George Mason University Dance Company Presents 2010 Gala Concert

Posted: March 18, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: March 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

George Mason University Dance Company’s 2010 Gala Concert is an opportunity to experience this company of talented dancers beginning their professional careers, performing the choreography of four American modern dance masters.

The performances take place at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Mason’s Fairfax Campus on Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27, at 8 p.m.

The program includes

  • Doug Varone’s “Strict Love,” a work for seven dancers set to a soundtrack of a radio broadcast featuring popular music from the 1970s. Doug Varone and Dancers first premiered the work in 1994 at New York City’s The Playhouse. “Strict Love” was staged for the Gala Concert by Eddie Taketa, a current member of Doug Varone and Dancers. The Mason Dance Company first performed the work in 1998.
  • Jacqulyn Buglisi’s “Atom Hearts Club Suite No. 1,” a work for 13 dancers that was commissioned for The Ailey School/Fordham 2006 BFA Spring Gala and premiered by Buglisi Dance Theatre in its New York City season at The Joyce Theater. The music was arranged in four parts by Takashi Yoshimatu. The first movement includes songs from The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” as well as songs by Pink Floyd and displays a progressive rock style with irregular time. The second movement features a ballad; the third movement, a scherzo; and the fourth movement, a slapstick boogie woogie style. The choreography includes techniques by Lester Horton, Katherine Dunham and Martha Graham, as well as hip hop pop and lock style to create improvisations that Buglisi has dubbed “Mohop.”
  • Christopher d’Amboise’s “Opus 100,” a work for seven dancers, which was created for the Mason Dance Company and premiered by the company in November 2009. Set to Schubert’s haunting Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 100, this passionate and romantic piece runs only 13 minutes long. D’Amboise described the work as “taking each dancer from an introverted, intense paranoia, to explosive, expansive exaltation. It knocks them out, and hopefully, the audience as well.”
  • Mark Morris’ “Grand Duo,” a piece for 14 dancers set to live music by a pianist and violinist, which world premiered in 1993 at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts. Set to an intense score by Lou Harrison, “Grand Duo” was staged for the Gala Concert by Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) member Joe Bowie. Dan Joyce, an assistant professor in the School of Dance and a former MMDG dancer, served as the rehearsal director with assistance from Karen Reedy.

The Mason Dance Company’s recent graduates include Rita Donahue, BFA 2002, a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group; Billy Smith, BFA, 2007, a member of Parsons Dance; Durell Comedy, BFA, 2008, a member of the Limón Dance Company; and Prentice Whitlow, BFA, 2009, a member of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.

For further program information, call the School of Dance at 703-993-1114 or visit dance.gmu.edu.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students, staff and seniors. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu