Vassar dance gala at Bardavon

Margaux Lieser and Kerri Anne Bell in three short dances and a door… by Stephen Rooks. (photo by Mark Sugino)

The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT), resident company at Vassar College, will celebrate its 35th annual gala weekend with two performances at Poughkeepsie’s Bardavon 1869 Opera House at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. Among the works featured in this year’s program will be nine student-choreographed pieces, faculty work, an extended excerpt from Swan Lake and the world premiere of a modern dance choreographed by guest artist David Dorfman, chair of Dance at Connecticut College. Dorfman’s new work, titled Studies Have Shown…/Today, is set to the music of Syrian pop sensation Omar Souleyman and singer/songwriter Elizabeth de Lise.

John Meehan, director of the VRDT and professor of Dance at Vassar, will stage Act II from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Other faculty works on the program include a suite called three short dances and a door… by Vassar Dance chair Steve Rooks, set to music by Vivaldi, John Adams and Cliff Martinez; Wax Wing by VRDT assistant director Kathy Wildberger, set to the final two movements of Beethoven’s String Quartet, Opus 131; and Blue Rondo, a jazz dance by Abby Saxon set to music of Dave Brubeck. Student choreographers whose works will be performed are Kerri Anne Bell, Carmen Kloer, Julia Schmidt, Turner Hitt, Margaux Lieser, Tiana Chung, Saskia Globig, Sydney Lee and Elise Shea.


Tickets cost $11 general admission, $9 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072; at the Ulster Performing Arts Center box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088; via Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000; or online at For more info about the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, visit