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MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP BRINGS D.C. PREMIERES OF "THE OFFICE," "FESTIVAL DANCE" & "SOCRATES"

January 7, 2013
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. 8, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at 8 p.m.

 

Featuring the D.C. area premieres of “The Office,” “Socrates” and “Festival Dance”

 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 7, 2012 – Called “astonishingly beautiful and an intricate demonstration of genius,” by The New York Times, Mark Morris Dance Group brings two exquisite evenings of dance to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at 8 p.m. This world-renowned company has captivated audiences for more than 30 years with its sophisticated artistry, extraordinary movement and overriding musicality, and its founder and artistic director, Mark Morris, has been praised by Mikhail Baryshnikov as “one of the great choreographers of our time.” A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III and is sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) returns to Fairfax with three Washington, D.C. area premieres this winter. Called “a highly unusual and haunting work,” by The New York Times, 1994’s “The Office” is a work for seven dancers, set to Dvořák’s “Bagatelles” for two violins, cello and harmonium. 2010’s “Socrates” is set to Erik Satie’s “Socrate” for voice and piano. Of the work, which features 15 dancers, dance critic and Mark Morris biographer Joan Acocella said, “The piece is as chaste, noble, beautiful and Greek as its music.” The evening also features 2011’s “Festival Dance,” a work for 12 dancers that is set to Hummel’s Piano Trio No. 5 in E Major. The New York Observer called the work, “charming … exhilarating … unexpected.”

The company features two alumni from George Mason University’s School of Dance: Rita Donahue (B.F.A., 2002) of Fairfax, and Billy Smith (B.F.A., 2007) of Fredericksburg; a third dancer, Spencer Ramirez, is from Springfield and attended The Juilliard School in New York City.

“His choreography creates human drama and visual textures, as well as the rhythmic punch and complexities of the musical virtuoso,” says The Washington Post of Mark Morris, who formed MMDG in 1980 and has since choreographed more than 120 works for the company. Morris also served as the director of dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium, where he created three critically acclaimed 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 Barysknikov. Renowned for his love of live music, Morris has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He is the recipient of numerous honors, most recently, the Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate Award in 2012. In June 2013, he will serve as the music director of the 67th Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, Calif.

 

 

Tickets for MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP are $23, $38 and $46. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent the Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university Lot K. For more information, please visit cfa.gmu.edu. Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/gmucfa and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_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

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.