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SUSAN SHIELDS BALLET COCKTAIL, APRIL 28, 8PM

April 12, 2007
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS SUSAN SHIELDS BALLET COCKTAIL
Evening of contemporary dance showcases Shields’s choreography on regional companies including American Repertory Ballet, Boston Ballet II,
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Richmond Ballet and Washington Ballet

Fairfax, Virginia, March 21, 2007—One of the dance world’s newest choreographic talents, Susan Shields, presents 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 in Susan Shields Ballet Cocktail on April 28, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. An artistic discussion, free to ticketholders, begins at 7:15 p.m. on the hall’s Grand Tier.
Susan Shields has shared the stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov as part of the White Oak Dance Project and was a member of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company for eight years. Now, during this balletic evening, infused with a distinctly modern dance vocabulary, her work is performed by a select group of outstanding regional companies. Ballet Cocktail takes off with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancing Concerto Caprice to a vivid score by American composer Vittorio Giannini. George Jackson, writing online in DanceView Times said, “Think of a triangle with corners consisting of [Mark] Morris's bouncy musicality (as in Gloria), George Balanchine's formal sparkle (as in Concerto Barocco) and Harald Lander's exhilarating sense of show-off (as in Etudes), then the Concerto Caprice choreography would be at the geometric center.”
The second work, Uncertain Song, performed by dancers from the Washington Ballet was featured in the Washington Ballet’s “7X7” choreography showcase. The Washington Post said, Uncertain Song “breathes new life into one of the oldest devices in Western art: contrasting the dark, passionate couple with the fair, sunny pair…Shields goes beyond stereotypes. Their dancing is a continuous soft swirl of movement, a metaphor for love fulfilled.”
Boston Ballet II, the pre-professional dance program of the Boston Ballet, performs Shields’s bright and energetic Sunlit Song, which premiered at George Mason in 2001. Set to a score by Polish composer Wojciech Kilar, Sunlit Song was also performed at the 2004 Beijing International Cultural Tourism Festival by members of the George Mason University Dance Company.
In Dark Hugs Me Hard, which enjoyed its world premiere by the Richmond Ballet in October 2006, Ms. Shields creates a gripping piece of movement, exploring loss and grief. The Richmond Times Dispatch called the work, “an all-too-brief ballet that testifies to Shields’s personal journey through grief…The work was filled with compelling imagery…”
Shields closes the program with I Kenji danced by New Jersey’s American Repertory Ballet. Ms. Shields created this piece for ARB as part of Artistic Director Graham Lustig’s commissioning program for women choreographers, Dancing Through the Ceiling.
Susan Shields has performed nationally and internationally, most recently as a member of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. She was a member of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company for eight years where, in addition to performing, she assisted Mr. Lubovitch in setting his work on American Ballet Theatre. Ms. Shields has performed with Mark Morris Dance Group, Laura Dean and Dancers and Musicians, Feld Ballet New York, and the Washington Ballet, where she received her training. She has taught at NYU, Barnard University, and BYU, and is currently a professor of dance at George Mason University. She is the recipient of a 2006 Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography.
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Tickets for SUSAN SHIELDS BALLET COCKTAIL are $44, 436, $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 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.