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MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP - 2/18 & 2/19

February 13, 2005
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

A choreographer, a sculptor, and a jazz trio
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY WELCOMES BACK THE
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP
TWO PERFORMANCES – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 & SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19
PROGRAM INCLUDES D.C. AREA PREMIERE OF
VIOLET CAVERN – SET TO A COMMISSIONED JAZZ SCORE!


Fairfax, Virginia, January 7, 2005—It’s all about the music. Opening night of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s 2004 season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this month marked the company’s 600th consecutive performance to live music, an achievement unparalleled in modern dance. The Dance Group’s upcoming performances at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts feature the D.C. area premiere of the ambitious Violet Cavern, called a "collaboration of music, art and dance [that] met up with imagination and wit," and "thoroughly enjoyable," by the Contra Costa Times after the work’s West Coast premiere in Berkeley this past summer, as well as a performance of 1993’s Mosaic & United.

Performances by the Mark Morris Dance Group are Friday, February 18 and Saturday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m. with pre-performance discussions, free to ticketholders, beginning both nights at 7:15 p.m.

"[An] expansive full-company work on an exciting commissioned score by the jazz trio The Bad Plus. Happy as Morris fans may be to revisit familiar choreography from his repertoire, something new always heightens the mood," announced the San Francisco Chronicle. As sculptor Stephen Hendee’s suspended panes are colorfully illuminated, the eclectic jazz improvisational trio the Bad Plus (Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Anderson, bass; and David King, percussion) accompany’s the 15 dancers through some very physical floorwork, stretches and movement experimentation. The Bad Plus score for Violet Cavern features short, lively sections with obvious allusions to jazz, rock, Latin, and pop
Mark Morris was beginning to create a new piece for the Dance Group when he happened upon the work of artist Stephen Hendee. The Newark-based sculptor creates large-scale environments from low-tech materials like corrugated plastic and hot glue. Inspired, Mark asked him to design the set for the new dance. Mr. Hendee then created a flight of 37 panels suspended above the dancers’ heads.

Set to Henry Cowell's music for string quartet, 1993’s Mosaic & United brings together five dancers speaking their own mysterious body language in poses evoking arches, I-beams and various connected letters. It is appropriate that Cowell’s music uses "elastic form" (a concept he developed where performers determine the order and alternation of movements), as the Mark Morris Dance Group leaves its own indelible – and unforgettable – interpretation on the music itself.

PROGRAM
Subject to change


Mosaic & United
Music: Henry Cowell (String Quartet No.3, Mosaic, I-II-III-IV-V-III-I;
String Quartet No. 4, United, I-II-III-IV-V)
Costume Design: Isaac Mizrahi
Lighting Design: Michael Chybowski
Dancers: 5
Premiere: April 1993
(MMDG and White Oak Dance Project) Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

Violet Cavern
Music: a commissioned score by The Bad Plus
Costume Design: Elizabeth Kurtzman
Scenic Design: Stephen Hendee
Lighting Design: Michael Chybowski
Dancers: 15
Premiere: June 2004
Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

Tickets for MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP are $42, $34, $21. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa


GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.