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COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS ON FEB. 17 AT 8PM

January 24, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET

Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 at 8 p.m.

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 13, 2012 – “Beware: the energy and spirit of this dance company are contagious.” (Holland Dance Festival) This groundbreaking company mixes methods, styles and cultures to create an entirely new and exciting form of dance. Named “two of the greatest virtuosos ever to emerge from Ailey land,” by The New York Times, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson founded Complexions Contemporary Ballet to explore powerful social, political and emotional issues and to express their appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism. After a well-received appearance in 2009, Complexions returns to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 at 8 p.m. with a performance that showcases the ensemble’s intensity, passion, technical brilliance and ability to evoke deep emotion. 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.

The program begins with Rhoden and Richardson’s 2009 work, “Mercy,” performed by the company. The piece is dedicated to the memory of actor Patrick Swayze, with whom Rhoden and Richardson worked on the film “One Last Dance.” After intermission comes a series of duets by Rhoden, including excerpts of 2007’s “Choke,” performed to music by Vivaldi; 2011’s “Testament,” performed to traditional song; 2008’s “Dear Frederic,” performed to music by Chopin; and 2010’s “On Holiday,” performed to a collection of jazz numbers. Following is another duet, 2005’s “Showman’s Groove,” performed to music by George & Ira Gershwin and Cindy Walker & Eddy Arnold. The performance concludes with Rhoden’s 2008 work, “Rise,” an energetic and electrifying piece performed by the company to the music of U2.

The New York Times has called Rhoden “one of the most sought-out choreographers of the day,” and Richardson, “one of the most majestic dancers ever to tread on the Metropolitan Opera House stage.” Rhoden and Richardson were both principal dancers with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before forming Complexions in 1994. Committed to the belief that dance should be about removing, not reinforcing, boundaries, Rhoden and Richardson sought to create dance that transcends cultural and artistic boundaries and reflects the ever-changing world and the diverse cultures that inhabit it. Not only have Rhoden and Richardson presented their work at prestigious venues and festivals across the globe, but they have also introduced their work to the entertainment world through appearances on PBS, VH1 and E! In addition, they have served as guest performers and choreographers on the popular dance competition show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”

“Rhoden’s work is post-Balanchinean choreography, a new aesthetic in movement, stage, picture and performance concepts reflecting a post-modern, techno-savvy worldview.” (Dance Magazine) Rhoden has created more than 80 ballets for Complexions, as well as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Miami City Ballet and Washington Ballet, among others. He is currently the resident choreographer of North Carolina Dance Theatre, and has lectured, taught, created works for and served as an Artist in Residence at universities across the country, including New York University, Juilliard and the University of Mississippi. Rhoden has received many accolades for his work, including the New York Foundation of the Arts Award, the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography and the Ailey School’s Apex Award.

A multi-talented artist who has mastered a wide range of classical, modern and contemporary dance styles, Richardson has shaped the essence of the Complexions style since its inception. He has danced the lead role in the American Ballet Theatre’s world premiere of “Othello” and joined the original cast of the Broadway musical “Fosse,” for which he received a Tony nomination. Richardson has performed with Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin and Madonna, and has also made appearances in the feature films “Preaching to the Choir,” “One Last Dance,” “Chicago” and “Across the Universe.” Richardson has received numerous awards, including the Ailey School’s Apex Award, the Dance Magazine Award, the Presidential Scholar Award for the Arts, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Award and the 60th Annual Capezio Dance Award. Richardson also received the honor of being only one of two dancers invited by the president of the United States to perform at the 60th Presidential Conference in Israel in 2008.

  

Tickets for COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET are $21, $34, $42. 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

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. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.