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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY DANCE COMPANY 2008 DANCE GALA

March 20, 2008
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
ANNOUNCES
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY DANCE COMPANY
2008 GALA CONCERT
Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m.

• Featuring Patrick Corbin’s Reach
• Eight Jelly Rolls, choreographed by Twyla Tharp
• Mark Morris’s masterpiece Gloria

 

FAIRFAX, Va., March 10, 2008 – George Mason University Dance Company’s Gala Concert is an opportunity to experience this spectacular repertory company of talented dancers at the start of their professional careers, performing the choreography of America’s masters of modern dance. This year’s program, at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29 at 8 p.m. features Patrick Corbin’s "Reach," Twyla Tharp’s "Eight Jelly Rolls" and Mark Morris’s masterpiece "Gloria." A company about which Mark Morris has said, “The program is really doing something right,” Mason Dance’s recent graduates include Rita Donahue (B.F.A., 2002), a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, and Billy Smith (B.F.A., 2007), a member of the Parsons Dance Company.

Mason Dance opens the program with Patrick Corbin’s stunning "Reach," which is set to Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 5. “His blend of aerial jumps and sudden falls, and the loose, arm-flinging calligraphy of his upper body seem all his own in this well-made piece, which moves dancers seamlessly on and offstage while slowly building to a striking close,” The New York Times said of Corbin’s choreography. A resident of Potomac, Md., Corbin studied at The Washington School of Ballet in D.C. and the School of American Ballet in New York City. As a dancer, Corbin has been a member of the American Ballet Theatre II, the Joffrey Ballet and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and earned the 2001 New York Performance Award (Bessie) for Sustained Achievement for his work with Paul Taylor. In 2003, Corbin founded his own company, CorbinDances, and has staged his own work as well as Paul Taylor’s work throughout the United States.

Next, the company performs Twyla Tharp’s "Eight Jelly Rolls," inspired by and set to the late 1920s jazz by Jelly Roll Morton. The piece, which allows each of the six dancers to make some individual mark, features some early 20th century dance forms such as the Black Bottom and the Charleston. “It digs into the kinetic fiber of jazz in a way that no choreography has done before,” the Boston Herald Traveller said of Tharp’s piece. Tharp has choreographed more than 135 dances, five Hollywood movies, directed and choreographed three Broadway shows, and has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2003 Tony Award for her dance musical "Movin’ Out," set to the music and lyrics of Billy Joel. She founded her own company Twyla Tharp Dance in 1965, and has choreographed for many other companies, including: American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Under the direction of Mason dance professor and former Mark Morris Dance Group member Dan Joyce, the company closes the performance with one of Morris’s most acclaimed works, "Gloria," which is set to joyous choral music by Vivaldi. “One of Morris’ masterpieces, beautiful, lush, virtuosic—one of those pieces where you can see the unbelievable connection between the movement and the music.” (Greater Boston Arts) The Mark Morris Dance Group first premiered "Gloria" in 1981 and was later revised in 1984 for a staging at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. “Gloria pleased ear and eye alike.” (The New York Times) One of the most renowned choreographers of our time, Morris formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1981, and has since created more than 100 works for the company. From 1988-1991, Morris was the director of dance at the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels; among the works he created during his tenure were three evening-length dances: "The Hard Nut"; "L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato"; and "Dido and Aeneas."  In 1990, Morris founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. He has received numerous commissions from the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Boston Ballet and The Paris Opera Ballet.

For further information on George Mason University Dance Company’s 2008 Gala Concert, please call (703) 993-1114 or visit dance.gmu.edu.


Tickets for George Mason University Dance Company’s 2008 Gala Concert are $20 Adults, $12 Students/Seniors. 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

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.