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March 26, 2007
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.

Announces the
Friday, April 13, 8PM & Saturday, April 14, 8PM

ß Featuring Esplanade by Paul Taylor,
ß Top Ten, a new work by Larry Keigwin,
ß Kate Skarpetowska’s Tidal Intersections, and
ß a premiere by Susan Shields

Fairfax, Virginia, March 16, 2007—George Mason University’s Dance Company Gala is an opportunity to see dancers, on the threshold of their professional careers, performing work made by some of today’s most intriguing and renowned choreographers. This year’s Gala performances, on Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. feature works by Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin, Kate Skarpetowska and Susan Shields.

A company about which choreographer Mark Morris has said, “The program is really doing something right,” Mason Dance opens the event with Larry Keigwin’s nonstop, energy-laden Top Ten. Keigwin, who has choreographed and performed for Broadway, Off-Broadway and for numerous dance companies, was the associate artistic director of Dendy Dance & Theater, and received a BESSIE Award for his performance in that company’s Dream Analysis. Keigwin also danced in the companies of Jane Comfort, John Jasperse and Doug Elkins, to name a few, and performed in Doug Varone’s La Sacre du Printemps for the Metropolitan Opera. He formed Keigwin+Company “to nurture and enhance a vision for dance that explores personal relationships in the context of contemporary pop culture.”

Next, two accomplished company members dance a new, romantic and balletic duet by Susan Shields. Shields, one of the dance world’s newest choreographic talents, has shared the stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mark Morris, and Lar Lubovitch. An evening of her work, performed by a select group of outstanding regional companies—including the American Repertory Ballet, Boston Ballet II, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Richmond Ballet, and the Washington Ballet is showcased at the Center for the Arts, later this month, in Susan Shields Ballet Cocktail on April 28, 2007 at 8:00 p.m.

The intensely rhythmic Philip Glass/Ravi Shankar score for Kate Skarpetowska’s Tidal Intersections inspired the choreographer who envisioned waves crashing against the shore as dancers move gracefully in sea patterns. Skarpetowska, who is currently working for the Battleworks Dance Company and Lar Lubovitch, was a member of the David Parsons Dance Company from 1999 through 2006. She performed in the 1992 Broadway musical Metro, directed and choreographed by Janusz Jozefowicz. Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, the Parsons Dance Company, and many others have performed her choreography.

Known for their wit, warmth, musicality, and excitement, Paul Taylor works are now in the repertoires of the Royal Danish Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Joffrey, the San Francisco, the Paris Opera, and The Houston Ballets, as well as many regional American dance companies. Paul Taylor’s Esplanade, set to J.S. Bach’s, Violin Concerto in E Major, Double Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor (largo and allegro), was first performed by Taylor’s company in 1975. Taylor company member Patrick Corbin set the dance on the Mason company during two campus visits and Mason dance professor Constance Dinapoli, a former Paul Taylor dancer is rehearsal director. And, in a testament to the true essence of the Gala as a launching pad for the next generation of dance artists, Esplanade marks Mason company member Billy Smith’s last performance with the troupe. In May, two days after his George Mason graduation, Smith joins the David Parsons Dance Company (Parsons is a former Paul Taylor dancer, and one of the many guest artists who have set their work on Mason dancers).

Performance opportunities abound at George Mason. Mason Dance produces five to seven annual concerts, plus numerous choreographic showcases. Venues include the University’s 2,000-seat Center for the Arts Concert Hall, the 500-seat Harris Theater, and Dance Performance Studio.
For further program information, call the Dance Department at (703) 993-1114 or visit

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Tickets for the George Mason University Dance Company Gala are $20-adults & $12-students/seniors. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit 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

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.