Alumna Returns to Dance in Professional Stage Production

Posted: October 9, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Rita Donahue is used to dancing across a George Mason stage. As a 2002 graduate with a B.F.A. in dance and a B.A. in English, Donahue has been in numerous dance productions at the university. Tomorrow and Saturday however, she will be appearing on stage for the first time as both an alumna and as a professional with the Mark Morris Dance Group, one of the top modern dance companies in the nation.

During an audition earlier this year, Donahue was the only one of 300 dancers hired to work with the dance group. “It’s pretty incredible,” says Dan Joyce, assistant dance professor. “There are a lot of talented performers, and to be chosen takes a certain amount of luck. But for Rita, it is not only a testament to her talent and training, but also to her artistry.”

The Mark Morris Dance Group will perform in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall at 8 p.m. both nights. Donahue will be one of the dancers in the Washington, D.C., debut of “All Fours,” a piece for 12 dancers set to Bela Bartok’s String Quartet No. 4.

Another part of the program will be a performance of “Gloria,” a dance and choral extravaganza set to Vivaldi’s work of the same name involving 10 dancers, soloists, and chorus. The George Mason University Singers and a 20-piece chamber orchestra comprising of Mason students will perform with the professional dance company for this event. Stan Engebretson, associate professor of music, will be the conductor.

For tickets, call (703) 218-6500 or visit For more information about all performances, visit the Center for the Arts web site.

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