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February 14, 2013
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.




Friday, March 22, 2013 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 8 p.m.

George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall



“Consumed” by Kate Skarpetowska

“Berceuse” by Diane Coburn Bruning

“Topos” by William Smith III

“Lareigne” by Stephen Petronio

“New Second Line” by Camille Brown


FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 14, 2013 – George Mason University’s School of Dance is honored to present its 2013 Mason Dance Company Gala Concert on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 8 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax. The highlight of Mason Dance Company’s season, this eagerly anticipated annual event showcases five gorgeous works of contemporary choreography performed by Mason’s gifted dancers at the start of their careers. The program also includes the premiere of “Topos,” choreographed by William Smith III, a School of Dance alumnus who is now a member of the prestigious Mark Morris Dance Group.

“As a repertory company, we are proud to present such a challenging and varied program,” said Buffy Price, director of Mason’s School of Dance. “This year’s Gala certainly demonstrates the versatility of our talented dancers.”

The program begins with Kate Skarpetowska’s “Consumed,” a 2010 work that was premiered by Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. Set to music by Meredith Monk and Richie Hawtin, “Consumed” is the third work of Skarpetowska’s that the Mason Dance Company has performed. According to a Texas A&M University press release, the work is a “commentary on globalization and one man’s attempt to escape its entrapment. The precise and frenetic movement combined with the pulsating soundtrack captivates the audience as they wait to see if freedom is obtainable.”

 A native of Warsaw, Poland, Kate Skarpetowska is an alumna of The Juilliard School and has performed as a member of Parsons Dance and Battleworks Dance Company. She has worked for Lar Lubovitch Dance Company since 2007, and has regularly appeared as a guest artist with Buglisi Dance Theatre since 2009. Skarpetowska’s choreography has been performed by university dance companies, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2 and Parsons Dance.

Diane Coburn Bruning’s “Berceuse” is next on the program. Set to music by Benjamin Godard, the 1994 piece, which means “lullaby,” was described in The New York Times as a “romantic duet … [Bruning’s] signature movements are angular and sometimes startling. Bodies drape over each other, slither and move in sensous, stylized patterns.”

Named as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch in 2003,” Diane Coburn Bruning is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts; she has also received support from the Sundance Film Institute and the New York State Council for the Arts. Bruning has worked with Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Joffrey II and Juilliard Dance Ensemble, among others. In 2000, she founded the New York-based Chamber Dance Project, a contemporary repertory company of dancers and musicians.

The program’s centerpiece is the premiere performance of “Topos,” a work choreograped by School of Dance alumnus William Smith III and commissioned by Mason Dance Company. The work is set to music by Antonín Dvořák.

A native of Fredericksburg, Va., William Smith III attended George Mason University under a full academic and dance talent scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007, receiving achievement awards in performance, choreography and academic endeavors. Upon graduation, he danced with Parsons Dance from 2007 to 2010, and has been a member of Mark Morris Dance Group since 2010. Smith’s own work, “3-Way Stop,” was selected to open the 2006 American College Dance Festival Gala at Ohio State University.

Stephen Petronio’s “Lareigne,” featuring a commissioned score by David Linton, is next on the program. Newsday described the 1995 work: “ … a heroically beautiful figure, seeming to float through fierce bursts of swirling, dynamic movement. Seven others join in, shot forth so deftly that at times they seem like dozens, their lashing limbs and unfurling torsos expressing infinite possibilities. The beauty of their shapes and the wafting white fabric of the sexy costumes … evoke a serene, but perhaps deceptive, coolness.”

Hailing from Newark, N.J., Stephen Petronio received his Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., where he began dancing in 1974. He became the first male dancer in the Trisha Brown Dance Company, where he danced from 1979 to 1986. He founded Stephen Petronio Company in 1984 and has since created more than 35 works for his company. He has been commissioned by William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Lyon Opera Ballet and Washington Ballet, among others. Petronio’s accolades include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Award, an American Choreographer Award and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award.

Closing the performance is Camille Brown’s “New Second Line.” Dance critic Debra Cash says, “Brown, who often testifies about the importance of faith and spirituality in her life, dwells in celebration. ‘New Second Line’ may have been inspired by Hurricane Katrina, but the choreographer’s focus is on the resilience of the survivors whose easy exuberance is conveyed in skips and leaps as free as the wavering hankerchief in a dancer’s hand. Set against informal photographs of musicians parading in traditional New Orleans ‘second line’ brass bands, Brown draws a portrait of a community that can rely on its indomitable spirit.”

A graduate of LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, The Ailey School and University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Camille Brown is a Princess Grace Foundation Award-winning choreographer and a recipient of a 2011 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award. She danced with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence from 2001 to 2007. Her commissions include works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Ballet Memphis, Hubbard Street 2 and Urban Bush Women, among others.

For more information about the 2013 Gala Concert or George Mason University’s School of Dance, please call (703) 993-1114 or visit Like “George Mason University School of Dance” on Facebook and follow on Twitter at @GMUDance.


Tickets to the 2013 Mason Dance Company Gala Concert are $20 for adults; $12 for students, faculty and staff; and $10 for youth ages 10 and up. To purchase tickets, please 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 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 Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @GMU_CFA.


About the College of Visual and Performing Arts

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (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.