Western Colorado will be the site of an avalanche of dance programs this summer. In Aspen, the 24th season of DanceAspen Festival opens on July 1, featuring Martine Van Hamel's New Amsterdam Ballet with Marianna Tcherkassky, Amanda McKerrow and Gary Chryst. Other companies scheduled to appear during the eight weeks of performances are: Lines Contemporary Ballet (July 8 to 10), Mark Morris Dance Group (July 15 to 17), Pilobolus (July 22 to 24), Ballet West from Salt Lake City (Aug. 5 to 7) and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Aug. 11 to 14 and 18 to 21).
From July 19 to 31, a minifestival of experimental work includes performances by the San Francisco-based dance theater company Contraband; a collaborative project between performance artists Eiko and Koma accompanied by Native American musicians Robert Mirabal and Reynaldo Lujan of Taos, N.M.; and Rachel Rosenthal. All performances will be staged at theDanceAspen Festival Theater, on Maroon Creek Road. Tickets range from $5 to $30. For ticket information call (800) 933-3820.
An hour away, people can improve their dance skills as well as watch the pros at work at the Glenwood Springs Dance Festival, June 28 to July 18. Dendy Dance, Contraband and Denver Contemporary Dance companies will perform, and dancers from these companies, as well as other guest artists including Milton Myers, will teach courses geared to intermediate and advanced dancers. There are also classes for children and young dancers. Tickets for performances, which will be held at the Glenwood Springs High School, 1340 Pitkin Avenue, range from $5 to $9. The cost of a full week of classes, which will be taught at Colorado Mountain College, 1402 Blake Avenue, ranges from $145 to $160. Call (303) 928-0878.