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Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre to Perform at the Bardavon March 3 and 4, 2018

Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT), the resident company at Vassar College, will perform in its 36th annual gala weekend at Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon Theater on Saturday, March 3rd at 8:00pm, and Sunday, March 4th at 3:00pm.

Tickets are available at or by calling 845-473-2072.  General admission is $11/$9 students and seniors; Group discount (10 or more) is $9 adults/$7 students.

The shows will feature a variety of dance genres, including modern, ballet, and jazz. VRDT Director and Professor of Dance John Meehan has selected a program that features eleven student-choreographed pieces, exciting faculty work, iconic excerpts from the classical ballet repertoire, and Marksman, a modern dance by award-winning guest choreographer Kate Weare. 

Kate Weare is a choreographer whose work is on the leading edge of the young creative lions in today’s modern dance world. Premiered in November 2016, Marksman features a fascinating original score from composer Curtis Robert Macdonald and draws inspiration from Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery.  While collisions with others are what shape us cumulatively over time, Marksman acknowledges the beauty, and futility, of our own willfulness.

Another major component of this year’s performance is the presentation of Petipa Celebration, staged by Meehan.  2018 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marius Petipa, whose choreography and artistic aesthetic is the cornerstone of classical ballet as we know it today.  Says Meehan, “To celebrate this occasion and to challenge our ever-increasing number of accomplished ballet dancers, I have taken excerpts from four of Petipa’s full length works, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty to make a showcase for our talented dancers.” 

Faculty works include:

Zenith - A striking piece, which captures the power of that moment of "breakthrough" in our lives - from seasons of tragedy, of despair, of hopelessness.   Choreographed to a powerful original score by Vassar’s Resident Composer Howard Kilik. Created by VRDT Resident Choreographer and Chair of Dance, Steve Rooks. 

Joie de Vivre - A charming abstract classical ballet, using music of Leo Delibes, which serves as a showcase for the senior ballet dancers in this year’s VRDT company. The fresh and elegant architecture of the piece embraces the music as a delightful companion.  Created by Miriam Mahdaviani, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance. 

Pain Dog - Set to Ry Cooder's evocative blues score, and inspired by Native American poet Joy Harjo's Fear, “Come here fear, I am still alive, and you are so afraid of dying”.  Created by Kathy Wildberger, Assistant Director of VRDT and faculty choreographer.

Vesuvius - An audience favorite! Inspired by the group Spaccanopoli’s music, the engaging score has a yearning quality.  The stylistic mix of jazz dance with Balkan, Irish, Russian, Italian, and Israeli characteristics, invokes a great communal sensibility. Created by Jazz instructor Abby Saxon. 

Our talented student choreographers are Margaux Lieser ’18, Turner Hitt ’18, Megan Jackson ’18, Kayla Miron ’18, Anna Beeman ’18, Jake Butter ’18, Leora Randall-Tavori ’18, Maya Talwar-Hebert ’20, Jordan Nasif ’20, Sydney Majka ’20, and Henry Gilbert ’20.

Watch a trailer for this year's show:

About the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre

The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, under the direction of Professor and Chair of Dance John Meehan, is the resident company of the Vassar College Department of Dance. Formed in 1980, VRDT has provided Vassar dance students with an opportunity to perform significant dance works of the classic ballet, jazz and modern repertoire, as well as original works by faculty, student, and distinguished visiting artists. About the Vassar College Department of Dance

The Department of Dance offers a non-major, elective course of technique and performance study, as well as the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre resident company. The faculty consists of two full-time professors Stephen Rooks, and John Meehan, one full-time senior lecturer of dance and drama Katharine Wildberger, Visiting Assistant Professor Miriam Mahdaviani and three part-time instructors, Abby Saxon, Lara Ganz and Leslie Partridge Sachs. Along with resident lighting designer David Ferri, there are also two adjunct artists who serve as accompanists and who compose, direct, and sometimes perform with the VRDT.

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

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, February 5, 2018