SOPAC Hosts ‘Just Dance…’ Featuring Photographer Steve Vaccariello Nov. 14-Jan. 19

Brit in Netting (credit Steve Vaccariello)


The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery at the South Orange Performing Arts Center hosts JUST DANCE…, a new exhibition by the prominent photographer, Steve Vaccariello from November 14, 2019 – January 19, 2020.  A reception open to the public will take place on Thursday, November 14, 5-8 p.m.

In JUST DANCE…, Vaccariello’s vivid and sensual portraits capture an unbridled creativity; a guileless exchange of artistic expression between two masters, each on either side of the camera lens.  Vaccariello’s direction is simple and straightforward, “Just dance….”  Then, on film, he immortalizes their liberated collaboration; a visual and a performance artist breaking free to bestow an inspired vision of beauty.

With natural lighting, suggestive shadowing, and unique printing techniques, his work explores the idea of ethereal and evocative beauty, and the subtleties and extremes of physical expression.  “Photography isn’t what I do,” says Steve Vaccariello, “It’s what I am.  The most important thing is the picture. I want people to look at my photos and see the beauty in simplicity.”

Having a 20+ year career in the commercial photography arena, Vaccariello’s sizeable portfolio includes commercial, celebrity and beauty work.  Ironically, though coming from a world of photo editing, re-touching and enhancements, Vaccariello emphatically declares, “I do not touch my dance work…. Never!”  He is a purist at heart, precisely manipulating his exceptional natural light style, striving to catch the unique, timeless beauty and every nuance of form.  “’I imagine that I am shooting a piece of film….  I perfect the light, the angle, the move, the backdrop… I want to look through the lens and see my final product, as close as I can possibly get it!”

Vaccariello was the subject of a special cover story in the country’s most innovative photographer’s magazine — the relaunch issue of Nikon World. He was also featured in Digital Pro Photo, American Photographer and PDN magazines.  Vaccariello has also had the pleasure of being the personal portrait photographer for celebrities like Alan Cumming, Mena Suvari and Michael C. Hall, to name a few.

Vaccariello’s work is owned by a number of notable collectors, including Bruce Weber, Mark Balet, Kevin Aucoin and the renowned contemporary art collection of Progressive Insurance. His prints are also housed in the permanent archives of the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation.  And he counts the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Finlandia, MasterCard and the Washington Ballet as a few of his more noteworthy clients.

“When I first saw Steve’s work, I was instantly captivated by his use of light and shadow on the human form.  And after conversations about his work, I became even more impressed by his desire to capture these incredible images without retouching them afterwards. A true master of his craft and we are thrilled to be showcasing his work in The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery.  I am certain you will enjoy these beautiful images as much as I do,” said Gallery Curator, Jeremy Moss.


The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery showcases emerging artists and brings contemporary art to a broader audience. The Gallery was the initiative of beloved SOPAC Board Member, Milly Iris, and inspired by her love of art and young people. Milly and her husband Herb were avid collectors, devoted arts advocates, and longtime supporters of SOPAC.  Exhibitions at The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery are curated by Jeremy Moss.

Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages.  To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC — a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory.  SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions.  SOPAC is grateful for the generous support of BCB Bank, our season sponsor. For more information, visit