Pacific Northwest Ballet principal Carla Körbes announced in September of last year that she would retire at the end of the 2014–15 season—her last performance with the company will be on June 7. Fortunately for her fans, Körbes isn't quite finished dancing: She'll serve as an artist in residence at the 2015 Vail International Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado.
Festival director and former New York City Ballet principal Damian Woetzel is thrilled to have Körbes on board. “I shared the stage with Carla at New York City Ballet, and I've watched her grow up," he says. “She's ready to explore new things, and I'm happy to be able to give her that opportunity."
In her role, Körbes will be involved in various educational outreach programs. However, Vail's focus is on pushing performers to cross boundaries. “I try to think of what will be challenging from a dancer's perspective when I create the program," Woetzel says. “For Carla it means performing Balanchine's Chaconne for the first time and dancing with BalletX in a world premiere by Matthew Neenan. She'll dance at least four new roles, altogether."
Will the ballerina famous for her interpretation of Balanchine's ballets and the classics step out of her comfort zone—and her pointe shoes—for some yet-to-be-determined stylistic crossover? “It remains to be seen," Woetzel says, “but I wouldn't be surprised."