George Mason University’s School of Dance Presents the 2016 Mason Dance Gala Concert

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Provided by George Mason University


George Mason University’s School of Dance is pleased to announce the performances of the 2016 Mason Dance Gala Concert on March 18 and 19 at 8:00 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax, and at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on March 20 at 4:00 p.m.  PWL The highlight of the George Mason Dance Company’s season, this annual event features four works from contemporary choreographers performed by Mason’s gifted dancers.

Prior to the performance on Saturday, March 19 at the Center for the Arts, the School of Dance hosts the Mason Dance Gala Concert Celebration, with special guest Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Mason Dance Gala Concert is the eagerly anticipated annual event showcasing an extraordinary repertory company of dancers at the beginning of their professional careers, performing a program of contemporary choreographic masterpieces. The 2016 program includes “Impetere” by Nick Pupillo, “Bhangra Fever” by Donald Byrd, “Vespers,” by David Grenke and “V” by Mark Morris.

The ensemble piece “Impetere” starts the performance with a work of sensuality, fearlessness and intensity.  Set to a score by Apparat, Olafur Arnalds, Matmos and Pixel, this work looks at human relationships and intimacy in a stark and industrial environment. Founder of Chicago’s Visceral Dance Center Nick Pupillo choreographs this virtuosic work.

The traditional style of music from northern India, called Bhangra, was appropriated in Asia and UK dance clubs in the 1970s. This infectious music is the inspiration for the piece “Bhangra Fever” from the Tony-nominated Artistic Director of Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Theater, Donald Byrd. Now, Bhangra music is enjoyed by people around the globe, and this piece honors that cross-cultural connection with Indian and African movements combined with ballet and modern dance.

From award-winning former principal dancer of Paul Taylor Dance Company David Grenke,“Vespers” is an intimate piece choreographed to Tom Waits recordings. Following two dancers as they support and rely on each other to stand, the choreography is technically demanding and athletic. The blend of stylized passive flow with dynamic acrobatic movement makes the piece a true masterpiece.

Set to Schumann’s Quintet in E Flat Major, Op 44, Mark Morris’ “V,” is a lush and lyrical piece. Following the musical phrasing, dancers move from joyful hoppy to elegant creeping motions with grace and precision.  Referencing the Roman numeral for five, “V” derives its name from the musical quartet and is reflected in geometric movements throughout the piece.  Mark Morris, founder of the Mark Morris Dance Group, lives up to his reputation as a genius choreographer in this evocative work. In this performance of “V,” the dancers from the School of Dance enjoy the honor of being the first to perform the work outside of the Mark Morris Dance Group.



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