Corella and Woetzel in Charge

Interesting articles on two great retired New York dancers, Angel Corella and Damien Woetzel. The article on Angel focuses on his plans as the new Artistic Director at Pennsylvania Ballet.

“I have a lot of plans,” he said, including closely coaching the dancers, touring more, giving outdoor public performances, organizing outreach programs with schools, and bringing in new choreographers. He listed Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Justin Peck, and Liam Scarlett as possibilities.”

His view on guest artists is much different than ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. ABT makes heavy use of guests, particularly in recent years.

“I think that before anything changes, the people and the environment have to feel secure,” he said. “We’re not going to become a completely different company; hopefully, we can always make it better.”

He has heard from outside dancers eager to work with him, but he said it was important to nurture the current crop and to promote from within.

“It’s easier to bring people from the outside and say, ‘Wow, you have a great company,’ but there are a lot of dancers who have been overlooked.””

Denver Westword Blog focuses on Damien’s post-retirement activities including his directorship of the Vail International Dance Festival since 2007.

“I investigate and celebrate what dance is today,” Woetzel says. “I want it to be a relevant part of our world. It’s not an artifact.” This year’s Vail program, named “Dance for 2014,” features everything from ballet to Memphis jookin’, he points out, and every seat is priced at $20.14. “It’s intended to break down barriers. A lot of that audience are first-timers, and we give them the opportunity to sample, so you’ll see a real mix of dance. That principle extends into the free events we do in town and the participatory events.”