dance company. All shows are being staged at the open-air Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail.

What: Vail International Dance Festival, featuring performances by Victor Ullate Ballet, Buglisil/Foreman Dance, LINES Ballet, Ballet Internationale, Russian ballerina Ida Nevasayneva and Les Ballets Africains When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail Cost: $17 for lawn seating to $75 for covered seating Call: (970) 845-8497

Today, the Victor Ullate Ballet from Madrid, Spain, dances at 7:30 p.m. Ullate's choreography is an innovative marriage of classical ballet with Spanish history, style and music. A free talk about "Russian Ballettic Essence" with former Kirov Ballet principal dancer Eldar Aliev, is at noon.

Saturday, a mixed bill called "Different Dimensions" takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. It includes modern choreography by Donlin Foreman of Buglisi/Foreman Dance and a piece choreographed to a collection of popular Etta James songs that is being danced by Alongo King's LINES Ballet. The program continues with Ballet Internationale dancing a tribute to Marius Petipa, father of the three-act classical ballet, and ends with an appearance by Russian ballerina Ida Nevasayneva of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo as she dances one of Anna Pavlova's signature solos.

Sunday, the festival concludes with performances at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. by the vibrant West African dance treasure, Les Ballets Africains. The high-energy program features cultural authenticity in dance, song and live musical instruments from the national dance company of the Republic of Guinea. The earlier performance is a shorter, family matinee.

The Vail International Dance Festival brings international dance stars together for two weeks of performances in Vail and Beaver Creek every summer. Since it began Aug. 6, this year's festival program has already featured performances by dancers from American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet.

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