“By allowing students the freedom to create, develop, and present their own new dance works under the guidance of recognized artists in the field, the VRDT provides a unique dance experience for the company as well as audience members,” noted director Meehan. “We are very excited to be celebrating our 28th Anniversary at the Bardavon.”
Tickets are $11 for general admission; $9 for seniors, Vassar students, and the Vassar community. These are available for purchase in person on the Vassar campus and at the Bardavon Box Office, as well as by phone or online through Ticketmaster (see details below).
About the PerformanceThe VRDT gala performance will feature several classic works this year. One is George Balanchine’s charming ballet Valse-Fantaisie set to music of Mikhail Glinka, that noted Balanchine ballerina Merrill Ashley set on the company last fall. The VRDT will also perform Doris Humphrey’s classic modern work from 1930, The Shakers, as well as Sentinel, a moving piece by choreographer David Berkey, set to music of Johannes Brahms.
Guest choreographers Deirdre Lowry and Patrick Brown, artistic directors of Rhinebeck-based dance company Solas An Lae, have created the company finale Exurgency, which is based on Irish step-dancing technique combined with touches of contemporary dance movement. This finale will feature the entire VRDT company of 35 dancers.
In addition, four Vassar faculty members have created new works for this performance. Stephen Rooks, chair of the Department of Dance and VRDT resident choreographer, will present Selections from the Griot Dance. “This piece is made up of excerpts from a longer work inspired by Steve’s recent trip to Africa,” noted VRDT director Meehan. The work will feature music composed by Vassar adjunct artist, Howard Kilik.
Other works by faculty members include the modern work, Battlescars/The Disappeared, set to Thomas Tallis’ Spem In Alium and choreographed by Kathy Wildberger, lecturer in dance and drama and assistant director of VRDT. By popular request there will be a reprise performance of the 2004 jazz ballet Rush Hour, choreographed by Abby Saxon, adjunct instructor of dance, and co-choreographed with Martha Ross Tobias. VRDT director Meehan will present his new ballet, Mozart Variations, set to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Variations in G Major, K.501.
Seven student choreographers will also present new works. Max Hershenow ’10, Dan Ming ’10, Alex Rodabaugh ’10, Nicole Krenitsky ’11, Stephen Xue ’11, and Sara Gabrielson ’12 will create modern works, while Joey Army ’10 and Caitlyn Lamdin ’11 will co-choreograph a jazz piece.
About Tickets and ReservationsTickets are available on the Vassar campus at the information desk in the College Center of Main Building and the Department of Dance Office in Kenyon Hall. Tickets are also available, in person, at the Bardavon Box Office (35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY) and by phone or online through Ticketmaster: (845) 454-3388 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/10. Tickets are $11 for general admission; $9 for seniors, Vassar students, and the Vassar community.
About the Vassar Repertory Dance TheatreThe Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre is the resident company of the Vassar College Department of Dance. Since 1983, the VRDT gives dance students of Vassar College the opportunity to perform classic dance works from the ballet and modern repertoire as well as new choreography by faculty, guest artists, and the students themselves. 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.
About the VRDT Director John MeehanJohn Meehan was a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. He was also a frequent guest artist with the New York City Ballet and National Ballet of Canada, and toured with Stars of World Ballet. He has partnered many of the world’s great ballerinas including Dame Margot Fonteyn, Natalia Makarova, Merrill Ashley, Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Gregory, Karen Kain and the Australian ballet stars Marilyn Rowe and Marilyn Jones. 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, The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company (now ABT II), and the Hong Kong Ballet. Before taking his current position at Vassar, Meehan was a visiting professor of dance at the college from 2005 to 2006.
About the Department of DanceThe 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/).
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Bardavon box office (845) 473-2072, as far in advance as possible to request reasonable and appropriate accommodations for the event.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.