Bardavon hosts Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre’s 32nd annual gala

Brian Heil ‘14 and Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre dancers in “Triptych” by Stephen Rooks (photo by Rachel Garbade)

Brian Heil ‘14 and Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre dancers in “Triptych” by Stephen Rooks (photo by Rachel Garbade)

Falling on the same weekend as the Vanaver Caravan’s annual DanceFest! in New Paltz, the Bardavon hosts another admirably broad panoply of dance offerings: the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre’s 32nd annual Gala Performances. And like DanceFest! the program by the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT), resident company at Vassar College, will include selections from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty featuring Marius Petipa’s traditional choreography.

But the program doesn’t end with classical ballet. A highlight of the performance will be a restaged excerpt from the contemporary dance Lareigne by Bessie Award-winner Stephen Petronio, who has been working as VRDT’s guest choreographer this year. VRDT director John Meehan describes the piece as “complex and extremely physical.”


Among the other highly diverse offerings will be jazz dance set to music by Henry Mancini, Cozy Cole and Trombone Shorty and a neoclassical ballet depicting the traditional Spanish pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago de Campostela, set to classical guitar music by Isaac Albeñiz. A piece titled Jooolia will explore “the power of community and coming together for the common good,” set to a score by the late, legendary blind street percussionist Louis Hardin, who dressed up as Odin and styled himself Moondog as he played for three decades on the streets of New York City. Original choreography by 12 current Vassar dance students will also be performed.

The Bardavon Gala for Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre will have two performances, beginning at 8 p.m. this Saturday, March 1 and at 3 p.m. this Sunday, March 2. Tickets cost $11 general admission and $9 for students, seniors and members of the “Vassar community” with ID. They are available from the Bardavon box office at (845) 473-2072, the Vassar Dance Office at (845) 437-7470 or, or online at For more information about VRDT, visit

32nd annual Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre Gala, Saturday, March 1, 8 p.m., Sunday, March 2, 3 p.m., $11/$9, Bardavon 1869 Opera House, 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie; (845) 473-2072, (845) 437-7470,,

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