The Vail Valley Foundation has always done an above average job of bringing world class dance to Colorado; these are the folks, after all, who are responsible for showcasing the popular Vail International Dance Festival each summer. VVF doesn’t slack in the winter – continuously bringing entertainment of international caliber to the heart of the Rockies. So please enjoy your après-ski, but bear in mind that there’s just as much art happening at Vail as there are ski runs in the Blue Sky backbowl.

The funky, forward thinking dance troupe Pilobolus graces the stage of the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Combining “dance and biology,” Pilobolus has a certain Cirque du Soleil feel to them, with heavier emphasis on the dance side of acrobatic feats. This company will delight audiences with very accessible entertainment, ranging from choreographed numbers to gymnastic like pieces, transforming human bodies into a images ranging from a flock of penguins to a shooting gun (see image). Tickets are $58 and are likely to go fast.

February brings Diavalo, a Los Angeles based company featuring dancers with eclectic background in acrobatics, gymnastics, modern dance and classical ballet. The company will use a wide variety of props, including moving platforms, spinning wheels, cubes, pyramids – you name it – to get their forward thinking point across. Diavlo plays with themes of connectedness through their creativity, and will leave the audience with a never-before-seen viewpoint on dance. The dancers perform on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm, and tickets are priced at $58.

Later in February, Moscow Festival Ballet will bring the romantic feel of classical ballet with A Gala Evening of Favorites. Specializing in classical ballet, the company will showcase favored pieces from their extensive repertoire of 20th century full length ballets (think Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty). Tickets are $65 and will make an excellent Valentine’s Day gift – the company performs on February 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm.

Rounding out the winter dance performances at the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts (where all aforementioned pieces take place) is Rhythm of the Dance on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $45, and audiences will be treated to the National Dance Company of Ireland, performing traditional Irish dance accompanied by a live band, three tenors, and more than 20 dancers. With an emphasis on the journey of the Irish Celts throughout their history, Rhythm of the Dance will have you tapping your toes in the aisles!

Tickets to all performances can be purchased at the Marketplace Box Office in Vail Village, at the VPAC Box Office in Beaver Creek, or by calling 888.920.ARTS.