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MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP BRINGS TWO D.C. AREA PREMIERES TO GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

January 7, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP

Friday, Feb. 5, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Featuring the Washington, D.C. area premieres

of “Visitation” and “Empire Garden”

FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 16, 2009 “Mark Morris hears music, is saturated with it, and what results is dance that has a symbiotic life with its score.” (Financial Times) Known for his blending of beautiful movement, music and delightful wit, the incomparable Mark Morris returns with his esteemed company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall with two Washington, D.C. area premieres,  “Visitation” and “Empire Garden,” as well as one of his most beautiful works, “V.” Performances are Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

All three pieces in the program received enthusiastic reviews when the company performed at London’s Sadler Wells during its six-week tour of the United Kingdom last fall. Called a “gem of a piece” by the Sunday Telegraph, the somber and eerily beautiful “Visitation” features 10 dancers in ghost-like, fluid movement, set to Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102, No. 1. “Empire Garden” is a colorful, fast-paced and deliciously witty collage described as “brilliantly evocative of American life,” by the Financial Times. The piece features 15 vibrantly costumed dancers performing to Charles Ives’ Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano. The Boston Globe described “Empire Garden” as “a joyous and visually gorgeous romp.” Both pieces were world premiered at the Seiji Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass. on Aug. 5, 2009. The premieres featured live music by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Colin Jacobsen. First performed at Sadler Wells’ on Oct. 16, 2001, “V” is an exuberant and invigorating work set to Schumann’s Quintet in E flat for piano and strings, Op. 44, and features 14 of the company’s dancers clothed in luscious costumes by Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz. The Financial Times recently called the piece “a tremendous display of the choreographer’s gifts.”

With yet another bold and eclectic program of both new and beloved pieces, Morris proves again that he is one of the most innovative, creative and brilliant choreographers alive today, and is, as the Independent states, “a very smart concert ticket.”

Tickets for MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP are $44, $36, $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa. 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.

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.