By Monica Jaramillo
Rider Dances will send chills down your spine with an unforgettably spooky performance this upcoming weekend with its newest show, “Rider Dances with the Ghosts.”
Rider Dances performs an annual show, incorporating different themes for each performance. There is a meaning behind each of the themes and the choreographers tell their own stories through the dances.
Dr. Kim Vaccaro, assistant professor of dance, chose this theme after she encountered a ghost, figuratively speaking, in her own life. During the summer, she randomly received an e-mail from someone interested in combining ghosts with theater, but accidentally deleted it and temporarily forgot about it.
“Later, I received a phone call that my old dance teacher had passed away. She was my inspiration to become a choreographer,” Vaccaro said. “In a way, my teacher was a ‘ghost’ of my past and I had an epiphany: the theme for the show could be ghosts. All the dancers connected with this theme because they all have their own personal ghosts haunting them and even guiding them. It may have been a lost loved one or someone they wanted to pay tribute to.”
In all, there are nine choreographers who created a dance to tell a story, be it their own or someone else’s. Each of the choreographers chose a different song and different type of dance. It ranges from tap, a blend of tap and modern, ballet, hip hop, and classical contemporary, which is a blend of ballet, modern and jazz.
Every dance has a different choreographer with unique meanings and stories behind every step. One of them, a “deep tap” dance full of passion and strong emotions, was created by graduate student Cherilyn Barbone. This particular dance had an emotional story behind it.
“My boyfriend from college was severely injured in a car accident,” she said. “At that time we were not together but this accident brought us together again, as if fate itself allowed this to occur and made us realize that we were meant to be.”
Her dance dramatizes the emotions she felt during that time with three main characters in the story. One dancer is acting as Barbone and the other her boyfriend. Senior Katie McCambley is Fate, bringing the pair together. All the others are “ghosts” surrounding them. To promote the spooky air, only the girls in the back can be heard.
“It’s a good and exciting role to be able to dance to,” McCambley said. “It is also an ambiguous role which the audience can interpret as they please. In general, the entire show is open to interpretation. It’s all up to how the audience perceives it.”
“Rider Dances with the Ghosts” will be performed Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Yvonne Theatre in Fine Arts.