The Disrupters | The Matchmaker: Damian Woetzel at the Vail International Dance Pageant

December 30th, 2013

When Damian Woetzel retired in 2008 as a principal dancer with New York Town Ballet, well-known view had him aiming at a ballet firm directorship. But he has taken a more stunning path, getting to be an all-about arts advocate. He is concerned in Musicorps, which helps war veterans he’s on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and he directs the Aspen Institute Arts System.

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A dancer he celebrated by Mr Woetzel: the jooker Lil Buck.

For dance lovers, however, Mr. Woetzel, 46, has had a particular affect as the director of the Vail Global Dance Festival, via his unusual breadth of style and open up method. By way of his wife, Heather Watts, a former City Ballet principal dancer, Mr. Woetzel discovered the Memphis jooker Lil Buck and presented him at the Colorado festival, bringing him to around the world focus. He has since paired Lil Buck with the City Ballet principal Tiler Peck and highlighted him dancing to a new piece by Philip Glass, played by Yo-Yo Ma, and with the new-wave string quartet Brooklyn Rider.

Mr. Woetzel has championed the Argentine tango dancer Gabriel Miss?. He has commissioned premieres from names as diverse as Paul Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon and Brian Brooks. He has place unlikely dancers jointly, commissioning a duet for the previous Martha Graham dancer Fang-Yi Sheu and another Memphis jooker, Ron Myles (acknowledged as Primary Tyme), and persuaded ballet stars to consider on unfamiliar companions and repertory.

“I am constantly seeking for options that generate something sudden,” Mr. Woetzel mentioned in a phone job interview. “What I genuinely crave is to get into these special venues and make one thing that really has not been completed prior to, the place folks are without a web, and you have no notion what is heading to occur.”

He extra: “It’s the identical for me, whether it is the education and learning function I do or the programming. That’s how you dwell. You take part. You take hazards.”

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