Rider Dances Presents 'Light and Motion' March 3 and 4

Allison Rhodes

Rider University presents the annual Rider Dances program on Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 4, at 2 p.m. in the Theater in the Bart Luedeke Center. All of the pieces performed in the program, titled “Light and Motion,” are inspired by light and the visual arts.

Dr. Kim Vaccaro, director of the program, began her association with Rider 20 years ago when she was hired to teach dance history. She went on to become the liaison between Rider and the Princeton Ballet School. Today she plays an integral role in building Rider’s relationship with professional dance schools and choreographers in the area, as well as teaching.

Vaccaro enjoys working with the students at Rider because of their passion and the different talents they possess. “There is a wide diversity of students with many different interests, which is very exciting for me because of what they bring to the table," she says. "They have a huge variety of different genres that they have affinities for, and a wide array of possibilities for how they are going to use dance in their lives.”

The upcoming production is centered on light and motion, focusing on six major works of art. As artistic director, Vaccaro chose this year’s theme. “Every year there is a theme or variable that ties the works together, she says. “I have been working with this production team for five years. They are fantastic. They were professionals when we hired them and had enormous wealth of experience and education in the field. They have made all our productions in this department top notch.”

A major player in this year’s production is Todd Loyd, the lighting director. Vaccaro and the rest of the creative team have really enjoyed working with him. “All of the choreographers have been inspired by Todd’s choices. He is amazing,” she says. “He will take a work of art and light it in a way that really energizes the spirit of the piece. We have all been having a fabulous time working with him.”

Lloyd began planning the production by selecting six major pieces of art, and using his keen artistic eye, developed a lighting plan for each.

Vaccaro’s piece is Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp. “He was a modernist. He took a moving image and saw a work of visual art,” she says. “He thought of the future and this was his replication of that. So, I took that and thought about the future and the movement it inspired.”

Vaccaro believes that the emotions displayed in the show will affect people in different ways, and she is thankful for the opportunity to inspire all who come see it. “Two people could look at the same thing and come away with totally different feelings and perceptions. That is the openness of art. I would like to create an experience so people see things in a new way.” Above all, she is sure that audiences will leave the performance feeling inspired by the creativity and talent they see on stage.

Tickets are available now and range from $20 for adults, to $15 for students and seniors and $5 for Rider University students. To learn more or reserve tickets, go to or call the box office at 609-896-5775.