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MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP BRINGS D.C. AREA PREMIERE TO GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP
Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011 at 8 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 3, 2010 – “One of America’s most beloved dance institutions, a touring powerhouse.” (Associated Press) For the past 30 years, Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has enthralled critics and dance enthusiasts and novices alike with amazing technical expertise, unique artistry and its signature use of music. Hailed as “one of the greatest living choreographers” by the New Yorker, Mark Morris has had a profound impact on the dance world ever since he burst onto the scene in 1980, and continues to create important new works with a singular ability to combine beautiful music, graceful movement and delicious wit. His choreography is known for its inherent musicality, and he insists that the company always perform to live music. In honor of its 30th anniversary, the company performs the D.C. area premiere of “Petrichor,” set to music by Heitor Villa-Lobos at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Feb. 4 and 5, 2011 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. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
In addition to “Petrichor,” which premiered on Oct. 14, 2010 at the Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston, the Mark Morris dancers will also be performing three classic works from Morris’ repertory: 1990’s “Going Away Party,” set to music by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys; 1999’s “Silhouettes,” set to music by Richard Cumming; and 2008’s “Excursions,” set to music by Samuel Barber. The performances will feature Mason dance alums Rita Donahue and Billy Smith, who are both members of MMDG.
“We have been coming to Fairfax for many years,” Morris says. “There is a steady and devoted audience for what we do. And Tom Reynolds [director of artistic programming for the Center for the Arts] keeps asking us back. I like that and I like that the Center for the Arts makes show tickets available to students (nothing is more valuable than a free ticket). George Mason University releases very good dancers into the world too. There are two alumni in my company now. That's a very good sign.”
Called “the most prodigiously gifted choreographer of the post-Balachine era” by TIME Magazine, Morris formed MMDG in 1980 and has since choreographed more than 120 works for the company. In addition to MMDG, Morris has also served as the director of dance at the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium, where he created three evening-length dances: “The Hard Nut,” “L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato” and “Dido and Aeneas,” In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris has also worked extensively in opera, choreographing productions for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. In 2010, he received the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society.
Based in Brooklyn, the MMDG celebrates the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Mark Morris Dance Center in 2011. In addition to serving the company’s needs, this beautiful building provides rehearsal space to the dance community and outreach programs for local children, and also offers dance classes to students of all ages. As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, MMDG launched Access/MMDG, a humanities-based program that takes activities such as lectures, classes, film series and photography exhibitions to touring cities. The program offers presenting organizations the opportunity have a richer MMDG experience. Several collegiate and community activities, which will be announced at a later date, are planned for MMDG’s visit to Fairfax.
Tickets for MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP are $22, $36, $44. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. 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 cfa.gmu.edu.
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.