Mason Presents the 2018 School of Dance Gala Concert

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Provided by George Mason University

Photo by Tim Coburn. Dancers Dony’ae Bush and Marcel Mejia

George Mason University’s School of Dance presents its 2018 Mason School of Dance Gala Concert, which is the Mason Dance Company’s crowning season event. The highly-anticipated dance program features four exceptional works from the contemporary repertoire: Mass by Doug Varone, Within Reach by Yin Yue, Flesh by Iván Pérez, and A Brahms Symphony by Lar Lubovitch. Performances are Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 at 8:00 p. m. in the Center for the Arts’ Concert Hall, Fairfax, and Sunday, March 25 at 4:00 p. m. in the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Merchant Hall, Manassas. Tickets are currently on sale at cfa.gmu.edu and hyltoncenter.org.

The 2018 program opens with Doug Varone’s Mass, a section from the 40-minute piece entitled in the shelter of the fold. Celebrating his company’s 30th anniversary, Doug Varone is a sought-after choreographer whose works have been commissioned by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Martha Graham Dance Company, and Batsheva Dance Company, among other esteemed companies. He is also in high-demand for his staging and choreography work of opera productions, including those of The Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera.

Next on the program is Within Reach by choreographer Yin Yue, a celebrated performer and Artistic Director of YYDC. The piece premiered in 2013 and has toured to China. Yin Yue was the winner of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago International Commissioning Project and the BalletX Choreographic Fellowship in 2015, as well as the Northwest Dance Project’s Fifth Annual Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition in 2013. She is known for originating the FolkContemporary dance style inspired by elements of root, wood, water, fire, and metal.

Ivan Pérez’s emotional work, Flesh, follows. Inspired by Keith Douglas’s poem Knife, its narrative questions perceptions of memory, loss, love, and death. Flesh was created in 2011 for Netherlands Dance Theater II. Spanish choreographer Ivan Pérez began his career as a dancer with the Netherlands Dance Theater and launched his own company in 2016. Next season, he will serve as Artistic Director of Dance Theater Heidelberg at Theater und Orchester Heidelberg.

The program’s grand finale is A Brahms Symphony by Lar Lubovitch, a masterwork that premiered 33 years ago in New York City. Set to Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 3, the piece was later expanded to include an additional fourth movement for American Ballet Theatre. Lar Lubovitch is a graduate of The Juilliard School and has choreographed more than 100 works for his dance company, as well as done creative work for film, ice-skating venues, and musical theater productions such as Into the Woods, The Red Shoes, and The King and I. As a highlight of the evening, the original principal dancers of A Brahms Symphony—Doug Varone, Nancy Colohan, Christine Wright, and Rob Besserer—will be in the audience for the Gala Concert.

Tickets to the 2018 Mason School of Dance Gala Concert are $25 for adults; $15 for students, staff, and seniors; and $10 for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, please visit cfa.gmu.edu (for March 23 and March 24) and hyltoncenter.org (for March 25).

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