Dance Gala Is All About Jazz This Weekend

Posted: March 21, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

After months of hard work and collaboration, the country’s leading jazz choreographer Danny Buraczeski, renowned American expressionistic painter Frederic J. Brown, and many talented George Mason dance students and musicians will show off their artistic collaboration on stage and help bring jazz to life. The George Mason University Dance Company hosts its 2003 Gala Concert today and tomorrow at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. The concert features the premiere of guest choreographer Buraczeski’s, “Stomp, Look and Listen,” created with a Duke Ellington score of train songs played by the George Mason Jazz Ensemble directed by Jim Carroll.

After working with 12 George Mason dance students, ranging from freshman to graduate students, in several intense eight-hour sessions throughout this semester and last, Buraczeski created a 13-minute original dance piece. Brown, who observed the rehearsal sessions, will be unveiling an original painting inspired by the dance, which will be on display in the Concert Hall.

Another piece to be performed at the gala, guest choreographer Kate Skarpetowska’s dance “Take Me,” was one of 50 dances from 33 universities recently selected by adjudicators at the Mid Atlantic Regional American College Dance Festival for the festival’s Gala Concert. “Take Me,” performed by George Mason dancers Heidi Kershaw, Sara Roer, Zaina Schiller, Sara Vorce, and Theresa Wetzel, was selected for its “passionate performance,” “vibrancy,” and because it is “striking and visceral” in its acknowledgement of the sadness of loss and the desire for resolution. A string quartet conducted by Rami Kanaan will play the Lou Harrison score.

Another highlight of the gala is a duet called “Aliens,” choreographed and performed by Boris Willis, a member of the Dance faculty. In addition, George Mason Assistant Professor Susan Shields has created “Continuum,” in which the audience discovers, as the curtain lifts to allow them to see the stage, six dancers in a whirl of unrelenting motion.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. They may be ordered at the Center for the Arts Box Office, or through by calling (703) 218-6500.

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