This spring the Department of Dance presents the Buglisi Dance Theatre, March 23; The Creative Process with PearsonWidrig and Vassar dancers, April 20; and VaBang!, May 6, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Department of Dance at Vassar College will present three programs this spring in The Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater in Kenyon Hall at 8pm. Special guest artists will include Buglisi Dance Theatre (3/23), Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig directing Vassar dancers (4/20), and VaBang! (5/6). All programs are free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. For additional information, call the Dance Office at (845) 437-7470.

“A feast of the eyes and soul transcending, rarefied beauty” (Arts Houston) is just one of the many rapturous statements describing the Buglisi Dance Theatre (BDT), who will give a public performance on Monday, March 23. The company, known for technical excellence and unparalleled dramatic power, will perform three works: Threshold, Interplay, and Requiem.

BDT has performed nationally and internationally at venues including at Jacob’s Pillow, Joyce Theater, Kennedy Center, Milan’s Teatro Nuovo, St. Germain en Laye (Paris), and in Montreal, Bombay, and Edinburgh; and at festivals including the Vail International Dance Festival, Melbourne (Australia) International Festival, Chautauqua Festival, Interlochen Arts Festival, Italy’s San Marino Stage Festival, and International Dance Week in Prague.

The Company, directed by Jacqulyn Buglisi, draws from both distinguished performers and passionate young artists. Margo Jefferson, noted in the New York Times, that the company “renews the Graham technique in all its full-bodied glory . . . Everything is here: those potent torsos, contracting, releasing, spiraling; legs, arms and heads alert to every surge of emotion. They have inherited her theatrical mastery of lighting, costumes and stage space, her way of making us feel that each dance is an encounter with destiny” (

On Monday, April 20, Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, of PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER, will conduct “The Creative Process in Dance Composition, a Showing by Vassar Dancers.” Working with Vassar dance students, Pearson and Widrig will elucidate the process of their unique choreography and creative inspiration.

PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER has gained an international following for their choreographic work is considered: “American dance theater at its funniest and most compelling” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland). PearsonWidrig’s choreographic sensibility extends far beyond the body, with use of oranges, blocks of ice, and other props in order to convey socio-political, poetic, mystical, historical, and humorous ideas. In site-specific and community dance/theater/video installations, they challenge habitual assumptions of what art is, where art happens, and who may participate.

PearsonWidrig’s projects have taken them from rowboats in Central Park to the Great Lawn at Jacob’s Pillow, from the Eiun-In Buddhist temple in Kyoto to the modern architecture of I. M. Pei’s Portland Museum of Art (

VaBang! will make its Vassar debut on Wednesday, May 6. Known for creating intensely athletic, socially-conscious works, the company’s mission is to bring together unique styles of modern dance from the east and west coasts.

In 2007, Vassar alumnae from the class of 2005, Jessie Feller and Julia Sabangan, founded VaBang!, a bi-coastal modern dance company based in New York City and San Francisco. Their first full-length show premiered in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles to sold-out audiences. Feller is based in San Francisco while Sabangan is based in New York City.

Vabang! exists to transcend boundaries and conventional categories, to shape new concepts of “space” (social, conceptual, geographical), and to bridge various spaces, be they natural or socially constructed. Through intensely athletic movement, Vabang! seeks to provoke audiences to question their path dependent thinking on current social and geo-political issues such as feminism, trans-nationalism, and climate change (

The Department of Dance offers a non-major, elective course of study at Vassar. The faculty consists of three full-time and two part-time teachers, and three adjunct artists who serve as accompanists and who compose, direct and sometimes perform with the student company, the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (

These performances are presented under the auspices of The Department of Dance, The Jeanne Periolat Czula Endowment, and The Jeanne Periolat Czula Fund, and made possible by Jeffrey Paley and Valerie Ritter Paley ’83, and an anonymous donor.

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar Campus in the Town of Poughkeepsie are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, February 27, 2009