Vail, Colo., March 2, 2022 — The 33rd annual Vail Dance Festival, scheduled to take place July 29 through August 9, 2022 in Vail, Colorado will welcome dancer and choreographer Caili Quan and dancer Roman Mejia as the season’s Artists-in-Residence. Mejia, a face familiar to Vail audiences since making his debut at the Festival in 2017, was recently promoted to soloist at the New York City Ballet in October 2021. He will be the youngest Artist-in-Residence in the Festival’s history at the age of 22. Joining Mejia in this recognition will be New York based dancer and choreographer Caili Quan, a former leading dancer of BalletX. Among other new work each artist will undertake, Quan will create a new dance for Mejia, which will make its world premiere as a featured part of the Festival’s 2022 programming.
Established in 1989 and held each July-August, the Vail Dance Festival makes Colorado’s Vail Valley one of the top summer dance destinations in the world. Hosted by the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, and led by Artistic Director Damian Woetzel, the internationally renowned event brings a wide range of extraordinary dancers and musicians to Vail and features new works, collaborations, education initiatives, free community events, and a host of programs that welcome all to enjoy the world of dance. The distinguished title of Artist-in-Residence each season recognizes the extraordinary collaborative talents and trajectory of fast-rising stars of dance representing a vast range of genres. Past honorees have included such dance luminaries as Tiler Peck, Lil Buck, Robbie Fairchild, Lauren Lovette, Calvin Royall III, and more. Artists-in-Residence engage throughout the Festival in an intense range of performance and choreographic opportunities, aimed at fostering collaboration and creativity across genres and styles, as well as in educational and community building events.
“Roman and Caili’s association with the Festival goes back several years, as we have watched them both flourish in their own unique ways,” said Artistic Director Damian Woetzel. “Now, as Artists-in-Residence of the 2022 season, I am excited to work closely with both of these dynamic artists to fashion new creative opportunities uniquely tailored to their brilliant talents.”
Roman Mejia was born in Fort Worth, Texas and began studying ballet at age 3 with his mother and father, both former professional ballet dancers themselves. At age 13, he entered the Mejia Ballet Academy of Ft. Worth and later joined School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school, full-time in 2015. Mejia first appeared at the Vail Dance Festival in July of 2017 making his debut in George Balanchine’s Tarantella among other performances, and later that summer, he became an apprentice with NYCB. He officially joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in November of that same year and was recently promoted to the rank of soloist in October 2021.
As a 2022 Vail Artist-in-Residence, Mejia will dance in multiple works throughout the duration of the festival, including role debuts and newly commissioned works specifically tailored to his talent and artistry. Mejia is the Festival’s youngest Artist-In-Residence to date.
Caili Quan, danced with Philadelphia’s BalletX from 2013 to 2020 and is now a prolific and highly sought-after choreographer based in New York City. She has created works for BalletX, The Juilliard School, Nashville Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Princeton University, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Ballet Academy East and recently for DanceAspen. She served as an Artistic Partnership Initiative Fellow and a Toulmin Creator at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, and she is a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School. With BalletX she performed new works by Matthew Neenan, Nicolo Fonte, Gabrielle Lamb, Penny Saunders, Trey McIntyre, and danced at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, Belgrade Dance Festival, and DEMO by Damian Woetzel at the Kennedy Center. Mahålang, a short documentary that wove familial conversations of her Chamorro Filipino upbringing in Guam with scenes from BalletX’s Love Letter, was accepted into the Hawai’i International Film Festival, CAAMFest, and the Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center.
As a 2022 Vail Artist-in-Residence, Caili will perform as a dancer, and will present new choreography this summer, including a premiere featuring Roman Mejia, and a new work set to a composition by Composer-In-Residence Caroline Shaw.
Further details about the rest of the 2022 Vail Dance Festival season will be announced later this spring. Tickets will go on sale to the public on April 18 at vaildance.org or through the Box Office by phone at 970.845.TIXS (8497). The Box Office hours are 11:00 am through 5:00 pm daily. For more information, visit vaildance.org.
*Please note that the 2022 Vail Dance Festival schedule and casting are subject to changes and additions
About the Vail Valley Foundation
The Vail Valley Foundation is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley and showcase our community to a global audience through arts, athletics, and education.
The organization’s work in education is through YouthPower365, a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate and empower youth and families from early childhood to college and career readiness. The Vail Valley Foundation also provides the Vail Valley with several of its most treasured annual events, such as the GoPro Mountain Games, the Winter Mountain Games, the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup races, the Vail Dance Festival, and the Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town free concert series. The Vail Valley Foundation also manages and operates two performing arts centers, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, providing more than 100 Broadway, dance, comedy, classical, rock, pop, jazz, community and family events per year.
Vail Valley Foundation activities and events are in part made possible by cornerstone partners: the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company, GMC, Nature Valley and CELSIUS Energy. To learn more about the Vail Valley Foundation visit www.vvf.org.