Rider Presents Dances in the 21st Century

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Rider University Dance/Princeton Ballet School Dance Program will present Rider Dances in the 21st Century on Saturday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 7, at 3 p.m., in the Yvonne Theater, located inside the Fine Arts Building on the Lawrenceville campus.

Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro, director of the Rider University Dance Program and artistic director of the dance recital, said the performances will highlight the differences of dance in the past decade that reflect post-modernity and globalization. These aspects include longer dancing careers, technology, and television competitions that have brought dance and male performers back into the popular culture. The recital will also showcase the uniqueness of classical contemporary dance in the 21st century.

“During the 20th century, ballet, modern, jazz were exclusive clubs. Classical contemporary dance is neither ballet, jazz nor modern. It’s a combination,” Vaccaro explained. “We also understand our bodies differently. Back then, it was uncommon for a performer to still be dancing professionally at the age of 34. Some members of our faculty have been dancing for four decades.”

Through performance and film, the Rider Dance Ensemble will be joined by three exceptional artists who were professionals in the 20th century to address longevity in dance and training in dance. They are American Repertory Ballet (ARB) faculty members Mary Barton (Joffrey Ballet), Cheryl Whitney (Reverence Dance), and Diane Kuhl (Dayton Ballet).

The recital will feature works by noted choreographers Mary Barton; Christine Bragg, ARB; Janell Byrne, ARB; Laney Engelhard, ARB; Jennifer Gladney ’06; and Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro. The program will also include new choreography by Cherilyn Barbone ’08, admissions counselor at Rider, Rebecca Robotin, a junior Fine Arts and Dance dual major, and Elizabeth Zelesny, a senior Fine Arts and Dance dual major.

Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday performances will only be available at the door and are $10 for general admission and $5 for Rider students, faculty and staff.

On Wednesday, March 3, Rider’s Dance Program held a panel discussion Dance Artistry: What that means, how it is developed, how it is recognizable and how dance artists have changed over several decades as part of the dance studio course’s midterm seminar. Panelists, including Cheryl Whitney, Mary Barton, Jenall Byrne, Diane Kuhl, Jennifer Gladney, Christine Colosimo, Cherilyn Barbone, and Elizabeth Zelesny, discussed what makes a dancer an artist and how to develop intention, focus and performance qualities.

Rider students take studio classes at the Princeton Ballet School to fulfill requirements toward a major or minor in dance. This model partnership enables Rider students to study with the conservatory-level faculty of Princeton Ballet School while receiving a quality liberal arts education. Currently, there are 60 majors and minors in the program.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro, director of the Rider University Dance Program, at 609-896-7706 or kcvaccaro@rider.edu.

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