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Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre offers showcase performances in "Final Showings," November 19-21, 2009.

These performances are fully-subscribed with waiting list only availability (in person at Kenyon Hall). Please note that reservations not claimed on the performance evening by 7:45 pm will be forfeit and released to the waiting list.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT) will present its "Final Showings," in The Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater in Kenyon Hall for three evenings at 8:00pm on November 19, 20, and 21. The programs are all free and open to the public, however reservations are recommended, through emailing dancetix@vassar.edu. For additional information, call the Department of Dance at (845) 437-7470. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please note that reservations not claimed on the performance evening by 7:45 pm will be forfeit.

The Final Showings performance of ballet and modern dance repertoire will feature a selection of 15 works to be presented in rotation through the three evenings. The pieces will include four faculty, seven student pieces, and three masterpieces, as well as a work by the guest choreographers Patrick Brown and Deirdre Lowry. These performances will offer a preview for the annual weekend of gala concerts the company will present in spring 2010 at Poughkeepsie's historic Bardavon Opera House.

The works by the Dance Department faculty members will include Rush Hour, by Abby Saxon, an adjunct instructor in dance, and co-choreographed with Martha Ross Tobias. First presented by VRDT in 2004, the jazz piece has been returned to the repertoire by popular demand. The modern work entitled Battlescars/The Disappeared, was choreographed by Katherine Wildberger, a lecturer in dance and drama and assistant director of VRDT, and is set to English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis' motet "Spem in Alium." This piece will focus on the theme of social justice. Steve Rooks, chair of the Dance Department and VRDT resident choreographer, has created Selections from "The Griot Dance," a dramatic piece set to music by Vassar College adjunct artist Howard Kilik. The program will also feature Mozart Variations, a ballet choreographed by John Meehan, director of the VRDT, set to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Variations in G Major, K.501."

Exurgency, a work that features all 35 members of the company, is choreographed by special guests Patrick Brown and Deirdre Lowry. This piece will showcase a creative fusion of Irish step-dancing techniques and contemporary dance movements. Brown is a professional aesthetic designer, musician, artist, photographer, and filmmaker, and Lowry is the artistic director and founder of the Irish Dance company Solas An Lae (Gaelic for "Light Of Day").

Three masterworks in the program will include Valse-Fantaisie, created in 1967 by the legendary George Balanchine, and set for the VRDT by former Balanchine ballerina Merrill Ashley; The Shakers, created in 1930 by famous American choreographer Doris Humphrey; and Sentinel, a touching work for four men by David Berkey to music of Brahms that premiered in 1990.

Student choreographers represented in the program will include Joey Army, Caitlyn Lamdin, Max Hershenow, Nicole Krenitsky, Dan Ming, Stephen Xue, Alex Rodabaugh, and Sara Gabrielson.

About the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre

The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre is the resident company of the Vassar College Department of Dance. Since 1983, VRDT has provided Vassar dance students with an opportunity to perform significant dance works of the classic ballet and modern repertoire, as well as original works by faculty, student, and visiting artists in the dance field (http://dance.vassar.edu/vrdt/).


About the VRDT Director John Meehan

John Meehan was appointed a Principal Dancer at the Australian Ballet (1974) and the American Ballet Theater (1977); appeared frequently as a guest artist at the New York City Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and toured with Stars of World Ballet. He has choreographed ballets for The Australian Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Company, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Meehan was also the artistic director of Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet (1990-93), The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company (1997-2006), and the Hong Kong Ballet (2006-2009). Before taking his current position at Vassar, from 2005 - 06 he was a visiting professor of dance at the college.

About the Department of Dance 

The Department of Dance offers a non-major, elective course of study at Vassar. The faculty consists of three full-time professors (Jeanne Periolat Czula, John Meehan, Stephen Rooks), one full-time lecturer of dance and drama (Katherine Wildberger), and one part-time jazz instructor (Abby Saxon). Dance's resident lighting designer, David Ferri, lights all dance department productions. There are three adjunct artists who serve as accompanists and who compose, direct, and sometimes perform with the student company, the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, which is directed by John Meehan (http://dance.vassar.edu/).
People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar Campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, November 12, 2009