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GEORGIAN STATE DANCE COMPANY PERFORMS AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

October 15, 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.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
PRESENTS
GEORGIAN STATE DANCE COMPANY
Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m.

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 15, 2007 – “The Georgian State Dance Company’s spellbinding performance was like the perfect movie: a swashbuckling adventure for men and romance for the women.” (The Indianapolis Star) A professional folk troupe of classically trained ballet dancers, the Georgian State Dance Company astounds and captivates audiences with their daring interpretations of traditional Georgian folk dances that almost always provoke standing ovations. “The company put on one of the most thrilling, technically astonishing spectacles to come this way in a long time,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The Georgian State Dance Company performs at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

The Georgian State Dance Company, founded in 1945 when the Georgian Republic was still part of the former U.S.S.R., provides a unique glimpse into Georgian culture through dances that represent rituals and ceremonies, work and play. “This admirable company emphasizes elegance, and its dancers and musicians never fail to communicate a love of their homeland.” (The New York Times) The 80-member dance troupe is accompanied by musicians on accordion and percussion playing traditional Georgian folk music.

In Georgian dance, there is a striking contrast between the movements performed by men and women. “Whether whirling on their knees at jet speed, spinning like gyroscopes on the curled toes of their sleek, leather-tipped black boots, or soaring through the air while engaging in death-defying combat, the troupe’s male dancers brilliantly captured the wild, highly competitive nature of their country’s alpha types.” (Chicago Sun-Times) The male dancers boast a highly original dance technique; unlike any other dancers in the world, the men dance on their toes without the reinforcement of block shoes. “The audience becomes delirious when the men dance on their toes in soft boots, gallantly escorting a partner or exploding into double air-turns to land on toe, shins, and knees.” (The New York Times) The men even engage in sword fighting in several dances including “Khevsurili,” a fierce battle between the male dancers that is halted by a female dancer who throws her headdress between the fighters to separate them.

The female dancers’ movements are less explosive, but equally as impressive. Dressed in long white gowns with elaborate headdresses, they move gracefully on the balls of their feet, appearing to float across the stage. In Georgian dance, men treat women as spectacular objects of reverence and devotion. While the men encircle the women displaying their athleticism, they never touch, and the women never openly try to attract their partners. “The women’s calm transcends passivity to evoke a spiritual or otherworldly grace.” (Los Angeles Times)

Classically trained dancers Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili founded the Georgian State Dance Company more than 60 years ago, wanting to show the rest of the then-Soviet Union and the world the unique culture and history of the Republic of Georgia. The Georgian State Dance Company, now led by chief choreographer and artistic director Iilia Sukhishvili Jr. and general director Nino Sukhishvili, performs all over the world and has appeared in numerous venues, including Royal Albert Hall, the Metropolitan Opera and Madison Square Garden. The company also runs a dance school where past company dancers provide extensive training in classical and folk dance to young boys and girls.


PNC is the 2007-08 Season Sponsor for Great Performances at Mason.

Tickets for the Georgian State Dance Company are $46, $38, $23. Family Friendly: Children 12 and under half price! 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.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.