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26th annual Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre gala concerts will feature choreography by Mark Morris and the New York City Ballet's Miriam Mahdaviani. Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Works choreographed by contemporary master Mark Morris, and by the New York City Ballet's Miriam Mahdaviani, will be among the highlights of the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre's 26th annual weekend of gala concerts, on Saturday, March 1st, at 8:00pm, and Sunday, March 2nd, at 3:00pm, at the Bardavon Opera House in downtown Poughkeepsie. The college's student dance company will once again perform works from a wide range of choreography, including ballet, modern, jazz, and hip-hop.

The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT) will perform one of Mark Morris' signature works, "Grand Duo," which features music by the composer Lou Harrison. Miriam Mahdaviani has worked before with the Vassar company, and returns this year to stage "Correliazone" with the company, a piece originally created for the New York City Ballet's Diamond Choreography Project.

Choreography by Vassar faculty members Jeanne Czula, Steve Rooks, Abby Saxon, Kathy Wildberger, and VRDT director Paul Mosley will also be featured in the annual gala concerts, and student choreographers will once again be spotlighted, including David Rodriguez, Marianne Kies, Marion Spencer, Suzanne Gerdes, Dan Ming, Katie Aspell, and Kaia Ross-Duggan.

The VRDT also continues to invite back Vassar graduates as guest choreographers, and this year alumnus Sam Petersson has set a new hip- hop work for the Bardavon performances. In an added wrinkle, the company's finale piece will be a rousing contra-dance hoedown, choreographed by Vassar dance instructor Kathy Wildberger and featuring live folk dance music by the Hudson Valley's Walker Family Band.

Under the direction of Vassar dance instructor Paul Mosley, the VRDT provides the college's dance students the opportunity to perform classic dance works from the ballet and modern repertoire, as well as new choreography. By allowing students the freedom to create, develop, and present their own new dance works under the guidance of recognized artists in the field, VRDT provides a unique dance experience for the company as well as audience members.

This VRDT's reconstruction of Mark Morris' "Grand Duo" is made possible by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts, through the American Masterpieces Dance College Choreography program. Notably, this is the second time in three years that the dance company has been awarded this highly competitive prize.

For more information or to purchase tickets call the Vassar College dance office at (845) 437-7470. Tickets are also available from the Bardavon Box Office (845-473-2072) and through Ticketmaster (845-454-3388). Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $7 for senior citizens, Vassar students, and Vassar employees.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, February 13, 2008